Alabama Pioneers HonoredBiographiesGenealogy Information

Biography: John Harvey Allen, Jr. born August 21, 1840

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Calhoun County, Alabama

John Harvey, Allen, Jr. was born August 21, 1846 at Richmond, Virginia, and died July 1, 1913, at Anniston, the son of John Harvey and Mary (McDonall) Allen. John Harvey Allen. Sr. was a native of England who came to Virginia when he was a young man, married in Richmond and lived there until he moved to Wytheville, Virginia. His wife was a native of Ireland.

John Harvey Allen, Jr. was educated in the public schools of Richmond, Virginia and later learned to be a watchmaker and diamond expert. Upon the outbreak of the War of Secession, he joined the C. S. Army in Virginia, and eventually attained the rank of major. He fought under Gen. Stonewall Jackson, and was on the “Alabama,” the Confederate vessel which wrought so much destruction to the commerce of the United States, under Admiral Raphael Semmes.

After peace was declared, Maj. Allen went to Anniston, then a mere woodland settlement, and for a number of years, was engaged there as a jeweler. He was a resident of Anniston for over thirty years, and during this time served as an alderman. He helped establish the Confederate Home in Alabama and accomplished much for the veterans. He was a Democrat and a Presbyterian, belonged to the Masonic order, to the Odd Fellows, and to the Knights of Pythias.

Maj. Allen married September 20, 1866, at Wilmington, N. C, Rachel M. Thompson, daughter of James and Rachel (Murray) Thompson of Wilmington, N. C.

They had the following children:

  1. Minnie T. Allen of Little Rock, Ark.
  2. Robert D. Allen of Anniston, Alabama

He is buried in Hillside Cemetery in Anniston, Alabama. He wrote some letters about his Civil War experiences. The letters can be found at the Library of Virginia. A description is included below:

Allen, John Harvey Reminiscences of Civil War service, 1913.
Accession 32238. 6 leaves. Photocopies.

Transcript of reminiscences, 1913, of John Harvey Allen (1838-1913) recalling his Civil War service aboard the CSS Alabama from 13 November 1863 to 19 June 1864, when it was sunk by the USS Kearsarge in the English Channel off Cherburg, France. Reminiscences include descriptions of various members of the crew, life aboard ship, the sinking of the USS Hatteras by the Alabama, and an account of the Alabama’s final battle with the Kearsarge. Also includes portraits of Allen and Rachel Murray Thompson (1846-1912).


  1. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 14002592# 14002584

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