BORN: 1811 in West Point, OH.
DIED: 1886 in Switzerland.
CAMPAIGNS: As Chief Quartermaster supplied all Mississippi Valley campaigns, including Vicksburg and Atlanta .
Born on March 15, 1811 in West Point, Ohio, Allen was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. After graduating in the bottom third of his class, he fought in the Mexican War, and was brevetted a major for gallant and meritorious service at the Battle of Cerro Gordo. He moved from the Artillery to the Quartermaster's Department, eventually being named chief quartermaster for the Pacific Department. Again, in the Civil War, he was appointed chief quartermaster, this time for the Union Department of the Missouri. Allen's challenge was to create an efficient and competent department out of a corrupt agency. He was successful, and he was placed in charge of the entire Mississippi Valley. Allen supplied all major and secondary operations in the region, including Gen. Ulysses Grant's Vicksburg campaign and Maj. Gen. Sherman's Atlanta campaign. Later, his sphere of duty was expanded to include all areas west of the Mississippi River, except for California. Allen ranked only behind Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs in responsibility, spending an estimated $111 million in his duties as quartermaster. After the war, he stayed in the army until his retirement in 1878. Allen died on August 5, 1886, while traveling abroad. He was buried in Switzerland.