John Selden Roane

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His Excellency
John Selden Roane
AR Roane John.jpg
4th Governor of Arkansas
In office
April 19, 1849–November 15, 1852
Preceded by Richard Byrd
as Acting Governor
Succeeded by Elias Conway
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1817-01-08)January 8, 1817
Wilson County, Tennessee, U.S.
Died April 7, 1867(1867-04-07) (aged 50)
Jefferson County, Arkansas, U.S.
Resting place Oakland Cemetery,
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Kimbrough Smith
Relations Archibald Roane (uncle)
  • Sallie Kimbrough Roane
  • Mary Roane
  • Bethunia Lea Roane
  • Martha Dillon Roane
  • Hugh Selden Roane
Parents Hugh Roane
Hannah Calhoun
Alma mater Cumberland College
Occupation Lawyer, politician, planter
Military service
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
Rank Army-USA-OF-05.svg Colonel
Confederate States of America General.png Brigadier-General
Commands Mounted Arkansas Infantry Regiment
Roane's Brigade

Mexican–American War

American Civil War

John Selden Roane (January 8, 1817 – April 8, 1867) was an American politician who served as the 4th Governor of Arkansas from 1849 to 1852.[1]

Early Life and Education[edit]

John Selden Roane was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, and educated at Cumberland College, which at the time was located in Princeton, Kentucky. He migrated to the new state of Arkansas in 1837, studied law, and was admitted to the bar.

Political career[edit]

Roane was Prosecuting Attorney for the 2nd Judicial District of Arkansas from 1840 to 1842, a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1842 to 1844, and the 4th Governor of Arkansas from 1849 to 1852.

U.S. Volunteers (1846–1847)[edit]

At the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, Roane was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Arkansas Mounted Infantry Regiment, succeeding to command when Colonel Archibald Yell was mortally wounded repelling the charge of the Mexican lancers at the Battle of Buena Vista. Roane was officially appointed Colonel on February 28, 1847. He 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 regiment's actions in the war. The duel was fought, but neither combatant was injured.

Provisional Army, C.S. (1862–1865)[edit]

On March 20, 1862, Roane received a commission as Brigadier-General in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. After most troops were moved from Arkansas across the Mississippi River, he 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 Major-General Thomas Hindman, cobbled together a reasonable defensive force. Roane's brigade took part in numerous battles in the Trans-Mississippi District, including the Battle of Whitney's Lane, Arkansas, and then the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

Personal life[edit]

On February 1, 1855, Roane married Mary Kimbrough Smith (1833–1907) in Dallas County, Arkansas.

Later life[edit]

Roane died in Jefferson County, Arkansas, and is buried at Oaklawn Cemetery in Little Rock.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ *Warner, Ezra J. (1959), Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders, Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, pp. 257–58, ISBN 978-0-8071-0823-9 


External links[edit]