Bio: Allen, Edward Wellington (1843 – 1908)
Surnames: Allen, Kidder, Smith, Whipple, Tinker, Grover, Randall, Forrest, Sherman, Fairchild, Hardee, Reynolds, Wheeler, Blair, Lincoln, McClellan, Pond, McVicar, Culver, Harris, Davenport, Johnson, Long, O’Connell, Bryan
----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 629-633
Edward Wellington Allen, eldest son of James and Emily Allen, was born at Baring, Maine, January 15, 1843. At the age of seven years the family moved from Baring to Sheboygan, Wis., and in 1858 from there to Two Rivers, Manitowoc county. In 1859 they moved to Eau Claire, Wis. From that date until he enlisted in the army, December, 1863, he attended school when he could and was a pupil of Rev. A. Kidder. He worked during that time in Mayhew's furniture factory, located near where the old Empire Lumber Company's office now stands, and at the time he enlisted he was clerking in the store of William H. Smith. At Sparta, Wis., December 31, 1863, he was formally mustered into the United States army with the rank of orderly sergeant of Company H, Sixteenth regiment, Wisconsin volunteers, with D. C. Whipple, captain; J. T. Tinker, first lieutenant, and M. Grover, second lieutenant. They soon went to Camp Randall, Madison, where they were drilled and on February 26, the company being complete, they were ordered south.
The following account of his army life with his regiment, written by himself for Thomas Randall and appearing in his history of the Chippewa valley, being the best information obtainable of that period, is used for this narrative:
"From the cold snows of the North to the balmy skies and peach blossoms of Vicksburg was a pleasant change. After doing picket duty at Black river bridge for a month, we were ordered back to Vicksburg, from thence north on transports up the river, passing Fort Willow a few hours after the massacre by Forrest. Company H and two other companies were landed at Columbus to assist the colored troops in defending the fort against an attack momentarily expected from that chivalrous general, which, however, he failed to make.
“After two weeks of hard duty we joined the command at Cairo, then preparing to join Sherman's army in northern Georgia. From Cairo to Clifton, Tenn., on transports, and thence by forced marches, 300 miles across Alabama and Georgia, taking position on the left of the grand army before Kennesaw mountain, June 10, 1864. We suffered terribly during this march and many gave out on the way, among whom were Lieutenants Grover and Tinker, who went to the hospital.
"From this time to the l0th of December, three months, we were constantly under arms, marching, skirmishing and lighting, our first exploits being in the battles about Kenesaw, where we lost several men; then hotly pursuing the rebels night and day until they took refuge in their trenches before Atlanta. "We lay on our arms on the night of the 20th of July, the enemy strongly fortified in front, and just at break of day we were ordered to the charge. Grave doubts and fears were expressed, as there were so many new recruits in the regiment, whether it would not be better to put an old and tried regiment in our place, but after a short consultation it was decided to keep us where we were, for if the charge was made the old soldiers who were supporting them would have no confidence in them, and they would lose all confidence in themselves. The result showed the wisdom of the conclusion. It was a trying moment when Colonel Fairchild shouted the order, 'Fixed bayonets! Forward!' Out of the timber, down a ravine, up and across the field, over their works, driving out Hardee's veterans and taking some prisoners, was but the work of a moment. Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds coming quickly up, said to the new men, 'You are all veterans now, boys.'
"The general commanding the brigade sent word to General Blair saying, 'The Wisconsin boys did nobly,' 'but it was praise dearly earned.' Lieutenant Fairchild, Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds. Captain John Wheeler and many other officers were wounded but, fortunately, none killed. Company H lost two killed, seven wounded. Captain Whipple particularly distinguished himself in this action and a somewhat laughable incident occurred during the charge. So great was the excitement but little attention was paid to his efforts to keep the men in line with the colors, but finally, becoming terribly in earnest and shouting above the roar and din of battle, he sang out, 'If you don't know what line on the colors means, keep your eyes on that flag.' We held the works all day under fire and strengthened them at night, but about noon the next day the enemy burst on our left and was crushing that part of our army like an egg shell, coming boldly on until they reached the works held by the 12th and 16th Wisconsin, who repulsed them in six successive terrible charges, first in front, then in rear, and changing sides of their works as many times. Captain Whipple showed himself the same hero here as the day before, but the strain was too much; constant fatigue and anxiety and the suffering from his wound sent him to the ambulance and Orderly Sergeant Allen took command, there being no commissioned officer with the company. Being ordered to another part of the field by forced march, Captain Whipple again joined us and assisted in repulsing several charges, but was soon obliged to go to the field hospital and Lieutenant E. W. Allen, just commissioned, took command.
