Nelson, Allison (1822–1862)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: November 20, 2014

Allison Nelson, legislator and Confederate army officer, was born on March 11, 1822, in Fulton County, Georgia. During the Mexican War he recruited and led a volunteer company. He was trained as a lawyer and elected in 1848 to the Georgia legislature, where he served one term. He also served as mayor of Atlanta in 1855. During the Cuban war for independence Nelson served as a brigadier general under Gen. Narciso López. Nelson was in Kansas during the "border troubles" but moved to Meridian, Texas, in 1856. He also owned a house in Waco. For the next four years he was engaged in Indian affairs. He served under Lawrence S. Ross as an agent but also distinguished himself as an Indian fighter with a captain's commission from Governor Hardin R. Runnels. Nelson was elected to the state legislature in 1859 and to the Secession Convention in 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War he raised and was elected to command the Tenth Texas Infantry regiment, which saw early service in Arkansas under Gen. Thomas C. Hindman. On the recommendation of Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes Nelson was promoted to brigadier general, to rank from September 12, 1862, and was assigned to the command of the Second Division of Holmes's army in Arkansas, which consisted of his own and George M. Flournoy's brigades. Nelson fell ill of typhoid, or "camp fever," on September 27, however, and died near Austin, Arkansas, on October 7, 1862. "He is an irreplaceable loss to me," wrote General Holmes. Nelson was buried in Little Rock. Camp Nelson, near Austin, Arkansas, was named in his honor. He was survived by a widow and three children.

Clement Anselm Evans, ed., Confederate Military History (Atlanta: Confederate Publishing, 1899; extended ed., Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot, 1987–89). Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959). Marcus J. Wright, comp., and Harold B. Simpson, ed., Texas in the War, 1861–1865 (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1965).

  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Indian Agents
  • Politics and Government
  • Military
  • Soldiers
  • Eighth Legislature (1859-1861)
  • House
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Nelson, Allison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 20, 2014

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