Friday, April 22, 2011

Confederate Images: the MMA Collection: Capt. Robert D. Logan

On May 20, 1910 a large crowd gathered in McDowell Park in Danville, Kentucky to dedicate a memorial to the Confederate soldiers of Boyle County. Erected by the Kate Breckinridge Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the local Confederate veterans the handsome granite monument was crowned by the figure of a Confederate officer. The man whose figure had been chosen by the local community to exemplify the qualities and virtues of the Confederate soldier at his best was Capt. Robert D. Logan.

Robert D. Logan was born on January 20, 1829 to Beaty and Patsy Everheart Logan, a pioneer family of Lincoln County in what was later part of Boyle County. Before the war Logan was a single farmer who lived at the family farm with his two single brothers, Mathew and Allison.
Logan was described by his neighbors and friends as a man of “striking individuality, one who attracted more than passing notice of any assemblage. He was a magnificent specimen of manhood, rugged, robust, courageous and honest in physique, mental traits and personal convictions. Without apparent appreciation of fear, without compromise on questions of political importance, and with stern and prompt expression of opinions, he was a fair fighter and a forgiving friend…as a companion and neighbor he was hospitable and generous, as a citizen, he was patriotic, and as a man he was big-hearted, genial and kindly.”
On September 2, 1862 Logan enlisted in the 6th Kentucky Cavalry which was being raised in central Kentucky for service in the Confederate Army. Logan was elected captain of Company A. The 6th was commanded by Col. J. Warren Grigsby and placed under the command of Abraham Buford. The 6th saw its first action in the Perryville Campaign helping to cover the retreat of Bragg’s army from Kentucky. The regiment participated in the Battle of Murfreesboro and in March, 1863 was assigned to the command of Gen. John Hunt Morgan. The 6th served with Morgan in operations in Tennessee and was part of his command on the Indiana-Ohio raid which would be the longest cavalry raid of the war. The 6th was given the advance of the column near the end of the raid in southern Ohio. Closely pursued by several columns of Federal troops, Morgan intended to cross the Ohio River at the fords near Buffington Island.

The 6th was in the thick of the fighting at Buffington Island and formed part of the rear guard allowing Gen. Morgan and a large part of his command to escape capture there. Logan and part of his men were cut off and surrounded at Cheshire, Ohio where they were captured on July 20, 1863. As one of Morgan’s officers he was denied status as a regular prisoner of war and sent with his commander to the State Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio where they were treated as convicts. Following Morgan’s escape in November, he was transferred to nearby Camp Chase and again to Ft. Delaware, Maryland in March, 1864.

In August he was sent to Charleston, South Carolina among a group of 600 Confederate officers who were placed in a crowded open stockade on Morris Island in front of Union batteries in retaliation for the keeping Union officers in the city of Charleston which the Union batteries were shelling. Exposed to the elements and on near starvation rations the officers became known throughout the South as the “immortal 600” for their suffering and refusing to take the oath of allegiance. After 45 days under fire they were sent to Ft. Pulaski and on December 15, 1864 Logan was exchanged at Charleston harbor.

Logan returned to the remnant of Morgan’s men taking a command in Basil Duke’s brigade of cavalry. In April 1865 he accompanied Jefferson Davis and the Confederate government south into the Carolinas and Georgia. At Charlotte, North Carolina Duke asked and received permission from President Davis to promote Logan to Lt. Colonel. Logan surrendered with Duke’s command in May in Georgia. Of his service his comrades said, “As a soldier he was brave and chivalrous…he never shrank from duty.”

Logan returned to his farm along with his brothers who had also served as officers in the Confederate Army. He joined the J. Warren Grigsby Camp of the Confederate Veteran Association of Kentucky when it was formed in 1890. One of his favorite pastimes was fishing. From the silver coins he had received as his last payment from the Confederate Treasury he had a silver fishing reel made which was one of his prize mementos of his service.

After a short illness, Logan succumbed to heart problems at his home on June 25, 1896. His doctor reported his last words, which he stated he was aware of his condition, which he knew his time was short, that he had lived as best he could and if the Lord wanted to take him he was ready and satisfied to go. His old comrades conducted his graveside ceremony at his burial in Bellevue Cemetery in Danville. The memory of his life and service were still fresh in their memories fourteen years later when they unveiled his figure atop the Confederate monument.

"Originally printed in the Fall 2007 publication of The Lost Cause"

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