Thursday, May 31, 2012

Logan Statue Re-Dedication on Memorial Day, 2012

On Monday my daughter, Kristen, an honest-to-goodness member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, went down to Grant Park to join in the re-dedication of the General John A. Logan Monument, located at Ninth Street and Michigan Avenue.

She was happy that she went. 

The ceremony on May 28 (KJB, 2012)
Hosted by The Lawrence Pucci Wedgwood Society of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Mile Association, the Memorial Day ceremony, as Kristen explained to me, was an appropriate tribute to those whose sacrifices served to give us the country we enjoy today and to General Logan, himself.

General John A. Logan was born in southern Illinois in 1826, the son of a Scot-Irish immigrant who moved to Jackson County in 1824.  At the age of 23, the young man volunteered for the Mexican War and upon his return served as the Prosecuting Attorney of the Third Judiciary District.  By 1852 Logan was elected the Illinois House of Representatives, and six years later he was elected to the United States House of Representatives.

When the Civil War began Representative Logan was in his second House term, but he volunteered to serve and in August of 1861 he began to assemble the Thirty-Firsst Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  In the unit's first major battle, the siege of Fort Donnlson, Logan was shot through the left shoulder, had the wound bandaged, returned to the field, where he was then shot through the right thigh. 

Remarks by Ms. Katy Hall, representing
the Daughters of the American Revolution
(KJB, 2012)
In the battle Logan’s regiment lost 303 of its 606 men, but the victory at Fort Donnelson, secured in large part by the efforts of Logan and the Thirty-First, was the first major Union victory in the war.  General Ulysses S. Grant awarded Logan a battlefield promotion to Brigadier General.

Logan went on to fight at Vicksburg where he was promoted to Major General.  At the Battle of Atlanta, after General McPherson was killed, Logan took command of the Army of the Tennessee.  Riding through his scattered soldiers, he urged his troops to reform their lines as he raised the flag and shouted, “McPherson and revenge boys!” The troops rallied, and Atlanta was captured.  []

After the war, Logan returned to the U. S. House of Representatives as a Republican.  As the Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic (with a membership at its height of over 400,000 Civil War veterans), General Logan issued General Order No. 11 in 1868, which established Decoration Day, the origin of our present-day Memorial Day. 

Re-Dedication of the Logan Statue on
Memorial Day (KJB, 2012)
Logan was elected to the United States Senate twice and in 1884 served as James G. Blaine’s vice-presidential running mate on the Republican ticket.  Senator Logan died suddenly on December 26,1886 in Washington, D. C.  His body lay in state in the United States capital, only the seventh person to receive this honor, and his funeral took place in the Senate chambers.

Logan is one of only three people named in the Illinois state song, the other two being Grant and Abraham Lincoln.  In addition to the equestrian statue in Grant Park, Logan Square on the northwest side of Chicago and Logan Boulevard are named after him. (See Connecting the Windy City blogposts on February 5, 2011 and February 11, 2011—Illinois Centennial Monument at Logan Square—Parts I and II)

More on the statue of General Logan in Grant Park coming right up . . .

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