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Chapter 8:

After the November election, with its glorious victories, and the triumph all along the line dividing the Union and Confederate armies from the Potomac to the Gulf of Mexico, every one was much encouraged and began to hope for an early cessation of hostilities. The Thanksgiving of that year was observed with fervent thankfulness to Him who holds the destinies of nations in the hollow of His hand. People greeted each other with “Well, what is the good news of to-day?” “Grant will be in Richmond soon.” “Lincoln will be inaugurated as President of a reunited country the 4th of March.”

The approach of the holidays was hailed with delight.

The old-time Christmas festivities were looked forward to with anticipations of much pleasure. Homes that had been shrouded in gloom for four long years began their wonted preparations for celebrating the happy season. The church societies which had been absorbed in the work for the sanitary commission and soldiers' families began to talk of a Christmas tree for the old and young of the whole town. In Carbondale, Illinois, where I lived, it would have been [184] considered heartless and treasonable to have suggested such a thing during the holidays of ‘61, ‘62, ‘63; but every one was full of enthusiasm for the tree of Christmas, 1864. For weeks before many men and women were busy making presents for everybody, especially the children in the town, including those who only went to Sunday-school during the holidays. Mittens, caps, comforts, socks, stockings, pinafores, handkerchiefs, collars, ribbons, sleds, toys, candies, cakes, fruit, nuts, and all kinds of gifts were prepared to gladden old and young.

Two large cedars were secured and brought into the Methodist church, it being the largest in town. Willing and skilful hands were found to decorate the whole church in living green, with branches of evergreens, artificial flowers, and flags profusely interspersed. The tree was festooned with yards of pop-corn strung on a cord by passing a needle through the snow-white kernels. Oranges were hung on the boughs, while tiny flags and glass balls of every color of the rainbow were hung on almost every branch. The tinner kindly donated little tin saucers with wires so arranged through the centre that they would hold the little candles and at the same time fasten them to the limbs of the tree. These were for the illumination. In the afternoon of Christmas Eve the presents were all brought to the church done up in packages and labelled with the name of the person for whom they were intended. They had to be tied on the strong limbs near the body of the trees. When completed and the mounds at the base had been covered over with mats made of green woollen ravellings to imitate grass, they looked majestic — no grander ever graced a royal palace or brought greater joy to hearts of imperial households. The ceremonies began at seven-thirty. The programme consisted of music, songs, recitations, and addresses by guests. It was a union of all denominations in the town to celebrate the Holy Nativity. Brief speeches from the pastors of the different churches followed. After this Santa Claus appeared in a long fur coat and cap, [185] his white beard reaching nearly to his waist. He was hailed by a chorus of childish voices and the clapping of many hands. When it was found that his generosity extended to every one present, and that on all were bestowed the very things they wanted, exclamations of delight filled the church. No such sight as the merry children running from one to the other, comparing and exhibiting their treasures, had been witnessed since the sound of booming cannon had broken the spell of sweet peace of the nation. A cloud of anxiety and suspense had always overshadowed every entertainment during the years of the war. After singing with a zest the Christmas carols, and an eloquent benediction, the joyous people wended their way to their homes with hearts full of happiness, feeling that Christmas-tide was bringing the glad tidings of peace on earth and good will toward men.

The political triumphs emphasized by the military victories seemed to bring hope and gladness to the people who fancied through it all they could see the dawn of peace. Everywhere there was less of the spirit of revolution and disloyalty; grumblers and evil prognosticators were fewer; anxiety and solicitude were no longer in every face. As soon as the election was over and Mr. Lincoln was declared elected, General Logan asked for orders to return to his command. Much dissatisfaction still existed throughout the Army of the Tennessee because General Logan had not been restored to the command of that army. General Grant, therefore, bade him come to Washington, where he arrived on the 23d of December, 1864, and stopped at Brown's-now the Metropolitan --Hotel, where he spent Christmas Day, the most agreeable one to him since 1860. He was satisfied that it was only a question of a brief time before the war would be over, and he was consequently very happy. His corps had made the jolly march through Georgia without even a skirmish since he left them to take part in the Presidential campaign after the fall of Atlanta. His corps was then at Savannah and [186] impatient to begin the march through the Carolinas en route to Richmond. He was equally impatient to lead them, but General Grant had other plans for him.

After the fall of Atlanta Grant was anxious that Sherman should start out upon his march to the sea, which he and Sherman had considered the most effective movement that could be made at that time to bring the war to a close. In order to make this expedition and avoid a catastrophe, Grant was most anxious that General Thomas, then in command of the troops about Nashville, should drive Hood out of Tennessee. The history of this General Grant gives in his “Memoirs,” * including copies of orders which he had issued to General Thomas urging him to attack Hood, but which Thomas had ignored because he took it upon himself to decide as to the wisdom of these orders, steadily delaying to make the attack until he had succeeded in getting his army in the position he desired it should be before carrying out his orders. In the light of the glorious victories won by Thomas, one forgets what might have been the consequence of his disobedience to orders if defeat instead of victory had characterized these sanguinary engagements.

