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This Day in Georgia History

March 11, 1822

Allison Nelson Born

Lawyer, politician, and military officer Allison Nelson was born in Fayette (later DeKalb, and still later Fulton) County. Nelson read law and became an attorney. In 1846, he raised a volunteer company – the Kennesaw Rangers – and served as a captain in the Mexican War. After the war, Nelson returned to Georgia, where he married and settled in Cobb County. Becoming a successful planter, he represented Cobb in the Georgia House of Representatives (1848-49). In Jan. 1855, Nelson won election as mayor of Atlanta (though he resigned that July), giving him the distinction of being the first Atlanta mayor born in the limits of what now is Fulton County. After a brief term as Atlanta mayor, Nelson moved to Texas. In 1860, he was elected to the Texas legislature, also serving in that state’s secession convention. After Texas’ secession, Nelson helped organized the 10th Texas regiment, in which he served as a colonel. In Sept. 1862, he was promoted to brigadier general. That same month, he became infected during an outbreak of typhoid fever, and died on Oct. 7, 1862 at a Confederate camp (subsequently named for him) near Old Austin in Lonoke County, Ark.