Notes and Documents
Civil War Letters of George W. Allen
Edited by CHARLEEN PLUMLY POLLARD*
GEORGE W. ALLEN, THE AUTHOR OF THE FOLLOWING LETTERS, WAS A
second generation Texan. His grandparents, Micajah and Hannah
Bradbury Byrd, were among Austin's "Old Three Hundred," having re-
ceived a land grant on the west bank of the Brazos River about four
miles below the future town of Washington in what is now Washington
County, Texas. Their first child, Elba Byrd, was born there in 1825. On
April 15, 1841, Elba Byrd married Jesse J. Allen, and on May 31, 1842,
she gave birth to George W. Allen. Elba Byrd Allen married a second
time to William Arrington Sorsby on February i8, 1845. George W.
Allen lived with his mother and stepfather from 1845 until his enlist-
ment in the Confederate army, as well as after the Civil War. The "Dear
Parents" to whom Allen addresses these 1862 letters from his posts in
Arkansas were his mother and Sorsby.'
Allen enlisted in the Dixie Blues, Washington County, 23rd Brigade,
in June, 1861.2 He was captured at the fall of Arkansas Post in January,
1863, where he was in Company A, loth Texas Infantry.8 After being
exchanged in the spring of that year, Allen was home on furlough when
Vicksburg fell. Then in October, 1863, he enlisted in Company B,
Brown's Battalion, 35th Texas Cavalry, with which he served until May,
1865, the close of the war."
After the Civil War, Allen returned to Washington County and
*Charleen Plumly Pollard, a graduate of Texas Christian University, became interested
in history through genealogical research. She is a corporate officer for Kerco Prospects, Inc.,
an independent oil company in Fort Worth.
1Walter Prescott Webb, H. Bailey Carroll, and Eldon Stephen Branda (eds.), The Hand-
book of Texas (3 vols.; Austin, 1952, 1976), I, 256; Washington County, Texas, Marriage
Record Book I, 5; ibid., Book I, 8; United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the
Census, 185o Census of Washington County, Texas, 295; ibid., 186o Census of Washington
County, Texas, 71; ibid., 1870 Census of Washington County, Texas, 20o; ibid., x88o Census
of Washington County, Texas, 4. (All census records will be cited as [date] Census of
2Records Division, Texas State Library, Texas Confederate Index (15 reels; Austin, 1971),
II, (no page).
sTexas State Library, "Soldiers Application for Pension" (Austin, 1909).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/. Accessed April 25, 2014.