John Selden Roane

Monument: Find-a-Grave

John Selden Roane was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, January 8, 1817. Educated at Cumberland College in Kentucky, he followed an elder brother to Arkansas, and in 1844 was elected to the state legislature, and became its speaker. In 1846 he went to Mexico as lieutenant colonel of Colonel Archibald Yell's regiment of Arkansas volunteers. After Colonel Yell's death at Buena Vista, he succeeded to the command. He subsequently fought a duel with General (then Captain) Albert Pike over the conduct of his (Roane's) command at Buena Vista both contestants escaped unwounded. Elected governor of Arkansas in 1849, he served until 1852. His administration was notable for his advocacy of a state system of roads and educational facilities. Roane does not seem to have been among the first to spring to arms in defense of the South, and was known as an opponent of secession. However, on March 20, 1862 he was appointed a Confederate brigadier, and he subsequently took an honorable part in the battle of Prairie Grove under General Hindman, who had superseded him in command of the District of Arkansas. Thereafter he served in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas until the end of the war, principally in garrison and on detached duty. Paroled at Shreveport, Louisiana, June 11, 1865, General Roane retired to his home at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he died on April 8, 1867. He is buried in Little Rock.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.

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