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"My Fellow Soldiers: Debility from recent illness has prevented and still prevents me from appearing amongst you, as has been my custom, and is my desire. It is for this cause I deem it my duty to communicate with you now, and give you the assurance that your General still maintains unshaken confidence in your patriotism, devotion, and in the ultimate success of our glorious cause. I am aware that influences of the most discouraging and treasonable character, well calculated and designed to render you dissatisfied, have recently been brought to bear upon some of you by professed friends. Newspapers, containing treasonable articles, artfully falsifying the public sentiment at your homes, have been circulated in your camps. Intriguing political tricksters, demagogues, and time-servers, whose corrupt deeds are but a faint reflex of their more corrupt hearts, seem determined to drive our people on to anarchy and destruction. They had hoped, by magnifying the reverses of our arms, basely misrepresenting the conduct and slandering the character of our soldiers in the field, and boldly denouncing the acts of the constituted authorities of the Government as unconstitutional usurpations, to produce general demoralization in the army, and thereby reap their political reward, weaken the cause we have espoused, and aid all those arch-traitors of the South to dismember our mighty Republic, and trail in the dust the emblem of our national unity, greatness, and glory. Let me remind you, my countrymen, that we are soldiers of the Federal Union, armed for the preservation of the Federal Constitution and the maintenance of its laws and authority. Upon your faithfulness and devotion, heroism and gallantry, depend its perpetuity. To us has been committed this sacred inheritance, baptized in the blood of our fathers. We are soldiers of a government that has always blessed us with prosperity and happiness. It has given to every American citizen the largest freedom and the most perfect equality of rights and privileges. It has afforded us security in person and property, and blessed us until, under its beneficent influence, we were the proudest nation on earth.
"We should be united in our efforts to put down a rebellion, that now, like an earthquake, rocks the Nation from State to State and from center to circumference, and threatens to engulf us all in one common ruin, the horrors of which no pen can portray. We have solemnly sworn to bear true faith to this Government, preserve its Constitution, and defend its glorious flag against all its enemies and opposers.
"To our hands has been committed the liberties, the prosperity, and happiness of future generations. Shall we betray such a trust? Shall the brilliance of your past achievements be dimmed and tarnished by hesitation, discord, and dissension, whilst armed traitors menace you in front and unarmed traitors intrigue against you in the rear? We are in no way responsible for any action of the civil authorities. We constitute the military arm of the Government. That the civil power is threatened and attempted to be paralyzed, is the reason for resort to the military power. To aid the civil authorities (not to oppose or obstruct) in the exercise of their authority is our office; and shall we forget this duty, and stop to wrangle and dispute over this or that political act or measure, whilst the country is bleeding at every pore; whilst a fearful wail of anguish, wrung from the heart of a distracted people, is borne upon every breeze, and widows and orphans are appealing to us to avenge the loss of their loved ones who have fallen by our side in defense of the old blood-stained banner, and whilst the Temple of Liberty itself is being shaken to its very center by the ruthless blows of traitors, who have desecrated our flag, obstructed our national highways, destroyed our peace, desolated our firesides, and draped thousands of homes in mourning?
"Let us stand firm at our posts of duty and of honor, yielding a cheerful obedience to all orders from our superiors until, by our united efforts, the Stars and Stripes shall be planted in every city, town, and hamlet of the rebellious States. We can then return to our homes, and through the ballot-box peacefully redress all our wrongs, if any we have.
"Whilst I rely upon you with confidence and pride, I blush to confess that recently some of those who were once our comrades in arms have so far forgotten their honor, their oaths, and their country, as to shamefully desert us, and sulkily make their way to their homes, where, like culprits, they dare not look an honest man in the face. Disgrace and ignominy (if they escape the penalty of the law) will not only follow them to their dishonored graves, but will stamp their names with infamy to the latest generation. The scorn and contempt of every true man will ever follow those base men who, forgetful of their oaths, have, like cowardly spaniels, deserted their comrades in arms in the face of the foe, and their country in the hour of its greatest peril. Every true-hearted father or mother, brother, sister, or wife, will spurn the coward who could thus not only disgrace himself, but his name and his kindred. An indelible
stamp of infamy should be branded upon his cheek, that all who look upon his vile countenance may feel for him the contempt his cowardice merits.
"Could I believe that such conduct found either justification or excuse in your hearts, or that you would for a moment falter in our glorious purpose of saving the nation from threatened wreck and hopeless ruin, I would invoke from Deity, as the greatest boon, a common grave to save us from such infamy and disgrace. The day is not far distant when traitors and cowards, North and South, will cower before the indignation of an outraged people. MARCH BRAVELY ON! Nerve your strong arms to the task of overthrowing every obstacle in the pathway of victory, until, with shouts of triumph, the last gun is fired that proclaims us a united people under the old flag and one government! Patriot soldiers! this great work accomplished, the reward for such services as yours will be realized! the blessings and honors of a grateful people will be yours!"
