An Honored Confederate Heirloom & Legacy

The following is a letter submitted to from a respected supporter. This letter is from one of his ancestors and was instrumental in his development, as well as, his sense of duty and legacy. The text has only been transcribed to screen and has not been edited or revised. It is a powerful and moving heritage.

“My Great Grand Father Richard Allen was born in No Carolina in 1768. He was of English Descent and was a Soldier in some of the wars with the Brittish and Indians in the early settlement of North Carolina and Tennesse. He married a Scotch Lady, Mary Braxton and settled in Dickson co., Tennesse. Here my grandfatherr William Allen was born. He was born 1789. and was the Third son of Richard Allen. He had three Brothers who were Soldiers in Gen Jackson’s Army. Their names were Jacob, Edmund, and Gabriel who was the youngest. (Gabriel was a captain and led a company at New Orleans Jan 1815.) My father John Braxton Allen was born in Dickson Co.,Tennesse October 7, 1807. My mother was Elizabeth Herrod, born Sept. 11, 1811 in Dickson county Tennesse. From there The Allen and Herrod families all imigrated to Maringo County Alabamma, in the year 1819– From there they moved to Madison county Missippippi in 1822. Here my parents were married near Canton in 1828_ Were I was born Jan 6 – 1831.

In 1833 they moved 10 miles North of Canton and ~~ up a little farm. From Here they moved to Attala county Mississippi in Feb 1838. All the Education I recieved, I obtained in the common schools of Attala County. My Father and Mother were very pious people Father always kept up His family alter, and in his abscence Mother took His place. Their devoted lives made a very decided impression on my minds, and So I grew up into a pious walk in Life– I read a greateal in my 17′ and 18 years. (2) such Books only would lead my mind to a Godly life. After a long struggle with the power of sin, I was able to give up my sinful life upon the divine power of Gods love broke upon my soul and I have been held up till now. I have endeaverd to impress upon all with whom I have been associated the power of Godly life and conversation in the world. I was converted ajoined the Methodist church ~~~~ second 1843 and from that day to the present I have been walking with the followers of Jesus.

I married Feb the 22, 1852. Adline Cagle, daughter of Paul Cagle, a native of Tennessee – She was a Pious woman and a member of the M.E. Church. On September the 3, 1868 She died and left me with Six children. I felt that I was broken up. I then married Mrs. Minerva Allen who was a sister of first wife, and widow of my Brother Daniel C.Allen who was killed at fort Donnelson Tenn ( I was S~endured very sorrily ~~~ ~~ but time has proven the wisdom of this step)

My parents soon after their marriage became Slave Owners as most of my Kinpeople were. The Allen connection were verry kind to their slaves. They clothed and fed them well , and would let them go to church on Sunday. Almost my first recollection of my Precious Mother was when she would call her servants around her on Sunday Evnings and read the Bible to them, and Sing to them those old Time Songs which were so sweet and ennervating – But Some Slave owners (3) treated their slaves very bad – would not give them enough to eat. Neither would they give them good warm clothing – and would maltreat and give them ~~~ the Bullwhip upon the slightest provocation – But I never saw my father nor mother whip a grown slave. They would correct the negro children just as they did their own. As regards the slavery question I concieved that it was wrong. But as regards the race in their present condition I believe the old slaves were much happier under good Masters, than they are today with their located liberty – They were never a burden to the State during Slavery time, but since , they are a great burdins to the State Goverment.