This was the situation when General Logan reached Washington, December 3, 1864, en route to join the Fifteenth Corps at Savannah by water. He reported to General Grant at City Point, Virginia. He found General Grant much exasperated at General Thomas's delay. Grant says in his “Memoirs” 1: “Knowing General Logan to be a prompt, gallant and efficient officer, I gave him an order to proceed to Nashville and relieve Thomas.” General Logan disliked extremely to obey General Grant's order implicitly, because he felt quite sure that Thomas would consider that he had taken advantage of an opportunity to displace him and thereby be revenged for General Thomas's personal injustice to General Logan in urging that General Howard supersede General [187] Logan in the command of the Army of the Tennessee after General McPherson was killed. However, he reluctantly departed promptly for Louisville, Kentucky, from which place he was to communicate with Thomas and advise him of the orders he had received. General Logan, however, stopped at Cincinnati and sent one of his staff-officers on a confidential mission to General Thomas, at Nashville, with a copy of the order he held to relieve him, instructing the officer to try to induce Thomas to make the attack which General Grant had ordered him over and over again to do, and to impress upon Thomas General Logan's disinclination to take advantage of the orders he held. General Logan felt that Thomas's further persistency in delay, notwithstanding the fearful weather and almost impassable roads which had been his excuse, might result most unfortunately for the Union army by allowing the enemy to amass such a large force. Therefore General Logan wished to use his influence to have Thomas obey Grant's orders at once and thereby relieve him of the necessity of superseding General Thomas. General Thomas, being convinced that longer delay would cause him to forfeit his command, and that he would be superseded by General Logan, made the attack December 15, 1864.

General Logan, receiving at Louisville the news of the battle of Nashville, at once sent to General Grant the following telegram:

Louisville, Dec. 17, 1864.
Lieut. Gen'l. U. S. Grant, City Point, Va.
Have just arrived, weather bad, is raining since yesterday morning. People here all jubilant over General Thomas's success. Confidence seems to be restored.

I will remain here to hear from you. All things going right, it would seem best that I return soon to join my command with Sherman.

John A. Logan, Maj. General

Thus it will be seen that General Logan made the sugges tion to return to his command after Thomas's victory, [188] ignoring the opportunity which had been given him to be revenged upon one who had done him so much injustice. He was not moved by any other consideration than that of doing unto others as he would that they should do unto him, albeit he felt that Thomas's long delay was inexcusable, and that he could have won even a more glorious victory weeks before if he had not been of so “slow” or deliberate a temperament. General Logan often said that, had he been in Thomas's place, he would have made the attack much sooner than Thomas did, and believed that he would have had a victory as brilliant as that of Thomas's on the 15th of December.

I often heard General Grant and General Logan discuss Thomas and his heroism as a soldier, but they expressed regret that his temperament was so obstinate and that he shrank from responsibility. General Logan always insisted that he was not deterred from obeying orders to relieve Thomas on any other ground than that he would not be guilty of snatching laurels which he knew Thomas could win if he would only obey orders to attack Hood promptly. Of course, whether it was General Logan's appeal to Thomas to save himself and fight the battle or because Thomas had finally succeeded in making the preparations which he had spent so much time perfecting, no one will ever know, as General Thomas was of a peculiar disposition, and was so set in his opinion as to the wisdom of his conception of a situation that he would never give utterance to an appreciation of indulgence extended to him or of gratitude to those who had done him great service.

Again General Logan telegraphed General Grant requesting that he be allowed to return to the Fifteenth Army Corps, then near Savannah, Georgia. His request was granted, and he accordingly repaired to Washington, thence to New York, and by sea to Savannah, and was soon with his much-loved and devoted corps, with whom he was destined to continue in their march through the Carolinas to Washington.

From incessant rains the whole country was inundated, [189] every stream swollen beyond the confines of its banks, roads were almost impassable, and the entire command destitute of shoes or warm clothes, but happy as lords and eager to continue the march toward Richmond. A less practical commander or less courageous men would have faltered before the almost impassable barriers of mud, ice, and water which surrounded them on every hand, but Sherman's “bummers” and General Logan's gallant men, among whom was the 31st Illinois, his old regiment, knew no discouragement. Captain A. M. Jenkins, a cousin, frequently gallantly commanded the squads which waded waist deep in mud and water to build the corduroys across the swamp. They could build pontoons, fell trees, and make corduroy roads, and march over them dragging ordnance after them, and subsist on the country while they did it.

