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Civil War Soldiers - Logan
|Logan, John A., major-general, U.S.
Army, was born in Jackson county, Ill., Feb. 9, 1826. In 1840 he
attended Shiloh college, and when the war with Mexico broke out in
1846, being twenty years of age and of a military turn of mind, he
volunteered for service and was appointed a lieutenant in the 1st
regiment of Ill. volunteers. His record during the war was good, and
he was for some time adjutant, and also acting quartermaster of his
regiment. He returned from Mexico in 1848, and entered upon the study
of law with such enthusiasm that he made more rapid progress than many
young men enjoying greatly superior advantages. He subsequently
attended the law school of Louisville, Ky., and in 1849 he was elected
clerk of Jackson county, but, although he accepted the position, he
resigned it to continue the study of law. Meanwhile he had developed a
taste for politics and a talent as a public speaker ; he soon became
very popular with the Democrats of his county, so that he was elected
prosecuting attorney of the judicial district in which he lived, and
the following autumn was elected to the state legislature. In 1856 Mr.
Logan was appointed presidential elector for his district, and in 1858
he was elected to Congress on the Democratic ticket. In 1860 he again
became a candidate and was returned to Congress ; in the presidential
campaign of that year he earnestly advocated the election of Stephen
A. Douglas. Logan was in Washington when the news of the fall of
Sumter aroused the people; he was there also when the capital was cut
off from the North by the Baltimore mob, and when McDowell started for
the battle-field of Bull Run Logan followed him, and overtaking Col.
Richardson's regiment obtained a musket, marched with it and fought in
the ranks, being one of the last to leave the field. The following
month he returned home to Marion, Ill., and so awakened the people to
a realization of the impending crisis by his eloquence that in two
weeks a regiment was raised, of which he was made colonel, and in less
than two months he led it into battle at Belmont, where he fought
gallantly and raised the character of his troops to the highest pitch
by his conduct, having a horse shot under him during the engagement.
He was with Grant through the campaigns of the Cumberland and the
Tennessee, and led his regiment in the attack on Fort Henry. While at
Fort Donelson he received a wound which incapacitated him for active
service for some time, and on March 5, 1862, he was made
brigadier-general of volunteers. He commanded a brigade in Halleck's
movement against Corinth, and was afterward in command at Columbus. In
Grant's winter campaign in northern Mississippi, Logan, who had been
promoted to the rank of major-general, was assigned to the command of
the 3d division of the 17th army corps under McPherson, and he bore a
conspicuous part in the campaign against Vicksburg and at Port Hudson.
He made the desperate assault which followed the explosion of the mine
under the main fort at Vicksburg, and on the surrender of the place
his division was given the post of honor, leading the advance of the
party of occupation, while he was put in command of the place. For his
distinguished service in this siege, Gen. Logan received a medal of
honor voted him by Congress, and inscribed, "Vicksburg, July 4, 1863."
He succeeded Sherman in the command of the 15th army corps in 1863,
and he led the advance in the following spring when Sherman moved down
to Chattanooga, making his first great flank movement to Resaca, the
initial movement in the celebrated Atlanta campaign. At the battle of
Dallas he was shot through the left arm ; and during the desperate
assaults which Hood made upon McPherson at Atlanta, Logan fought
splendidly, and it was to him that McPherson sent the last message
that he ever dispatched on earth. On the death of this great general,
Logan, by virtue of his rank, assumed command, and he changed the
defeat into victory without receiving any orders from Sherman, who was
in command of all the forces. After the evacuation of Atlanta, Logan
received a medal from the Army of the Tennessee, upon which were
engraved the names of the battles in which he had taken part. After a
few weeks spent in Illinois in the political campaign of 1864, he
rejoined his troops at Savannah, and continued in active service until
the surrender of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, April 26, 1865. Active
service being over, President Johnson appointed Gen. Logan minister to
Mexico, but the office was declined, and in 1866 he was elected to
Congress in Illinois as representative of the state-at-large, as a
Republican. He continued in the lower house of Congress until he was
elected by the Illinois legislature U. S. senator from that state for
the term which began March 4, 1871. At the expiration of his term he
settled in Chicago, where he practiced law until he again returned to
the senate in 1879. At the Republican national convention held at
Chicago in June, 1884, Gen. Logan was nominated for vice-president on
the ticket with Mr. Blaine, but was defeated at the ensuing election.
Gen. Logan died in Washington, D. C., Dec. 26, 1886.
Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal
States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908