As to the population about my first recollection it was very light compared to what it is now– When my father first settled in Attala county White Settlements were few and far between. In 1838 one half were indians the other half were whites and negros, But the indians though friendly to the whites gradually left the country and went west of the Mississippi. There was one old indian chief who served under Uncle Gabriel Allen at the battle of No. named Charley Durant, who loved uncle Gabriel so much that he would call on my father because he was akin to Captain Allen. Ev’rytime he passed ~~ through the country to the yazoo Bottoms on there hunting Expedition,(My father was a ~~ Major of State Guards) (4) and had a fine uniform, Gen Durant would have my father put on his uniform, when the old indians eyes sparkle like fire . Then father would cause the indian to put on fathers uniform, buckle his sword around him , then put on fathers cap, and go through the manuel of Arms as Captain Allen did at No. and give the commands captain Allen did. “Stand to your collars my braves” This old Indians visit would bring much pleasure to my father and mother, as they both could talk enough Choctaw language to converse with each other – But Gen Durant went over “the fathers of waters ” in 1and was buried in the happy “Hunting ground ” of His Fathers — As to Politics I have never paid much attentions, as to my Army Experience I will say that I was to Brookhaven May 15′ 1862 into camp of instruction, and I remained there till Sept 13, ” and from there I was sent to Richmond Va. Here I was sent to 13″ Miss Regiment and joined that regiment as it was on its way from Winchester NC. to Fredericsburg Va. We lay over at in Cul~peper C.H. a short time, from there we hastined to 1 Fredericksburg and on the 13′ of Dec, Engaged the Enemy in which battle we whiped the Enemy badly – I will now give you a list of the main battles that I went through. 2 Second Battle of Fredericsburg, whiped the enemy badly– 3 Chancellorsville– We were victorious. Here Gen Jackson was killed. 4 We next met at Gettisburg, we were defeated with great losis— 5 We met the enemy at Chickamauga We beat the enemy – 6 We next met at Knoxville Tenn~~~~ ~~ My company carried in 42 guns and came out with 14 guns, here I lost my canteen strop shot into and had 13 holes shot through my blanket. We were badly repulsed. 7 We next met at Spotsyvania C.Hva we were succesful there. 8 We were next at Wilderness– This was a hard fought battle – We were Successful– 9 Cold Harbor we were victorios but we had a hard time there wading the river Several Times– I will name some of the Generals that I was under sometimes, 1 GeWm Barksdale – who was a great friend of mine, we often met in Masonic Lodge and he showed me many kindnesses during the war— Gen Stonewall Jackson, I was never under his command but recieved great Curtesy from him very often– Gen Lee who commanded the entire army of Virgini – Benj Humphries – took Gen Barksdales place at ~~ These were mainly the Generals I was under from time to time . All these men have answered to their roll call. As I did a greateal of heavy work in the commissory department– I had to travel a greateal the last fall and winter that i stayed in the Army- There was $6,000 placed in my hands with which to buy supplies for the army. I came out all right on my final Settlement- I the same day was tenderd a captain commission with a salary of $140.00 per month but I declined becausee I did not want so much resposity thrust upon me .

(6) I’ll now speak of home. Godly women I met in the war- There was a Mrs. Johnson of Richmond Va. who came into the hospittal ,I had been sick with Pneummi~~, one Sunday morning who noticed that I was reading my Testament, when after a Short conversation, she asked me if I was a church member, I answered yes– she then pid us a visit for several ~~~, and she s~~med to be much interested in me, and one Sunday morning asked me if I would go down in town and stay with her two or three days + i told her I would if the Dr would give me a permit. went the next morning and secured pass from the Dr. for me to pass to her residence in the city. (The Dr was her brother) for 2 days, when she came in her carriage, and took me home with her, and she treated me as if I were her own son – and after that when I could get a pass to the city, I would always go to her home – when we were about to start into Pensylvania I was to give her a last call, she gave me a silver knife + fork and spoon, and filled my haversack full of good victuals. as I arose she reached out her hand and asked God to take care of me- This was June 5″ we returned from the North and ~ August 5″ I returned to Richmond. I went home. and of the daughter saw me coming – she call to her mother and said “Here’s that black haired Mississippians” I was recieved with much respect ~~G remember two other ladies in N.C. that showed me much kindness in the winter of 64 & 65 These I shall never forget as long as life shall last.

(7) Skipping overy many Minor incidents I will now recur to one of the most solemn Secens which came before me April 9′ 1865 – our men had just stack their arms in the prence the Victorious Army– As I left the scene, I looked back ” and there stood the meanful remnants of that once glorious Army that had diped its conquering Banner in eight an twenty saguinary Conflicts, That had given Manasses to Be~uregard , and twined the fame of the Seven Pines battle in the Lauriel Wreath of Johnsin.That had caused the waters of the Shanedoah Eternally to Murmer the fame of Stonewall Jackson; and stretching its Right arm to the distant west, had planted victory on the drooping Banners of Bragg. There stoo its Illustrious Cheif, whose lofty Plume had ever been the ralling Point in Battle , remained firm and steadfast to the last–“

In closing , I will say that in my lifetime I have searched most carefully through all the history I could of our family, and I never could discover that there was a dishonest man among our forefathers. And therefore, any of you or any of your children should ever take to dishonest ways it will not be because it was in our blood; It does not belong to you. I now leave this precept with you; Be Honest—-

               Farewell——– Amos T. Allen”

One comment

  1. A great post. In fact, the narrative, if you try to think of such things in the context of 2017, reads a lot like science-fiction, which is not to our favour.

    I thank ‘The Black-haired Miss’ippians’ for their service; and am proud that some of our ladies, here in NC, provided them such succour and comfort that they never forgot the kindness.

    I live in an antebellum house of such people, and our Confederate heroes are buried just a block from my door.

    Thankful to The Good Lord I am for that.

    May it never change.