Enoch B. Allen, A Vintage Vignette

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Enoch B. Allen
A Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin
September 23, 2010

At the foot of the grave of Robert D. Tribble in the old section of the Madison City Cemetery on Mill Road is the headstone for E. B. Allen. It was gradually being pushed over by a cedar tree that had been growing through the Allen grave for many years. This plight of the headstone caught my attention about 15 or 20 years ago when I first visited the cemetery. About six years ago I noticed a small Veterans Affairs marker at the site. It is engraved with “E. B. ALLEN; PVT, CO F, 20 GA INF; CONFEDERATE STATES ARMY; AUGUST 27, 1834 - MAY 19, 1900”.

In the 1880 census, I found “Enoch B. Allen” as a blacksmith in Madison, with his wife Anne E. (age 45, Virginia born, her father Pennsylvania born, and her mother Virginia born) and daughter Hannah B. Allen at age 12, born in Indiana with father Ohio born and mother Virginia born. Enoch himself was shown as age 45, born in Ohio, with both of his parents indicated as born in New Jersey. It seemed strange that someone born in Ohio of New Jersey parentage would have fought for the Confederacy in a Georgia infantry unit.

The 1900 and 1910 census records show Anne E. Allen continuing to live in Madison as a widow. In 1900 she was alone in a household six houses away from the family of John T. Sadler, a blacksmith who was married to Hannah Bell Allen in 1885, according to Madison County marriage book 14, page 195. The Sadlers had a daughter named Anna M., age 12 in the 1900 census. In the census of 1910, Anna M. is shown at age 22 as the wife of John A. Camper, with her grandmother Annie E. Allen living in their Madison household. Before the 1880 census, there was no E. B. Allen found here. However, in 1870 Enoch Allen was found about 50 miles north of Indianapolis in Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana. He was listed as a blacksmith, age 34, with wife Anne E., also age 34. His birthplace was reported as Ohio. Anne's birthplace was given as Virginia. Daughter Hannah B. at age 2 born in Indiana was also listed in the household. This places our E. B. Allen in Indiana soon after the Civil War ended.

In the 1860 census blacksmith Enoch B. Allen was found in Washington, Dearborn County, Indiana. His wife was named Mary, age 22, born in Indiana, with no children then. This places him in Indiana both before and after the Civil War. It therefore seems that he should have served in an Indiana unit of the Union Army. It was not common for “Yankees” to join the Confederate Army and then return home, but it perhaps happened sometime. The 1850 census further confirmed Enoch's “Yankee” roots. He was listed then as a son of carpenter William Allen, age 38, born in New Jersey. His mother was shown as Hannah, age 41, born in New Jersey. The ages and birthplaces of the other children of the family indicate that they lived in Ohio for a time, then moved to Kentucky before settling along the west bank of the Ohio River in Aurora, Dearborn County, Indiana by 1850.

Investigation of military records revealed that there were men named E. B. Allen who served in the Confederacy from both Georgia and Mississippi. The pension records show that widow Ann E. Allen of Alabama applied for pensions based upon the service of Enoch B. Allen with both Company G of the 146th Indiana Infantry (2nd Lieutenant) and Company C of the 76th Indiana Infantry (30 days as a Private). The conclusion therefore is that at the time of this writing a Confederate memorial marker is placed at the grave of a Union soldier in the Madison City Cemetery. I don't know which side will be more distressed, but if I were a descendant or relative, I'd hate to drive from Georgia to Madison to visit the grave of the E. B Allen who served as a Private in Co. F of the 20th Georgia Infantry. He is not there.

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