"The final battles of Jonesborough and Lovejoy's Station closed the campaign, and with light hearts we spread our tents in Atlanta September 10, 1864. Our company was reduced from 90 to 20 muskets, so severe had been the work. Here we received a quantity of good things, pickles, berries, condensed milk, etc., from kind friends in Eau Claire, for which if ever men felt grateful we did. But we did not rest long. Hood had gone north and was eating our crackers, so we were after him again and for five days and nights we chased him over mountains, rivers and valleys, and then were ordered back to Atlanta again, where, for the first time in eight months, we received our pay and voted for President, 34 for Lincoln and 2 for McClellan. That was the kind of men that composed Company H. Writing of this campaign. Captain Whipple says: 'Allow me to say a word for Lieutenant Allen, the youngest of the officers of the regiment. When commissioned he took his place beside the older officers, performing his duty faithfully and bravely and never missed a day until the close of the war.' On the 14th of November we started with Sherman on his grand march to the sea, and a month of constant marching brought us to the gates of Savannah, where, after a short resistance, we marched, flags flying, into the city. Starting again, we took Pootaligo, out on the Charleston railroad, which fell in consequence, and next our company was at the burning of Columbia, then Cheraw, Fayetteville, Bentonville and Goldsborough were taken, and after a few days' rest, waiting for our absent men to come up, a forced march brought us to Raleigh. When Captain Whipple, who had been sent home sick, rejoined us, how glad we were to see him. Here the war virtually closed. The fighting was over, but we were a long ways from home, but marching was easy now, for every day brought us nearer our loved ones there. On to Petersburg, Richmond and Washington, where, on the 23d day of May, 1865, we took part in that grandest pageant ever seen in America, the 'Grand Review,' Mrs. Sherman throwing bouquets at our tattered and worn colors. We were soon transferred to Louisville, Ky., where, on the 4th day of July, 1865, General Sherman took a final farewell and a few days after we were mustered out, sent to Madison, received our final pay and discharge on August 21, 1865, and with light hearts started for home never more, it is to be hoped, to be called to take up arms for our beloved country against internal foes.
"I have given the foregoing almost verbatim, partly because so few have taken pains to send me their war experience on paper, and because it is a concise narration of one of the most remarkable campaigns in the history of the world."
(Signed) T. E. Randall.
On his return from the war he was employed on the steamer Phil Sheridan, running on the Chippewa river, and that winter was in the logging camp of Pond (William H.) & McVicar, scaling, keeping books, etc. June 20, 1866, he married Miss Mary S. Davenport, at Middlebury, Vt. That fall and winter he clerked in the store of Wilson & Foster on the corner where now stands the Howard Culver Company's shoe store. During the spring of 1867 Mr. Allen and Captain M. W. Harris became partners under the name of Allen & Harris and founded the first furniture store of Eau Claire in a building on the present opera house site, which building was burned in 1870. The firm then occupied the building in the middle of the next block north, now owned by Mrs. M. W. Harris. The firm was dissolved in 1877 and Mr. Allen thereafter established the pioneer music store of the city, first on Barstow street and soon after put up the buildings on Grand avenue east, now occupied by the Allen-Johnson Company.
Mr. Allen continued in the business until 1906, when he turned it over to his son, James E. Allen, and Hans Johnson. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Allen, three of whom are living: Mrs. Edna, wife of James Long, of Mexico City, Mexico; Fred H. Allen, druggist at Tacoma, Wash., and James E. Allen, Eau Claire, Wis. In 1878 Mr. Allen was instrumental with others in organizing the first militia company in Eau Claire after the war. The Eau Claire city guards was organized with D. C. Whipple as captain, M. E. O'Connell first and E. W. Allen second lieutenants.
On the 18th day of February, 1908, while sitting in the opera house waiting for the lecture of W. J. Bryan, he suddenly and without warning passed away at the age of 64 years.
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