Allen Thomas, a brother-in-law of Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, was born in Howard County, Maryland, December 14, 1830. Graduated from Princeton in 1850, he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Howard County for a time. After his marriage he removed to Louisiana, where he became a planter. At the beginning of the Civil War he organized an infantry battalion of which he became major; when it was expanded into the 29th Louisiana Infantry, Thomas was appointed colonel to rank from May 3, 1862. Serving during the Vicksburg campaign, notably at Chickasaw Bluffs, he was captured at the termination of the siege, and after his parole, carried General Pemberton's report to Richmond. He was assigned later to collect and organize paroled prisoners west of the Mississippi. He was promoted brigadier general from February 4, 1864, and assigned to his brother-in-law's department in command of five Louisiana regiments and a battalion. He later succeeded to the command of the division upon General Polignac's departure for Europe. General Thomas had a varied and distinguished career after the war as planter, Presidential Elector, professor (and member of the board of supervisors) at Louisiana State University, coiner of the New Orleans branch mint, and U. S. consul and minister to Venezuela. He declined a Congressional nomination in 1876. From 1889 until 1907 his residence was Florida; in the latter year he moved to a plantation he had bought at Waveland, Mississippi, dying there on December 3. He is buried in the family vault of his wife at Donaldsonville, Louisiana.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.