John Selden Roane
John Selden Roane
|4th Governor of Arkansas|
April 19, 1849 – November 15, 1852
|Preceded by||Richard Byrd
as Acting Governor
|Succeeded by||Elias Conway|
January 8, 1817|
Wilson County, Tennessee
|Died||April 8, 1867
Jefferson County, Arkansas
|Resting place||Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Relations||Archibald Roane (uncle)|
|Parents||Hugh Roane (father)
Hannah Calhoun (mother)
|Alma mater||Cumberland College|
|Occupation||Lawyer, politician, planter|
|Allegiance||United States of America
Confederate States of America
|Service/branch||United States Volunteers
Provisional Army of the Confederate States
|Years of service||1846–1847
|Commands||Mounted Arkansas Infantry
John Selden Roane was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, and educated at Cumberland College which at the time was located in Princeton, Kentucky. Roane immigrated to Arkansas in 1837, studied law, and was admitted to the bar. From 1840 to 1842 he was Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas. He served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1842 to 1844.
At the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, Roane was made a lieutenant colonel in Archibald Yell's Arkansas mounted infantry regiment and succeeded to command of the regiment when Colonel Yell was mortally wounded repelling the charge of the Mexican lancers at the Battle of Buena Vista. Roane was officially appointed Colonel of the regiment on February 28, 1847. Roane was known to be jealous of the honor of his state and once challenged Albert Pike to a duel over what he perceived as derogatory statements made about the Arkansas regiment in the Mexican-American War. The duel was fought, but neither combatant was injured. Roane served as Governor of Arkansas from 1849 to 1852 and advocated internal improvements and increased funding for education.
On February 1, 1855, John Selden Roane married Mary Kimbrough Smith (July 27, 1833 – September 13, 1907), daughter of Nathaniel G. Smith and Sarah Kimbrough Martin in Tulip, Dallas County, Arkansas. Judge W. L. Somervell presided.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Roane joined the Confederate Army and on March 20, 1862, received an appointment as Brigadier General. After most troops were moved from Arkansas across the Mississippi River, Roane was placed in charge of the defense of Arkansas. At this time the state was nearly defenseless; and Roane, with the newly appointed commander of the Trans-Mississippi District General Thomas C. Hindman, cobbled together a reasonable defensive force. General Roane and his brigade took part in numerous battles in the Trans-Mississippi District, including the Battle of Prairie Grove in northwest Arkansas.
- Warner, pp. 257–58.
- Donovan, Timothy P.; Gatewood, Willard B. Jr.; Whayne, Jeannie M., eds. (1995). The Governors of Arkansas: Essays in Political Biography (2nd ed.). Fayetteville, Ark.: University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-331-1.
- Warner, Ezra J. (1997). Generals in Gray: Lives of Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.