In the style of this address there may be food for critics; but in the purpose and sentiments of the address there is cheer for the patriot. It was designed to encourage war-worn veterans, who, after two years of service and of peril on many hard-fought fields, had not accomplished the great purpose of the war nor demonstrated the possibility of success.
In some States enlistments were discouraged and deserters were protected. The efficiency of the army was affected by the opinions of the troops as to the state of the public sentiment at home. General Logan's address was designed to meet the difficulties of the situation in a political as well as military point of view.
General Logan occupied responsible positions and took a leading part in all the movements under General Grant, which culminated finally in the capture of Vicksburg. The movement down the Mississippi river, across the channel, and through the State of Mississippi, was the brilliant undertaking of the war, and the most successful achievement until the final triumph at Appomattox. It decided the fate of Vicksburg, secured the free navigation of the river, and dissipated every doubt as to the final success of the Union cause. The battle of "Champion Hill" was the final and decisive battle of a brilliant series, and in that battle General Logan was a conspicuous
When our troops halted along the slopes of Champion Hill,” says the Comte de Paris in his History of the Civil War in America,
"the dead and wounded were piled together in such vast numbers, that these soldiers, although tried on many a battle-field, called the place The Hill of Death.'
The same eminent and impartial authority says: "The battle of Champion Hill, considering the number of troops engaged, could not compare with the great conflicts we have already mentioned, but it produced results far more important than most of those great hecatombs, like Shiloh, Fair Oaks, Murfreesborough, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville, which left the two adversaries fronting each other, both unable to resume the fight. It was the most complete defeat the Confederates had sustained since the commencement of the war. They left on the field of battle from three to four thousand killed and wounded, three thousand able-bodied prisoners, and thirty pieces of artillery. But these figures can convey no idea of the magnitude of the check experienced by Pemberton, from which he could not again This battle was the crowning work of the operations conducted by Grant with equal audacity and skill since his landing at Bruinsburg. In outflanking Pemberton's left, along the slopes of Champion Hill, he had completely cut off the latter from all retreat north. Notwithstanding the very excusable error he had committed in stopping Logan's movement for a short time, the latter had through this manœuver secured victory to the Federal army.”
General Grant, in his report of this battle, uses the following language: "Logan rode up at this time, and told me that if Hovey could make another dash at the enemy, he could come up from where he then was and capture the greater part of their force; which suggestions were acted upon and fully realized."
The siege of Vicksburg followed.
"On the morning of the 18th," says the Comte de Paris in his history, “Pemberton, with all his troops, shut himself up inside the vast fortifications constructed around Vicksburg. His forces, including the sick and a very small number of wounded-for those of Champion Hill had all remained on the battle-field-amounted to thirty-three thousand men. On the morning of the 19th the investment of Vicksburg was complete. McClernand on the left, McPherson on the center, and Sherman on the right, surrounded the place from the Mississippi on the south to the Yazoo on the north. Pemberton had abandoned all the outer works without a fight. Grant's army, reduced by fighting and rapid marching, did not reach forty thousand men."
General Logan's corps was engaged in the two memorable assaults on Vicksburg, and portions of his command gained and occupied positions nearest the lines of the enemy. Upon the surrender, Logan's command, with General Grant at the head, was the first to enter the city. Says the Comte de Paris: “It had fully deserved this honor.” General Logan was put in command of the city, and he was at the same time the recipient from the Board of Honor of the Seventeenth Army Corps of a gold medal, on which were inscribed the names of the nine battles in which he had been most distinguished for heroism and generalship.
General Logan spent a portion of the autumn of 1863 in Illinois, where, in a series of speeches, he gave efficient support to the administration and contributed largely to the successes of the Republican party in that year.
In November, 1863, General Logan succeeded General Sherman as commander of the Fifteenth Corps, and from that time forward he was engaged conspicuously in all the movements of the army, from the capture of Atlanta to the surrender of Johnston.
General Logan's magnanimity and sense of justice were exhibited in his treatment of General Thomas. It is known that in the autumn of 1864 General Logan was ordered to Nashville, and to the command of the Army of the Cumberland. When he arrived at Louisville he learned that General Thomas had attacked the enemy. Logan telegraphed immediately to General Grant, and suggested that Thomas should not be removed. For himself, he asked to be assigned to the command of the Fifteenth Army Corps.
General Logan's farewell address to the Army of the Tennessee was dated at Louisville, Kentucky, July 18, 1865. Thereupon he resigned his commission and turned to the pursuits of private life. His military career was such that the officers of the regular army and the graduates of West Point assign him the first place among the volunteers. It is difficult to comprehend the reason for the distinction indicated by the form of the concessions to the military career of General Logan. If in any instance he exhibited a lack of knowledge, or if his movements had in any case been followed by disaster, there would be grounds for qualifying the words of praise used in recognition of his services.
In courage, in the ready command of his resources, in coolness of temperament in moments of peril, in ability to inspire confidence and arouse the enthusiasm of soldiers, and finally, in the degree of success that crowned all his undertakings, he deserves to be classed with the most accomplished and most successful generals of the war.