Aaron B. Allen

Civil War Soldier

Co. C, 121st O.V.I.

by John Quist

      Aaron B. Allen was born in about 1844 in Marion County, OH. (1)

      His farmer father, Samuel Thomas Allen, was born in July 1817 in Pennsylvania. (2)  His mother was Sarah P. (unknown) Allen, born on August 21, 1821. (3)  Samuel and Sarah had two children:  Aaron B. (c.1844) and Milton S. (c.1845). (4)  Sarah died on July 26, 1849 and was buried in Otterbein Cemetery, Marion County. (5)  On October 5, 1850 in Delaware County, OH, Samuel married Elizabeth Stottlemeier, (6) born in Maryland on January 3, 1829 (7) or 1830. (8)  In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Saline Township, Cooper County, MO, it was stated that Samuel and Elizabeth had eleven children:  John, Mollie, Elizabeth, Emma, Jennie, Henry Albert, Edward, Margaret, Charles F., Thomas, and Caroline B. (9)  [The names were supplied by Henry Albert, but they vary greatly from the names listed in the 1860 through 1880 U.S. censuses.  The birth years also vary greatly.]  Samuel (who began to go by Thomas) and Elizabeth lived in Delaware County “until about 1874 when they came to Missouri with their family [without Milton who remained in Marion County] and located in Moniteau County, later coming to Cooper County, where they spent the remainder of their days.” (10)  Elizabeth (Stottlemeier) and Samuel T. Allen, died in Cooper County, she in 1895 and he on July 31, 1906, and were buried in Clayton Cemetery. (11)

       On August 21, 1862, Aaron Allen enlisted as a Private in Company C, 121st Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (121st O.V.I.). (12)

      The regiment was organized at Camp Delaware at Delaware City, Delaware County with recruits from Delaware, Knox, Logan, Marion, and Morrow counties and mustered in for three years’ service on September 11, 1862. (13)

      They were first ordered to Cincinnati, Hamilton County, OH (September 11), to Covington, KY (September 15), and to Louisville, KY (September 20).  They pursued General Braxton Bragg through the Kentucky countryside (October 1-15), including the major Battle of Perryville, KY (October 8), in which they were victorious.  The 121st was at Lebanon, KY until November, and then at Columbia, TN until December.  From December 22 to January 3, 1863, they operated against General John Hunt Morgan.  They were ordered to Nashville, TN (February 9) and to Franklin, TN (February 12-June).  From June 23 through July 7, the regiment was involved in the Tullahoma or Middle Tennessee Campaign.  They were stationed next at Fayetteville, TN (August 25-September 5). 

      The 121st O.V.I. was badly mauled in the Battle of Chickamauga, GA (September 19-21). (14)  They were part of the 2nd Brigade under Colonel John G. Mitchell, the First Division under Brigadier General James B. Steedman, the Reserve Corps under Major General Gordon Granger. (15)  On September 20th, the second day of the battle, General Granger, seeing the situation, but without orders, reinforced Major General George H. Thomas’ XIV Corps on Horseshow Ridge (also called Snodgrass Hill), which staved off the Confederate attackers under Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest until dark, permitting the Union forces to retreat in good order. (16)  It was Steedman’s division, including the 121st O.V.I., which led the vanguard of the reinforcements to Thomas’ aid.  They arrived about 2:30 p.m., just in time to stop Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s push. (­­17)  “The division … charged up the heights, General Steedman performing the most conspicuous act of personal courage recorded of any general officer on the Federal side, leading his men, most of them raw recruits, then for the first time in action, and, seizing the flag of the 155th Illinois, gained the crest and drove the Confederates down the southern slope of Missionary Ridge.” (18)

      During the fighting on the 20th, Private Aaron Allen was taken prisoner. (19)  He was eventually incarcerated at Camp Sumter (better known as Andersonville Prison) at Andersonville, Sumter County, GA, which was opened for prisoners on February 24, 1864.  Aaron Allen died of “scorbutus,” the Latin term for “scurvy,” on August 31, 1864. (20)  He was buried with a headstone in the Andersonville National Cemetery in Site 7429.  Surprisingly, his father did not apply for a U.S. government pension on the loss of his son.

      Allen’s brother, Milton S. Allen, served as a Private in the 5th Independent Battery Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery Regiment from December 15, 1863 until he was mustered out on July 31, 1865 at Camp Dennison, about 12 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati, Hamilton County, OH. (21)


Compiled by John W. Quist

Delaware, Ohio

February 12, 2013




1  “Aaron Allen.” 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Delaware Township, Delaware
      County, OH

 2  “Thomas Allen.” 1900 U.S. census, Saline Township, Cooper County, MO

3  “Sarah P. Allen.” Find A Grave Memorial, findagrave.com (online)

4  “Milton Allen.” Find A Grave Memorial

5  Footnote 3

6  “Samuel T. Allen.” Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994, familysearch.org

 7  “Elizabeth Stottlemeier.” Allen Family Tree, trees.ancestry.com (online)

 8  “Elizabeth Allen.” 1900 U.S. census, Saline Township, Cooper County, MO

 9  Johnson, W.F. “Henry A. Allen,” History of Cooper County, Missouri,

     Historical Publishing Company,  Topeka, KS, 1919, page 480

10  Ibid

11  “Allen, Elizabeth” and “Thomas.” Clayton Cemetery, Cooper County, MO,

        mogenweb.org/cooper/-Cemeteries/CLAYTONCEMETERY.pdf (online)

12  “Aaron Allen.” American Civil War Soldiers, search.ancestry.com (online)

 13  History of Delaware County and Ohio. O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, IL,

     1880, page 301

14  “121st O.V.I.” wikipedia.com (online)

15  “Chickamauga Union Order of Battle.” wikipedia.com

 16  “Gordon Granger.” wikipedia.com

 17  “James B. Steedman.” wikipedia.com

 18  “Gracie, Archibald.” The Truth About Chickamauga, Houghton Mifflin

        Company, Boston, MA, 1911, page 55

 19  “Aaron B. Allen.” Andersonville Prisoners of War, search.ancestry.com

 20  Ibid

 21  “Milton Allen.” American Civil War Soldiers

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