Wednesday, August 29, 2018

General John Alexander Logan of Illinois - another son of Ulster

James G Blaine John A Logan


John Alexander Logan (1826-86; Wikipedia here) was one of Ulysses Simpson Grant’s closest colleagues - perhaps his ‘favourite officer’ - during the Civil War. There’s a famous statue to him at Logan Circle in Washington DC (one of the city’s major traffic junctions, with a Metro station of the same name.

Logan’s father - according to the website of his birthplace museum in Illinois - was a Dr John Logan who was born in 1788 in County Monaghan, 'of Scotch-Irish descent’ (link here). He emigrated with his parents, his father was yet another John Logan (1762–1840) and his mother was called Elizabeth (died 1805). They had six or seven children with them, another was born at sea. They arrived in Maryland and gradually headed west to Ohio and then Missouri.

Logan’s father married twice; his second wife would become the General’s mother - she was also said here to have been ‘of Scottish ancestry and had strong Scotch characteristics’. The family were Methodists, with Wesleyan preachers often visiting their home.

John A Logan is said to have been Mark Twain’s favourite public speaker, and seemingly established the Memorial Day holiday. In 1884 he unsuccessfully ran as Vice-President with James G. Blaine (yet another figure of Ulster descent).

Logan died in December 1886 and had a state funeral in Washington DC. His widow Mary published an autobiography in 1913 (online here).

Logan on Horseback Promotional Flyer