Robert Allen (general)

Robert Allen (General)

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Robert Allen (general)

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Robert Allen (March 15, 1811 – August 5, 1886) was a career officer in the United States Army, serving as a brigadier general during the American Civil War.

Early life and career

Allen was born in tiny West Point in Columbiana County, Ohio, and was educated in the public schools. He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1836, ranking 33rd out of 49 cadets. He was assigned as a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Artillery and assigned to garrison duty in various outposts.

He saw his first combat during the Mexican-American War, where he received a brevet promotion to major for his actions at the Battle of Cerro Gordo. Allen was transferred to the Quartermaster's Department, and was eventually promoted to the chief quartermaster for the Department of the Pacific with the permanent rank of major.

Civil War service

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Allen was reassigned to the Department of the Missouri, where he was again chief quartermaster, as well as a colonel. Becoming recognized for his efficiency, he was soon promoted to command the supplies for the entire Mississippi Valley. From his headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Allen supervised the Federal supplies for all the region's major campaigns, including Vicksburg and Atlanta. He was able to secure a wide variety of surplus railcars from various Northern railroads and arranged to have them ferried across the Ohio River from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and used for...
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