From Savannah they went to Beaufort, thence to Columbia, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Raleigh, and on to Richmond-not as they marched from Atlanta to the sea, but driving an intrepid army who fell back fighting. Reaching the Salkehatchie River, they found the enemy had determined to make another stand and had again intrenched themselves, thinking the swollen streams would serve like the moat of oldentime fortifications. But the Fifteenth Army Corps knew nothing of the tardiness of ancient warfare, so, dashing through the sluggish stream, they assaulted the enemy with such fury that they were soon in possession of their intrenchments, and, pushing along the railroad, arrived at North Edisto by the 12th of February, where, in an engagement, General Logan captured many prisoners. When they reached Columbia, South Carolina, they found the retreating Confederates had set a lot of cotton bales and other stores on fire, from which a general conflagration ensued. I have often heard General Logan tell, with tears in his eyes, of the horrors of the night his troops entered that burning city and of the wreck that the desperate and intoxicated enemy left behind them. Barrels of whiskey and wine were here and there and everywhere; [190] the desperate troops had been drinking their fill, and those arriving were not behind them in bacchanalian propensities. Life and property were of little consequence to either the Union or the Confederate. Total destruction seemed inevitable, and but for General Logan's perfect command over his men and his herculean efforts there would not have been left one stone upon another of the houses, or a single soul of the inhabitants to tell the tale of the awful holocaust. People were flying to and fro in the streets, wild with excitement and fear, while the flames were consuming everything before them. There were poor facilities for extinguishing fires under most favorable circumstances, and with no one of the city authorities at his post, and the triumphant general and his army just entering the city, it seems incredible, even now, that they saved anything; but through wise management and superhuman efforts many houses were wrested from the devouring flames and order restored.

Lynch Creek, Lumber, Cape Fear, South and Neuse Rivers, with the bottomless swamps between presented the most formidable and trying obstacles every mile of the march to Goldsboro. The weary men had scarcely finished building roads, bridges, and causeways, and succeeded in dragging the wagons and artillery over them, when they would strike another seemingly impassable lagoon or swamp. The swamps were thickly timbered, fortunately for the army, for the men could wade into the water and fell the trees to form corduroy roads and build bridges. When it is remembered that this was done with a stubborn enemy in front of them, ready to take every advantage, it must be acknowledged that this march has no parallel in difficulty. The country about Goldsboro was almost devastated, and subsistence was difficult; but the invincible army pushed on, feeling sure that they were nearing the end of hardship and warfare. At Bentonville the Fifteenth Army Corps met the enemy and again repulsed them, after which Johnston retreated, burning the [191] bridges behind him. Halting at Goldsboro to recuperate, they heard that Petersburg had fallen and that Richmond was in the hands of General Grant, and the attempted Confederacy was no more. Going into camp at Raleigh, North Carolina, they waited for the whole army to come up, and with the conclusion of negotiations between Sherman and Johnston Richmond was ours, and now they had nothing to do but to push on to Washington and behold a united country.

While rejoicing over this happy thought, they were startled by the overwhelming news of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, which so exasperated the soldiery that, with the fury of madmen, they swore vengeance on every inhabitant of the South, and but for their devotion to General Logan they would have destroyed the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and every soul within its precincts. Hearing of the wild grief and intense indignation of the men, General Logan mounted his well-known horse, Black Jack, and flew from one command to another, calling on the men to be worthy of their own heroic deeds and innocent of the blood of guiltless people, to remember that he who had been sacrificed would not that they should thus avenge his death, but let the laws they had upheld take charge of the guilty. Weeping like children, these brave men went to their quarters. A perfect pall hung over the whole army, which the good news of so soon being mustered out of the service was not able to dispel. Thinking men could not divine where the conspiracy was to end or to what extent the military would be obliged to act. They were ready for anything, and would not have hesitated to seize any suspected persons; but seeing the magnanimity of Mr. Lincoln so ruthlessly betrayed, and such madness and desperation indulged in by the reckless spirits who sympathized with the rebellion, they feared the worst. In Washington no such gloom had ever been known. Such a tragedy as the assassination of the President and the attempted assassination of the cabinet officers, following the triumph of the [192] Government, made the most indifferent feel that they were standing over a volcano that was likely to burst forth in fury at the most unexpected moment; that the lives of the executives were insecure, and that after all the sacrifices of human life and the nation's treasury, there was no peace or security of life; that the republic was a failure, and that, like Mexico and South America, we were destined to experience continuous revolutions. Nothing but the inherent wisdom that had guided us through the whirlpool of rebellion saved us from anarchy. Our people never dreamed that the methods which had characterized monarchies would ever be attempted in our republic, and it required time for them to rally from such a shock. But, as before, the deliberate judgment of cool heads soon regained the mastery, and order was maintained. In the country the people were overwhelmed with grief, and with folded hands presented sad pictures of despair, the strongest not ashamed of their tears. They even suspected Mr. Johnson, who was born on Southern soil. Their faith was only firm in the army and its great commanders. General Grant could have made himself dictator had his ambition prompted him to such daring. His timely support of Johnson and his assurance that the will of the President should be obeyed by the army did much toward quieting the excitement. In the mean time the army was gradually nearing the capital for the grand review and disbandment.

Every day after the assassination of President Lincoln the news which came to the army was of a succession of disasters to the Confederacy and its faithful adherents, till the last armed foe had to surrender. Even those remote from the armies were eager to hear of the final capitulation. Feeling that peace was near at hand, they were impatient for the return of loved ones who had now been away for more than four years. The crops and business had been neglected, because at the beginning of the war the people did little else but go to the station and to the telegraph office to hear everything [193] possible. Finally Lee's surrender was telegraphed all over the country, and the Army of the Tennessee was ordered to Alexandria, Virginia. All the country around Washington was occupied by troops. The Army of the Potomac, having finished its work in Virginia, on the James, at Gettysburg, and all along the Chesapeake, had retraced its steps, and was again encamped around the capital it had hastened to defend in 1861. The armies from the Southwest who had been from Cairo to New Orleans, on the coast from New York to Saint Augustine, from Vicksburg to Lookout Mountain, from Atlanta to the sea, were all ordered to report to headquarters in Washington. The men of the Army of the Tennessee, ragged and worn by their long marches and desperate fighting, but with a glorious record for heroism and endurance, were delighted that they were to have an opportunity to see the Capitol, the White House, where Mr. Lincoln had lived, and the theatre where he had been so cruelly murdered.

