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Henry Watkins Allen Biography Timeline

Governor Henry Watkins Allen




Henry Watkins Allen

1820
April 29
Born in Farmville, Virginia. His father is Dr. Thomas Allen, his mother is Ann Watkins.
1833 Family moves to Kay County Missouri and Henry trains in a store in Lexington, Missouri to become a merchant.
Henry will attend Marion College in Philadelphia, Missouri for two years but runs away at 17 out of boredom.
1837 Moves to Grand Gulf, Mississippi and earns money as a tutor on a plantation and studies law at night.
1841 After studying law Henry passes the bar in Mississippi.
1842 Volunteers to serve in Texas and sees combat along the Mexican border. He remains six months, then returns to Grand Gulf.
1844
July 2
Marries Salome Ann Crane in Grand Gulf.
1845 1845 Serves in the Mississippi House of Representatives for the next two years.
1851
January
Wife Salome dies, leaving no children. Allen wanders through Louisiana.
1852 Moves to West Baton Rouge Parish and purchases a large sugar plantation plantation from Colonel William Nolan for $300,000, which includes 125 slaves. The house, across the river from Baton Rouge will be burned by Federal troops during the War.
He forms a company to build a railroad from the town of West Baton Rouge (now Port Allen) to Rosedale on Bayou Gross Tete.
1855 Fails in an attempt to become a state Senator.
He sails to Italy to fight with Garibaldi, but the war is over before he arrives so he tours the continent.
1857 Elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives as a Know Nothing candidate while he is in Europe. He returns and throws himself into politics until the Civil War starts.
1859 Switches to the Democratic Party and becomes a floor leader.
1860
December
Volunteers as a private in the Delta Rifle Company.
1861
January
Helps to seize the federal arsenal in Baton Rouge and aids the formation of several military companies.
1861
February
Helps reorganize the Louisiana Historical Society and becomes its president. He publishes a book, The Travels of a Sugar Planter, About his adventures in Europe.
1861
May 1
Receives an appointment as a Lt. Colonel of the 4th Louisiana Infantry Regiment which occupies Ship Island, Mississippi and Berwick Bay.
1862
February
Before being sent to Tennessee with Beauregard on March 21 he is promoted to the rank of full Colonel.
1862
April 6-7
He takes command of the Fourth Louisiana Regiment and fights through the bloody battle of Shiloh, suffering a bullet wound in the cheek.
1862
August 5
Commands a Brigade at the Battle of Baton Rouge. He is severely wounded, receiving crippling wounds in both legs.
1863
January
Resigns, serves briefly on a military court in Jackson, Mississippi.
Appointed a Major General in the Louisiana Militia by Governor Moore, but never serves.
1863
August 19
Confederate Army promotes him to Brigadier General and sends him to Shreveport where he organizes paroled prisoners of war.
1863
November 2
Elected governor of Confederate Louisiana.
1864
January 25
Inaugurated governor. He organizes state stores, foundries and factories such as a cotton card factory to aid families in Western Louisiana. He sells them food and goods at cost or nothing.
With simple moves such as these he rescues the population of west and northern Louisiana from starvation and disorder and restores industry. Cotton is exported through Texas and Mexico, circumventing the Union blockade. A state laboratory is organized at Mt. Lebanon Women’s Academy in Minden to make and distribute medicine and a medical dispensary is established in Shreveport.
He authorizes a geological survey of the state to locate needed raw materials with a mining and manufacturing bureau.
Two battalions of state guard are organized to assist regular Confederate troops until they become the 8th Louisiana Cavalry Regiment.
1865
June 2
Allen issues a farewell address and goes into exile.
In Mexico City he establishes an English language newspaper called the Mexico Times.
1865
June
His name is placed on the ballot for Governor of Louisiana. He carries five parishes.
1866
April 22
Dies in Mexico City and is buried in the American Cemetery.
1876
January
Allen’s remains are brought to New Orleans.
1885 His remains are buried at a monument on the grounds of the old state capital. He is recognized as perhaps the single greatest administrator in the Confederacy. He worked well with General Edmund Kirby Smith, Commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department.