John A. Logan


John Logan as a Major General. From the Library of Congress.

John Alexander Logan was an Illinois politician and practicing attorney from Jackson County, Illinois. He was a notable Southern Illinois Democrat who served in the House of Representatives from 1859-1862. When it comes to Little Egypt politics, perhaps no figure is more important than John Logan in the years immediately before the war. Little Egypt was a region composed mostly of farmers, many of whom had immigrated from the south and were devout  supporters of the Democratic Party. These Egypt residents were highly loyal to John A. Logan and elected him to serve 18 Southern Illinois counties with 80% of the vote in 1860. As a politician, Logan had been noted for defending southern rights and supported banning free blacks from entering Illinois. (Morris. pg.xv) During the war Logan enlisted in the Union army where he started as a colonel, and worked his way up to a Major General by 1865, making him the highest ranking civilian soldier in the war. (Ed. Gleeson p. 92)  His 31st Illinois regiment is one of nation’s most decorated regiments, and Logan himself is noted for his action at Vicksburg. In the years prior to the war, John A. Logan’s position on which side he would join was in question. Many reports and writings suggest that Logan was blatantly leading pro-secessionist meetings, while others suggest he was secretly organizing a Confederate regiment.