Reaching Alexandria May 12, 1865, they were encamped in and around that degenerate city, where brave young Ellsworth, the first martyr of the war, lost his life in hauling down a Confederate flag that had been hoisted over the Jackson Hotel, almost under the shadow of the dome of the Capitol. General Howard was ordered to take charge of the Freedmen's Bureau, and General Logan was reinstated, as he should have been before, in command of the Army of the Tennessee. He was received by the soldiers with cheer after cheer, and was made happy by the feeling that justice, though tardy, had at last been awarded him.

When the negotiations of peace had all been signed, and were unchangeable, the President and cabinet and some wise counsellors said: “Now the war is over we shall never again see such an armed force in this country. We must have a grand review in Washington and allow the survivors of the gigantic rebellion to march up Pennsylvania Avenue with the commander of each army and his staff at its head.” When [194] Napoleon returned from Italy, the whole army of France and its allies passed in review down the Champs Elysees and were marshalled on the Champ de Mars; the trophies of arms, flags, and captured cannon that were arranged artistically on that broad plain inspired the whole of France with implicit faith in Napoleon. The spectacle of the victorious legions marching to the music of the Marseillaise on that great occasion so impressed the people that it was possible for the great conqueror to lead them, as he did, to the very jaws of death.

Our republic had been saved by our invincible army, and in order to confirm the faith of the nation in them, it was a wise suggestion to have the review; hence it was arranged for the 23d and 24th of May. No fairer days ever dawned. To the bright sunshine were added the magnificent accessories of military and spectacular scenery. General Logan once described the day as follows: “It looked as if the great Republic was on dress parade; the house-tops, the windows, the doors and balconies and all available space around, below and above was packed with men, women, and children. They were well clothed; the Nation had put on its best. Tens of thousands of bouquets made settings for the picture and were subsequently thrown to the officers and troops as they passed in review. Cannons boomed, engines whistled, flags fluttered in the breeze, innumerable brass bands and drum-corps filled the air with patriotic music. Every conceivable demonstration manifesting the enthusiastic welcome of a grateful people to their heroic defenders characterized the day.”

For many hours of each day before, every soldier, to the most untidy and reckless in the ranks, was busy polishing his arms and accoutrements, repairing well-worn uniforms and soleless shoes. Artillery guns and caissons had not been so polished before, mountings and housings were never so bright, while bayonets were polished till they glittered like Damascus blades. [195]

General Sherman, accompanied by his formidable staff, to which he added Major-General O. O. Howard and other general officers, preceded the almost endless columns from the Capitol west on Pennsylvania Avenue. First came the Army of the Potomac, trim and neat, marching like regulars on parade; then the Army of the Tennessee, composed of the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Twentieth, and Fourteenth Corps, with well-worn uniforms and almost shoeless feet, followed their dauntless and idolized leader, General John A. Logan, who sat his steed like a statue. On horseback he was majestic, as erect and graceful as an Indian, his long black hair and mustache, flashing eyes, olive complexion, and broad-brimmed army hat giving him the air of a cavalier. On that day he was the recipient of such ringing cheers that he was very happy. Bouquets and wreaths of flowers were showered on him. The enthusiastic men in the street, rushing up to his horse, put the wreaths over the proud animal's head down on to the creature's neck until it was covered. When division after division was hailed with such deafening shouts, General Logan's heart beat high with pride and gratification. He cared little that they were called “Sherman's bummers,” or that scarcely a uniform of officers or men in the whole army would have passed a regulation inspection. In the glory of that day Logan's men forgot the fathomless mud of Cairo, the sleet, mud, and water around Forts Henry and Donelson, the heat and long siege of Vicksburg, the rugged mountains of Kenesaw, the siege of Atlanta, the swamps and corduroys of Georgia and the Carolinas, the burning suns, and pitiless storms of winter, the marches, the battles, the suffering and carnage of the long four years intervening between April, 1861, and May, 1865. General Logan forgot that he had been relieved unjustly of the command of the Army of the Tennessee after his great victory at Atlanta and speedy avenging of the death of McPherson, July 22, 1864. All were going home soon and only thought and dreamed of bliss, like [196] Campbell's soldier. Even in the dead of the night “sweet visions” they saw, “and thrice ere the morning” they dreamed them again.

From morning till night, for two days, these victorious cohorts were marching through Pennsylvania Avenue, past the President, and back to their quarters. Banners were flying; battered flags were borne by proud color-bearers; the bands played the familiar airs that had inspired many a faltering heart in battle, while the glittering bayonets of the infantry and bright plumes of the cavalry and artillery presented a picture never to be effaced, and aroused the patriotism of every American heart. Decimated ranks and riderless horses told the story of what the final triumph had cost, and was the one cloud over the matchless pageant that can never be repeated on American soil.

