Last night at the Western PA Civil War Round Table I enjoyed a presentation on John A. “Black Jack” Logan given by friend Gary Ecelbarger, author of this bio of the Illinois “political” general. The talk was well organized, informative, and witty. It’s always good to see Gary, and I spoke with him for a few minutes before he went on. He has a new book on the 1862 Valley Campaign coming out, and has written very fine books on Kernstown and Frederick Lander. I’ve spent time in the field with Gary, but this was my first time seeing him in a round table setting: he did not disappoint. So now I can recommend him both as a guide and a speaker. Drop me a line if you want to get in touch with him for either purpose.
On a Bull Run note, then Senator Logan was in the field during the campaign in the role of Congressional observer. During the fight at Blackburn’s Ford on July 18th he borrowed a weapon (perhaps from a member of the 12th NY) and took a few shots at Longstreet’s men. Thanks to Gary for the sketch below. I don’t know anything else about the drawing. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image:
Logan spent the rest of that day helping to carry off wounded, stayed with the troops on the next, and returned to the capital on the 20th, convinced he should enter the fray. Accounts of his fighting at Blackburn’s Ford can be found in the St. Louis Daily Republican, April 6, 1902, and the New York Tribune, December 30, 1886. The musket Logan borrowed on July 18th, 1861 is reportedly on display at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield, IL.
I’ve been working on a blog post detailing my failure to write a magazine article on the opinions of various academic historians on internet resources. As I worked on it, it struck me that maybe I do have an article in this thing. So I’m going to finish it up and send it to the editor to see what he thinks. If he says “nay”, I’ll post a version here; if it’s “yea”, you’ll find it on your newsstand sometime later this year. I’ll keep you posted.