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This profile was last updated on 12/15/97  and contains information from public web pages.

General Robert McAllister

Wrong General Robert McAllister?

Chief

Staff Andrew Humphreys
 
Background

Employment History

  • Colonel
    11th New Jersey
  • Sergeant Marbaker
    11th New Jersey

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow Brigade Commander

Education

  • dancing master background
Web References
Mutiny at Brandy Station, Last Battle of the Hooker Brigade
www.rockbpubl.com, 15 Dec 1997 [cached]
Robert McAllister of the 11th New Jersey and William Blaisdell of the 11th Massachusetts were very different in style, temperament and habits.
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McAllister considered Blaisdell unfit and lacking in all moral values : I do not know how a man of his caliber in tactics and morals could get such a position. He wrote further that.
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Thomas D. Marbaker, the historian of the 11th New Jersey, wrote that McAllister.
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Regis DeTrobriand, a fellow brigade commander in the Third Division later in 1864, gave this favorable appraisal of McAllister :.
From what I have related of his services in front of the enemy, the reader would doubtless be led to imagine him as hard fighters are generally representedCstill young, with loud voice, fierce mustache, lofty step, etc.Nothing could be further from the truth.McAllister is a good pater familias, having passed his [ fiftieth ] year.His voice is soft and calm ; never, never on any occasion is it raised to the pitch of an oath or anything resembling it.Not only is his mustache not twisted, but his face is as closely shaven as that of an honest pastor.Everything about him has the air of simplicity and modesty.His habits are those of an anchorite.A temperance man, he never touches liquor of any kind, not even beer.Tolerant as to others, rigid for himself, he preaches by example only.His staff had full liberty to use moderately the liquors he refused himself, and it seemed perfectly a matter of course to him, when we visited him, that his adjutant, Major Frinkelmeyer, should offer us the stirrup cup..
As punctual in his religious habits as he was severe in his belief, he had Protestant religious services regularly on Sunday at his headquarters.The most pleasant attention we could pay him was, on that day, to listen to the sermon of his chaplain.
His habitual kind-heartedness for the soldier did not affect his discipline.When he personally intervened in a punishment, he seldom failed to accompany it with a reprimand, the tenor ant tone of which recalled to the culprit the scoldings he had received from his mother in his childhood.So that the soldiers among themselves called him affectionately Mother McAllister. But when the day of battle came the mother led on her children as a lioness her cubs.Because he was a most exemplary man, McAllister was none the less the most energetic soldier. (58).
In his introduction to McAllister's letters, the editor writes of those brigadiers and colonels whose quiet efficiency and resolute gallantry ultimately proved the salvation of the Union and states that Colonel McAllister belonged to that noble class. (59) It can be argued that Blaisdell was also a member of this noble class, but to lump these two men together would be upsetting to both.
When he was eighteen, Blaisdell enlisted in the 4th Infantry Regiment of the regular army and served for sixteen years.He fought in the Indian and Mexican wars, rose to sergeant, and served on General Winfield Scott's staff.He was wounded charging a battery in the Mexican War.On his discharge he was appointed an inspector in the Boston customs house.At the advent of the Civil War he was offered a commission as a captain in the regular army by General Scott but decided to enter the volunteer service. (60).
Very little published material exists on Blaisdell, but an unpublished portion of Henry Blake's memoirs expands our knowledge of his life.
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Henry Blake was as strongly against the use of alcohol as was McAllister, holding that.
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McAllister noted that Colonel Blaisdell is the party that was prominent and conspicuous in taking the church for a dance hall. (68) Sergeant Marbaker of the 11th New Jersey was less critical of the dance hall operation than his colonel.He noted that the officers were able to bring their wives and daughters to the grand balls at Brandy Station during the winter, but this option was not open to the enlisted men.They were forced to improvise.He reported that.
a dance without something resembling femininity not being very attractive, the want was filled by dressing in female garb the youngest and most effeminate soldiers.Some sent North for female apparel, but as that was not always practicable, many ways were resorted to and many varieties of material used to get up costumes.Colonel McAllister, no doubt, would have been very indignant had he known that one of the table-covers sometimes figured as a skirt upon George W. Lindley, the write's steady company. ... The season closed with a grand conflagration.Some incendiary fired the building, and in spite of the heroic efforts of the New York firemen, from the Excelsior Brigade, who quickly had their machines on the spot-said machines consisting of the running-gears of baggage-wagons with ropes attached-the building was entirely consumed.No insurance. (69).
The ability of the officers to live it up to a degree at Brandy Station was not dwelt upon by McAllister in his letters.His good friend General Carr, with his dancing master background, was a social leader which may have impressed Chief of Staff Andrew Humphreys, if not General Meade.
Hooker's Brigade
hookerbrigade.morssweb.com, 25 Aug 2005 [cached]
LEVENTH INFANTRY. -- Col., Robert McAllister; Lieut.-Cols., Stephen Moore, John Schoonover; Majs., Valentine Mutchler, Philip J. Kearny, Thomas J. Halsey.
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This regiment, of which Robert McAllister was appointed colonel on June 30, 1862, left Trenton on Aug. 25, following, and reported at Washington at noon on the 26th.
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Robert McAllister
Hooker's Brigade
hookerbrigade.morssweb.com, 22 June 2008 [cached]
Civil War Letters of General Robert McAllister, Edited by James I. Robertson, 1998
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McAllister was the colonel of the 11th New Jersey who rose to brigade command in 1864.He was often at odds with Col.
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Because Blake's regimental history ends abruptly at Spotsylvania, McAllister is a valuable source for tracing the activities of the brigade through the end of the war.
Hooker's Brigade
hookerbrigade.morssweb.com, 25 Aug 2005 [cached]
General Mott, was assigned to its command, and General Carr to that of the division; but subsequently General Mott was placed in command of the division, and Colonel Robert McAllister, of the Eleventh New Jersey, to that of the brigade.
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