Immediately following the review were orders for the mustering out of the service of the Union army those whose heroic work had been so gloriously accomplished. General Logan and the Army of the Tennessee were ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, where they were to be honorably disbanded, the men to be allowed to go whithersoever they listed. It was most pathetic to see them anxious for a leave of absence to visit their loved ones, but loath to leave the army and their idolized commander; many of them pledged themselves to return speedily upon a call from him for service anywhere in the world. Time nor distance can ever break the bonds cemented by the experience of soldiers who have marched, suffered, and bivouacked together. Before disbanding, General Logan issued the following order, which very feebly expressed his feelings toward them and their gallant service:

headquarters Army of the Tennessee, Louisville, Ky., July 13, 1865.
officers and soldiers of the Army of the Tennessee:
The profound gratification I feel in being authorized to release you from the onerous obligations of the camp, and return you, [197] laden with laurels, to homes where warm hearts wait to welcome you, is somewhat imbittered by the painful reflection that I am sundering the ties that trials have made true, time made tender, sufferings made sacred, perils made proud heroism made honorable, and fame made forever fearless of the future. It is no common occasion that demands the disbandment of a military organization before the resistless power of which mountains bristling with bayonets have bowed, cities have surrendered, and millions of brave men have been conquered. Although I have been but a short period your commander, we are not strangers; affections have sprung up between us during the long years of doubt, gloom, and carnage which we have passed through together, nurtured by common perils, sufferings, and sacrifices, and riveted by the memories of gallant comrades whose bones repose beneath the sod of an hundred battle-fields, which neither time nor distance will weaken or efface. The many marches that you have made, the dangers you have despised, the haughtiness you have humbled, the duties you have discharged, the glory you have gained, the destiny you have discovered for the country for whose cause you have conquered, all recur at this moment in all the vividness that marked the scenes through which we have just passed. From the pens of the ablest historians of the land daily are drifting out upon the current of time, page upon page, volume upon volume of your heroic deeds, which, floating down to future generations, will inspire the student of history with admiration, the patriotic American with veneration for his ancestors, and the lover of republican liberty with gratitude to those who, in a fresh baptism of blood, reconsecrated the powers and energies of the Republic to the cause of constitutional freedom.

Long may it be the happy fortune of each and every one of you to live in the full fruition of the boundless blessings you have secured to the human race. Only he whose heart has been thrilled with admiration for your impetuous and unyielding valor in the thickest of the fight, can appreciate with what pride I recount the brilliant achievements which immortalize you, and enrich the pages of our national history. Passing by the earlier but not less signal triumphs of the war in which most of you participated and inscribed upon your banners such victories as Donelson and Shiloh, I recur to your campaigns, sieges, and victories that challenge the admiration of the world and elicit the unwilling applause of all Europe. Turning your backs upon the blood-bathed heights of [198] Vicksburg, you launched into a region swarming with enemies, fighting your way and marching, without adequate supplies, to answer the cry for succor that came to you from the noble but beleaguered Army of Chattanooga. Your steel next flashed among the mountains of Tennessee, and your weary limbs found rest before the embattled heights of Missionary Ridge, and there with dauntless courage you breasted again the enemy's destructive fire, and shared with your comrades of the Army of the Cumberland the glories of a victory than which no soldier can boast a prouder. In that unexampled campaign of vigilant and vigorous warfare from Chattanooga to Atlanta you freshened your laurels at Resaca, grappling with the enemy behind his works, hurling him back dismayed and broken. Pursuing him from thence, marking your path by the graves of fallen comrades, you again triumphed over superior numbers at Dallas, fighting your way from there to Kenesaw Mountain and under the murderous artillery that frowned from its rugged heights; with a tenacity and constancy that finds few parallels you labored, fought, and suffered through the boiling rays of a southern midsummer sun, until at last you planted your colors upon its topmost heights. Again, on the 22d of July, 1864, rendered memorable through all time for the terrible struggle you so heroically maintained under discouraging disasters and that saddest of all reflections, the loss of that exemplary soldier and popular leader, the lamented McPherson, your matchless courage turned defeat into a glorious victory. Ezra Chapel and Jonesboro added new lustre to a radiant record, the latter unbarring to you the proud Gate City of the South. The daring of a desperate foe in thrusting his legion northward exposed the country in your front, and, though rivers, swamps, and enemies opposed, you boldly surmounted every obstacle, beat down all opposition, and marched onward to the sea. Without any act to dim the brightness of your historic page, the world rang plaudits where your labors and struggles culminated at Savannah, and the old ‘Starry Banner’ waved once more over the wall of one of our proudest cities of the seaboard. Scarce a breathing spell had passed when your colors faded from the coast, and your columns plunged into the swamps of the Carolinas. The suffering you endured, the labors you performed, and the successes you achieved in those morasses, deemed impassable, form a creditable episode in the history of the war. Pocataligo, Salkahatchie, Edisto, Branchville, Orangeburgh, Columbia, Bentonville, Charleston, and [199] Raleigh are names that will ever be suggestive of the resistless sweep of your columns through the territory that cradled and nurtured, and from whence was sent forth on its mission of crime, misery, and blood, the disturbing and disorganizing spirits of secession and rebellion.

