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James Logan was born on November 3, 1841 in Middelton, Lancashire, England. Logan migrated from England to America and in 1862 joined the Union Army, enlisting on August 9, 1862 as a Private in Company B, 124th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry for a period of nine months.

The company was largely made up of men from around Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

The One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Regiment, companies A, C, E, F, G, I, and K, were recruited in Chester county, and three B, D, and H, in Delaware.

They rendezvoused at Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania but before they could be organized they were ordered, under command of Captain, Joseph W. Hawley, to Washington,D.C. on August 12, 1862.

Upon their arrival they went into camp near Fort Albany, two miles south-east of the Capital, and on the 17th a regimental organization was effected. Joseph W. Hawley, of Chester County was appointed Colonel, Simon Litzenberg of Delaware County as Lieutenant Colonel and I. Law. Haldeman of Delaware County as Major.

On September 7th the regiment was ordered to Rockville, Maryland, where it was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, of the Eleventh Corps. With only three weeks training under their belt, on the afternoon of the 9th, the regiment was ordered to march out and meet the enemy. Crossing South Mountain on the evening of the 15th, it followed the retreating Confederates to the banks of Antietam Creek, where they were strongly dug in.

As the regiment moved rapidly in advance of the supply trains, rations in haversacks soon became exhausted. Fresh beef was delivered during the evening of the 16th, but scarcely had it arrived when the regiment was ordered on the line and moved rapidly to support General Hooker who was in command of the right wing of the army. The Battle of Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was about to begin; on September 17, 1862 Major Haldeman stated in his official report;

“It was ordered to the front at seven A. M. On reaching the extreme edge of the woods on the east side of the corn-field, our line was formed and stationed in a position behind the fence. We were then ordered to advance, our right extending across the road, and beyond the grain-stacks. We were led in line into the corn-field about twenty paces, and ordered to halt, as we could not distinguish our own troops. We were then ordered to fall back to the edge of the corn-field, and take position again behind the fence, which was done in good order. We were again ordered to advance, when the right, after proceeding about one hundred yards, received a raking fire from the enemy in the woods, which was responded to by repeated volleys from our men; but the fire from our left, and from a battery of the enemy on the right, compelled us again to fall back to the stacks. A battery was now placed on the hill, between the wood and the corn-field, opposite the stacks, and the right wing of the regiment was ordered to its support. The left wing followed up the advance through the corn-field making successful charges upon the enemy, until it was also ordered to the support of the batteries. The enemy's guns were silenced, and at three P. M., the regiment was ordered to the rear, where it was directed by General Hancock to remain in readiness to support batteries upon the right; but not being required, it bivouacked upon the field during the night."

In the Battle of Antietam the regiment lost fifty men killed or wounded and Lieutenant Isaac Finch received a mortal wound from which he died on October 20th; Colonel Hawley being among the wounded. They spent the next day burying their dead.

On the 19th they left for Pleasant Valley, reaching it on the 20th after a hard march. Upon arriving the regiment was posted on Maryland Heights, but returned to its old camp at Pleasant Valley, where it was transferred to General Kane’s brigade. On October 30th Kane's Brigade was ordered to London Heights. On the 28th it was again ordered to march to meet Stuart's Cavalry, but failed to find it.

On the 19th the brigade again broke camp, crossing the Occoquan, joining with the army in Burnside's second campaign, and after toiling painfully through the mud and drenching rains, the trains and artillery being moved only by the most vigorous efforts, it finally rested at the Stafford Court House; the campaign having been abandoned.

After that it was one march after another until they faced their second major engagement; at Chancellorsville in May 1863.At daylight on April 27th, the regiment with eight days' rations, marched out on the Chancellorsville campaign. Crossing the RappahannockRiver at rear of the Eleventh Corps, they on to Germania Ford, where its progress was impeded by the troops in advance and did not reach the Chancellor House until 3 P. M., of the 30th, and the Line of battle was immediately formed; the regiment falling in on the right wing.

On May 1st, the following morning, the brigade advanced and soon encountered enemy pickets, pushing them back into the woods.

 
Having gained a position far in advance of the main line, the safety of the regiment was endangered by a flank movement of the Confederates, and it was withdrawn to its original position of the evening before, where during the night it was engaged building breast-works. Having no entrenching tools they were forced to use bayonets and tin plates with which to dig. During the early part of the next day, the Confederate gunners shelled the line and at 3 P. M., the brigade was again ordered to advance, the regiment moving along the Fredericksburg Plank Road and forming a line of battle in the woods, where the Confederates had fortified and were concealed from view.

Unable to move the Confederates from their position, the brigade fell back at 5 PM and returned to the breastworks; reaching them just as the broken troops of the Eleventh Corps came pouring in from the right.

Geary's Division at once fell under heavy artillery fire from the Confederates, but succeeded in holding its position until ten on the morning of the 3rd, when the Confederates having outflanked them on the right, compelled them to fall back to a second line of defense; which was more easily held.

On the 6th the regiment re-crossed the river and returned to their camp at Acquia. Their term of service had expired on the 9th so the 124th was relieved from duty and returned to Harrisburg, where it was mustered out of service. Logan remained with the 124th throughout his enlistment period, mustering out with the regiment on May 17, 1863.

The Confederate invasion of the north in June 1863, after the regiments discharge in May, however, brought about the formation of emergency militia regiments in Pennsylvania; with many of the former 124th then joining the 29th Pennsylvania Militia Regiment. Logan, however, was not among them and after his discharge worked as a carpenter foreman for the Union Quartermaster at Nashville, Tennessee, until Nashville fell under the threat of General Hood’s Confederate Army in late 1864. That’s when Logan mustered into a regiment as a Lieutenant, made up of civilians for the defense of Richmond, by Captain Charles Irwin; his Quartermaster employer.

In June 1864 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Logan met and married Jane Pilling and they had a daughter, Bessie, in 1866. As an assisted immigrant John, Jane and their daughter sailed from New York City in 1877 aboard the ship “N. Boynton”, for Australia; along with ninety-five others, six of whom were children, arriving in New South Wales. Like many others, they had been intrigued by a show put on in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by individuals from New South Wales, at the “Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition”. After settling in, John worked as a carpenter and a builder, but heavy drinking on the part of John took a toll on his family life and it led to a breakdown of his marriage. His wife Jane lived with her daughter, Mrs. Bessie Nicholls, in Queensland for a period of time, before returning to Sydney. John eventually submitted an application for a U.S. military pension, which was granted under certificate 1339650. His pension, as it was, turned out to be his sole means of support during the last years of his life; at the Liverpool Asylum for homeless men, some twenty miles southwest of the Sydney business district. James Logan died at the Liverpool Asylum on September 23, 1911 and was subsequently buried in the Liverpool Cemetery, Church of England Section G, Division E, grave number 105. In 1986, having no marker on his grave, a marble headstone was acquired from the American Veterans Administration in Washington D.C. and placed on his gravesite. Jane Logan, his wife, was granted a widow’s pension from the U.S. Government and continued to receive it until her death in 1929.

 

Lancashire Record Office, Preston, Lancashire, England

Liverpool Asylum Records, Sydney Records Centre. The Rocks, Sydney

Liverpool Cemetery, New South Wales

“History of the One Hundred Twenty-Fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in

the War of the Rebellion, 1862-1863”, Robert M.  Green, 1907

“History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65”, Samuel P. Bates

Marriage License Bureau, City Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Sydney Morning Herald”, newspaper, 1877

 

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