Historical Marker #2509 commemorates the life of Henry Tureman Allen.
Allen's life and accomplishments spanned the transition from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century. Born in antebellum Sharpsburg in 1859, his earliest years coincided with the upheavals of the Civil War. As a young man, he pursued a military education, first in Kentucky and later at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
While serving in the military, Allen led an 1885 expedition to map some of the harshest terrain in the nation: the Alaskan wildnerness. The United States had purchased the vast, icy region from Russia in 1867. Allen's travels took him through difficult conditions, yet the expedition contributed to America's knowledge about its northern frontier, particularly the Copper River region.
Allen also served abroad. His first overseas deployments occured during and after the Spanish-American War, both in Cuba and in the Philippines. By the time the United States entered World War I in 1917, Allen had earned promotion to brigadier general. In World War I, he commanded the 90th Cavalry Division and after the Treaty of Versailles ended hostilities, Allen took charge of the American occupation force in Germany. He wrote two books, My Rhineland Journal (1923) and The Rhineland Occupation (1927) about his time in Germany. He again earned promotion to major general before retiring from the military in 1924. After his death in 1930, pallbearers including John J. Pershing laid Allen to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
The ceremony to dedicate the historical marker to Allen's memory took place as part of Sharpsburg's 200th anniversay celebration. It was well-attended and featured remarks from Sharpsburg Mayor Dorothy Clemons, State Representative Sannie Overly, and local veterans. The local Boy Scout Troop led the gathering in the Pledge of Alliegance.
The marker reads:
Henry Tureman Allen
Born in Sharpsburg on April 13, 1859, Allen attended Peeks Mill Military Academy and Georgetown College before graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1882. He was sent to the western frontier, where he led an expedition that mapped 1500 miles of Alaska wilderness and rivers in 1885. He served as an instructor at West Point from 1888-1890. Over.
Allen served briefly in the Spanish-American War in Cuba (1898) and was promoted to brigadier general in 1917. He commanded the 90th Cavalry Division in World War I and served as commander of the American occupation of Germany following the war. Promoted to major general in 1921, he retired three years later. Allen died on August 29, 1930, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Dedicated September 23, 2017