The work for which you pledged your brave hearts and brawny arms to the Government of your fathers you have nobly performed. You are seen in the past, gathering through the gloom that enveloped the land, rallying as the guardian of man's proudest heritage, forgetting the thread unwoven in the loom, quitting the anvil, abandoning the workshops, to vindicate the supremacy of the laws and the authority of the Constitution. Four years have you struggled in the bloodiest and most destructive war that ever drenched the earth with human gore; step by step you have borne our standard, until to-day, over every fortress and arsenal that rebellion wrenched from us, and over city, town, and hamlet, from the lakes to the gulf, and from ocean to ocean, proudly floats the ‘Starry Emblem’ of our national unity and strength. Your rewards, my comrades, are the welcoming plaudits of a grateful people, the consciousness that, in saving the Republic, you have won for your country renewed respect and power at home and abroad; that, in the exampled era of growth and prosperity that dawns with peace, there attaches mightier wealth of pride and glory than ever before to that loved boast, ‘I am an American citizen.’ In relinquishing the implements of war for those of peace, let your conduct, which was that of warriors in time of war, be that of peaceful citizens in time of peace. Let not the lustre of that brighter name you have won as soldiers be dimmed by any improper acts as citizens, but as time rolls on let your record grow brighter and brighter still.

John A. Logan, Major-General.

When the last good-bys had to be said, heroes of many battles wept like children, feeling that they would probably meet no more in this world. Alas! if the muster-roll of the Army of the Tennessee of 1865 were called to-day, tears would dim the eyes of the few survivors who would answer “Here!”

Like patriots they took their several ways and in a few brief weeks the thousands who had followed the life of soldiers laid aside the accoutrements of war and took up the implements [200] of peace, dissolving into citizens as rapidly as they had become soldiers.

At home, from the day of Lee's surrender there was continual rejoicing until the shock of Mr. Lincoln's assassination changed it to mourning. Then there was vibration between the emotions of joy over peace and grief over the sacrifice of his great life. Finally, the news came that the regiments raised in the vicinity of Carbondale, Illinois, would arrive within a few days of each other. Then all was activity and bustle to make suitable preparations for welcoming them home again. No building in the town was half large enough to hold the people or spacious enough for tables upon which to spread the bounteous repast they determined to lay before the returning soldiers, so the lovely grove heretofore mentioned was selected. Every twig or branch that had fallen, every dead leaf and unsightly bit of rubbish was cleaned away and the grass swept, leaving a lovely green sward beneath the spreading boughs of the majestic oaks. A grand stand was erected on one side, from which welcoming speeches were to be made by the hosts. The most prominent of the returning heroes were expected to tell some of their experiences and give expression to their joy that peace had at last brought them home. Canopies of red, white, and blue were thrown over the speakers and the band-stands, and the columns that supported them were wound with garlands, the whole being beautiful and effective. On the other side there were long tables spread with spotless linen, china, silver, glass, a profusion of flowers, and everything that a prolific country and an abundant harvest could produce. After the music and speeches every soldier was seated at these tables for such a feast as he had not known for many a weary day. Every man and woman in the town, no matter how proud their position, was ready to wait upon them, each one turning into as skilful a waiter as ever served at Delmonico's. With smiles for those who were there and tears for those who were not, [201] they made their return as pleasant as possible, repeating the same welcome for the various commands as they arrived.

When it is remembered that everything that was cooked, the decorations and all the work done was accomplished by loving hands, it can be imagined that there was little necessity for gymnasiums, Swedish movements, or other exercises of which we hear in these modern days. The benevolent had plenty to do to look after the widows, orphans, and unfortunates, and ere long affairs had assumed their wonted routine, each drifting into the channels he had followed before volunteering.

General Logan reached home on the 28th of July, 1865, accompanied by two members of his staff. He brought his horses, camp equipage, and two colored men and a boy about sixteen years old, who were with him when they struck the tents in Louisville for the last time. He did not have the heart to turn these freedmen adrift without employment, with no home and away from the haunts of their childhood, so he brought them home, providing for them until he could secure them something to do and a chance to be self-supporting. “Boston,” the boy, was as black as ebony. He had been the valet, jockey, and petted servant of a sporting-master who was killed in battle. He was a daring, mischievous, wiry little scamp, with many monkey instincts and antics, and required constant watching. He was a born gambler and would slip out and gamble with the dissolute men about the town. He pretended to have been converted, and joined the colored Baptist church, and together with a number of colored men and women was to be immersed in a large pond in a field near the town. Boston wanted us to attend; it was a cold, lowering Sunday afternoon in March. We drove out and sat in the carriage near the shore on the opposite side of the pond from where they had tents erected, one for the women and one for the men. One minister went to the tent-door and escorted the candidates for baptism down [202] to the steps which had been placed at the edge of the water, while another minister led them one by one quite a distance toward the centre of the pond. When the water was waist-deep, the minister crossed their hands, took hold of the belt around their waist with one hand while with the other he caught them by the back of the neck and dipped them into the water. All their heads were tied up with white handkerchiefs, and as they rose out of the water they were so frightened it was with difficulty that they could walk to the steps. One thin little colored girl preceded our Boston. She was frightfully nervous and screeched as loud as she could the moment she was led into the water, and as the minister took hold of her she jerked away from him, and went plunging through the water across the pond. Boston bolted after her, and in a twinkling the impressive ceremony changed into the most ludicrous performance one could have imagined. Boston grabbed her around the waist, lifted her up in his arms, and bore her triumphantly to the women's tent, then darted to the men's tent, tore the white handkerchief from his head, the belt from around his waist, dressed himself, and fled precipitately from the place, the girl following on behind. The wild singing and shouting of the clergy and the members of the church was not sufficient to drown the laughter and jeering of the curious crowd.

