John A. Logan: Stalwart Republican from Illinois



Book: John A. Logan: Stalwart Republican from Illinois

Author: James Pickett Jones

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press, reprinted in 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0813007298 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0813007291 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0809323890 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0809323893 Paperback

Related website: (publisher)

Language level: 3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level:

Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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Jones, James Pickett.  John A. Logan: Stalwart Republican from Illinois (originally published in 1982 by University Presses of Florida, Tallahassee, FL; reprinted in 2001 by Southern Illinois University Press, P. O. Box 3697, Carbondale, IL  62902).  John Alexander Logan Sr. (February 9, 1826 – December 26, 1886), called “Black Jack” by the men he led in Civil War battles from the Henry-Donelson campaign to Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and on to Atlanta, was an American soldier and political leader. He served in the Mexican-American War and was a General in the Union Army in the American Civil War, one of the Union Army’s most colorful generals.  Originally a Democrat who became a Republican, he served the state of Illinois as a State Senator, a Congressman, and a U.S. Senator and was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States with James G. Blaine in the election of 1884. As the Third Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, he is regarded as the most important figure in the movement to recognize Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) as an official holiday.

Author James Pickett Jones, PhD, is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at Florida State University.  His biography of John Logan is actually in two volumes.  The first, Black Jack: John A. Logan and Southern Illinois in the Civil War Era, tells of Logan’s early life, military career, and Civil War service.  This sequel continues his postwar story, covering topics such as reconstruction, regional and national Republican party politics, military policies, developing tariff policies, the 1884 presidential race, the fascinating story of the 1885 Illinois senatorial election, and a host of other matters. It is not a popular biography but a scholarly work, heavily footnoted, and its appeal likely is primarily to political history junkies like me.  The “d” word is used three times in quotes, twice printed as “d____d,” and the term abbreviated “s.o.b.” is found once, again in a quotation.  Both books were originally published by University Presses of Florida but have been reprinted as Shawnee Classics by Southern Illinois University Press. Logan was an important late-nineteenth-century figure.  John A. Logan College, a community college in Carterville, IL, which is part of the Illinois Community College System, is named for him.

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