Assignment 5

John Alexander Logan’s life has influenced our society centuries later as well as how we respect those that lost their lives for our country. To review, I have decided to base my research paper on a well known statue in my hometown of Chicago, IL. The statue is of John Alexander Logan who left his role as a US politician to serve and command for the Union in the Civil War. This was a very bold and courageous move to leave his powerful role to fight on the front lines and risk his life. Logan’s ties to Illinois date back to him being born in Jackson County and later on becoming an officer for the 1st Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Mexican War. Eventually becoming an Illinois congressman, Logan was one of the main leaders who was able to keep Illinois from leaving the Union. As the Civil War became more hostile, this marked the point where Logan officially volunteered his services as a soldier and began to fight for the Union. He would end up coming back to Illinois to recruit men to fight in his regiment which he became colonel of. His 31st Illinois regiment would go on to fight at Belmont and serve in many battles as the war went on. Logan would go on to be considered one of the Union’s best political generals. His efforts are not only felt today by the way our country changed from the outcome of the civil war but his ideas have become ingrained in our society. Logan went on to become the national commander for the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The GAR was a group comprised of veteran Union army soldiers. As commander, Logan ordered a national day of remembrance for those that lost their lives fighting in the Civil War. Logan presented this as Decoration Day. A day where people would decorate the resting places of deceased veterans. The first Decoration day was celebrated on May 30, 1868. This day would become Memorial Day.  Considering that Logan was the founder of this holiday and an American hero, the city of Chicago made sure that one of their own would be given a proper memorial when he died in 1886. Illinois state legislature was very specific on how they wanted the burial to be presented. This is where I want to go into detail on why Logan’s memorial was built how it was and why it sets an example of how we celebrate the veterans in our country. We celebrate our military in so many different ways today. It has become a constant in our society and that all started with Logan’s thought of remembering our heroes and Chicago’s effort to make sure his memorial was powerful.


“John Alexander Logan Monument.” The Civil War in Art : Teaching & Learning Through Chicago Collections | Causes of the War : The Election of 1860 and Secession,


  1. Secondary. This gives details into the structure that is Logan’s memorial.


National Museum of the United States Army. “General John A. Logan, Memorial Day Founder.” The Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army, The Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army Https://, 5 May 2016,


  1. Secondary Gives great info on Logan’s military career.


One of the million who did not attend the unveiling of the Logan Monument on the Lake Front, Chicago, July 22d, 1897.


  1. Primary. Offers up a negative opinion on Logan’s life to give context to how well he was liked after he died.


Peck, George R. Oration Delivered at Chicago, July 22, 1897, at the Dedication of the Monument to the Memory of Major-General John A. Logan, Erected by the State of Illinois Under an Act of the Legislature Approved February 10, 1887. Chicago?: publisher not identified, 1870. Print.

  1. Primary. This is the oration delivered at the dedication of the Logan monument.

Longman, Lucas. “Civil War Record.” Home,

  1. Secondary. This gives great insight into his military as well as many other areas of his life.


Morris, W S, L D. Hartwell, and J B. Kuykendall. History, 31st Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Organized by John A. Logan. Evansville, Ind: Keller Print. and Pub. Co, 1902. Print.

  1. Primary. This is a book that goes into full details about Logan’s 31st Regiment Illinois Volunteers.


Dawson, George F. Life and Services of Gen. John A. Logan: As Soldier and Statesman. Chicago: Belford, Clarke & Company, 1887. Print.

  1. Primary. This is a very in depth book about Logan’s. I’m honestly still trying to work through all the information it offers.

“Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.” LGAR History,

  1. Secondary. This is Logan’s Memorial Day order.


2 Replies to “Assignment 5”

  1. Hi Fred,

    This is a great idea! If you have time in your paper, it might be interesting to compare how we treat the American military today versus the public response to them back then. You could also talk about the origins of Memorial Day if you would like to.

  2. This is incredibly interesting. I regret to say I never knew who exactly started Memorial Day or who John Alexander Logan was but he seems like a very compelling figure. If you feel the need to in your paper, you could compare the public’s perception of military service and death in the military before after the civil war to explain the origin of Memorial Day.

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