That night, when Boston reported for his duties, General Logan began to scold him for his unseemly behavior. He replied: “General, I saw they was gwine to drown that girl, and I is her sweetheart and I was not gwine to let 'em. You wouldn't yourself stand still and see 'em drown the Missus. I was done clean ‘gusted with that old parson, so I just lit out.”

After a hopeless struggle with him for months, he ran away, and the last we heard of him he was engaged as a jockey in Saint Louis. The men remained with us for some months, but returned to their Southern homes and were both [203] conspicuous in the conflicts between the colored and white races in the early days of the reconstruction.

On the 30th of July, 1865, occurred the grand welcoming of the returning volunteers at Carbondale, Jackson County, Illinois. For weeks our home was a hostelry for the accommodation of constantly arriving visitors who were not satisfied until they had greeted General Logan in person. Carbondale was a small town without markets, catering establishments, comfortable hotels or competent servants, and under such circumstances, it was not an easy matter to entertain unexpected guests who came by the score. In my happiness over the declaration of peace and General Logan's safe return I murmured not, and, with the assistance of friends who insisted upon aiding me as a labor of love, we so managed that it was around well-laid, bountifully supplied tables, that we listened to stories of the trying and amusing experiences of the four years of the Civil War.

Another source of rejoicing in our home added much to our happiness: our son, John A. Logan, Jr., was born July 24, 1865, and was from the very hour of his birth so bright and handsome as to attract the attention of every one, and to us evermore a blessing beyond compare.

Early in September, having been notified by the departments in Washington that his accounts were all audited and that there was nothing against him on the records, General Logan tendered his resignation, as he was unwilling to continue on the pay-rolls without rendering active service. He had been importuned to remain in the service, having been offered a brigadier-general's commission in the regular army, a proffered honor which he highly appreciated; but knowing so well his restive disposition, he feared he would be unhappy in time of peace to be confined to the regulations in his coming and going, and declined the generous offer. About that time there was an apprehension that we might have trouble in Mexico. Every one looked with suspicion upon the [204] appearance of Maximilian in the city of Mexico. General Logan was requested to hold himself in readiness to go there. as United States minister, should it be necessary to send him, and but for the discomfiture and the melancholy taking off of that ill-fated and deluded sovereign, Maximilian, General Logan would probably have entered the diplomatic service. He had no taste for it, however, when there was little probability of eventful times. Soon after he was requested to accept the mission to Japan, but having no desire to become isolated from his own country, he also declined that position, expecting to again return to the profession of the law.

During the winter he was called to Washington to attend to some business affairs of his own and of some friends. He went thither, therefore, and while waiting for the settlement of these matters with the government he became much interested in the reconstruction and readjustment of national questions then under discussion. At the State convention held in May, 1866, he was nominated by acclamation for Congressman-at-large, the State being entitled to an additional member who was chosen at large until the legislature assembled to redistrict the State. He could not well refuse to accept, notwithstanding the fact that he had not intended to again enter politics. His majority was overwhelming. March 4, 1867, he again took his seat as a member of Congress, after an absence of six years, having resigned his seat to enter the army in August, 1861. Bringing to the position so much renown, he was immediately assigned to the most important committees of the House, and made chairman of the military committee which had before it the difficult task of providing for the reduction of the army to a peace basis. With his impetuous disposition and intense nature, it was impossible for General Logan to be an indifferent or passive member; hence he plunged into all the vexing details of the most knotty questions, working day and night that he might understand them thoroughly and be able to do that [205] which would result in the greatest good to the greatest number. Every day, during the discussion of the problems of reconstruction, he was confronted by questions which he felt were vital to the perpetuity of the government. He appreciated the fact that if mistakes were made by the party in power, they would recoil in the future or spring up like Banquo's ghost to torment posterity.

We took up our residence in the old Willard Hotel, which had been the leading hotel of Washington during the war. It was of fearful and wonderful construction, the Fourteenth Street side having been built on to some buildings fronting on Pennsylvania Avenue. The floors of the Fourteenth Street addition of each story were three or four feet higher than those of the Pennsylvania Avenue buildings; the ceilings were low, the halls dismal, and the dining-room cheerless. From long occupancy and unsanitary sewerage it was anything but an agreeable abode. The house was, however, full of guests. Among them were General Francis E. Spinner, United States treasurer, whose autograph on the greenbacks was so famous all over the world, and his interesting family; Senator Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, who was Mr. Lincoln's Secretary of War, and his wife and daughter; Senator Harris and his family; the eccentric bachelor, Senator Salisbury, and others.

