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Person
E.J. Allen
E.J. Allen

Federal (USV)

Colonel

Edward Jay Allen

(1830 - 1915)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 155th Pennsylvania Infantry

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Before the Antietam Campaign:
From a prominent Pittsburgh family, "[i]n 1852, Edward Jay Allen traveled west over the Oregon Trail, and settled in Olympia. Although his time in the Northwest was very short, he made his mark on the newly formed Washington Territory. Allen established a land claim, surveyed and subsequently built the Naches Pass Emigrant Road, took a whaleboat voyage around Puget Sound, and was in the first party to ascend Mount Adams." He returned to Pittsburgh in 1855, and was reportedly a "stationmaster" on the underground railroad.

He served as a volunteer aide on General Fremont's staff April - June 1862. He then helped recruit and organize the 155th Pennsylvania around Pittsburgh in August 1862, and mustered as Colonel on 5 September 1862 as the unit arrived in Washington DC for Federal service.

In the Antietam Campaign:
His regiment arrived on the field at Antietam with the Division early in the morning of 18 September 1862, and he did not see action there.

The remainder of the War:
He led the regiment at Fredericksburg in December, and though ill, was present at Gettysburg. He left the regiment on 4 July 1863, and was discharged from the Army on a Surgeon's Certificate on 21 July, having been away from the regiment, sick with rheumatism, most of the period since February 1863.

After the War:
By about 1867 he was an organizer and Secretary of the Pacific & Atlantic Telegraph Company; fellow Pittsburgher Andrew Carnegie was principal shareholder. By 1874 the company was primarily owned or leased by Western Union, and later rolled into AT&T.

References, Sources, and other notes:
The quote at the top is by Karen Johnson. Basic military service from Hunt1 and Bates2. Details of service with the 155th from Under the Maltese Cross3 - as is the image of him above.

More on the Web:
His 1852-1855 letters from the West were published in the Pittsburgh Daily Dispatch, and are available online [search] from the collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. Allen published a book of light poetry Hiou tenas iktah (A Lot of Trifles) in 1900 which includes a photo of him in that year. See also a piece in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette of November 1913 describing Allen's pre-war relationship with George McClellan.

Birth Date: 04/27/1830    Place of Birth: New York, NY    
College: Duquesne College    
Death Date: 12/26/1915    Death Place: Pittsburgh, PA    Burial Place: Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA



Notes

1   Hunt, Roger D., Colonels in Blue: Union Army Colonels of the Civil War - Mid Atlantic States, Mechanicsburg (PA): Stackpole Books, 2007, pg. 26  [AotW citation 1060]

2   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871, Vol. 4, pg. 806  [AotW citation 1061]

3   Porter, John T. , Financial Secretary, and Charles F. McKenna, compiler & editor, Under the Maltese Cross, Antietam to Appomattox, the Loyal Uprising in Western Pennsylvania, 1861-1865: Campaigns of the 155th Pennsylvania Regiment, Pittsburgh: 155th Regimental Association, 1910, pp. 56, 59, 72-75, 146, 193, 194  [AotW citation 1062]



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