A number of members of Congress and their families were also in the house. Mr.Blaine and Mrs. James G. Blaine with their four children had a suite near ours. When Mrs. Blaine and I were out making calls, Emmons, Alice, and little J. G. Blaine, Jr., and Dollie and baby John A. Logan, Jr., had fine times impersonating different distinguished men and women of whom they had heard their elders talk. Frequently we returned home to find confusion reigning supreme in our rooms, the children having amused themselves by dressing up in their parents' clothes, playing grown — up people. Impromptu parties were organized, and the other children in the house [206] invited to partake of the banquets they served through the indulgence of Hughes, the head waiter, who was so devoted to General Logan and Mr. Blaine that their children could have whatever they wanted. Emmons presided over their affairs with much suavity of manner inherited from his knightly father.

There were frequent exciting discussions at the dinner-table. The members and senators and prominent people assembling at that hour could not resist the temptation to continue their controversies.

Mr. Blaine's election as speaker, his appointment of the chairman and members of important committees, were matters of as much importance as they are to-day, and probably greater because of the momentous questions that had to be settled after the close of the Civil War.

With all of his diplomacy and fascinating manners, Mr Blaine did not escape bitter criticism on the announcement of the chairmanships. Personal disappointments were many and not concealed by aspirants for these important positions. It would have saved speakers of the past much vexation of soul if the present method of shifting the responsibility of selecting the committees and chairmen to a committee of the House, as is done in these progressive times, had then been in vogue.

After the departure of General Logan for the rendezvous of the troops at Cairo, Illinois, in 1861, we had decided that I had better reside in Carbondale, Jackson County, Illinois, on the Illinois Central Railroad, where I could be in communication by telegraph with the then Colonel Logan, of the 31st Illinois, or join him, if necessary, by rail. We had formerly lived twenty-two miles east of the railroad and, in consequence, suffered great inconvenience on account of the overland travel necessary to reach a railroad. The uncertainty of the movement of the troops would have kept me anxious for my husband's welfare, and besides this the families of [207] the members of his regiment depended upon me for information in regard to their soldier husbands, sons, and fathers.

The present generation is perfectly ignorant of the lack of facilities for communication and rapid transportation to and from the army in 1861 and 1862. We received the mail, part of the time, once a day. The newspapers were triweekly, and they contained very meagre reports of the direful things that were going on between the Union and Confederate armies. The telegraphic reports were censored so closely by the authorities that they did not dare to give out anything like full accounts of battle engagements and casualties of the war. Consequently, we did little else except to wait impatiently for news. Our daughter, now Mrs. Mary Logan Tucker, was in her second year, and was my constant companion. I was afraid to leave her with any one, and therefore took her with me wherever I went, whether on an errand of mercy to the unfortunate families of the soldiers at the front, or to attend to the business affairs which my husband had left in my care when he dropped everything and went into the army. The citizens of that part of the country were so divided in their sympathies between the North and the South that it caused many unpleasant situations and embarrassing meetings. Those whose friends were in the army of the Union were naturally sensitive and could not bear to hear their husbands, fathers, and sons accused of being Lincoln hirelings, negro-lovers, and many other opprobrious names which were applied to them, while those in sympathy with the South were just as resentful over being called rebels, traitors, and numerous other names. Mr. Lincoln was held directly responsible for all the calamities of the war, the secessionists and their friends insisting that he caused the conflict of armies by his demand for the abolition of slavery. After three long years I knew nothing but that we were solicitous for the unfortunate by whom we were surrounded.

When peace was declared there was universal rejoicing [208] and excitement. We knew then that the soldiers and sailors would soon be returning to their homes and their friends, as they would be disbanded as soon as possible after the surrender of Lee's army. General Logan was in command of the Army of the Tennessee which, after the grand review, was mustered out of the service at Louisville, Kentucky. The families of the returning volunteers were overjoyed at the thought of having their loved ones with them again.

There was a class, however, who pretended to be very much troubled for fear the troops would prove a disturbing element as soon as they had recovered from the excitement of meeting those they had left behind them. Some went so far as to say they feared that they would form marauding parties who would be a terror in the vicinity where they resided, and would go about and take possession of whatever they wanted without regard to law, order, or the rights of others. This was an unfounded fear, because there never could have been a more orderly return to peaceful pursuits. To a man, the soldiers and sailors seemed to realize that they had been engaged in a war for the preservation of the Union, and when that had been accomplished they had nothing to do but to return to their homes and resume their various vocations which they had laid down when they volunteered. They soon became law-abiding, industrious citizens of the Union they had saved. There was no such thing as violation of the law, visits of vengeance, or any species of unlawful, riotous conduct on the part of any of these men. In thirty days from the time they were discharged, many of them had begun their work for the support of themselves and their families. Legions of them engaged in all kinds of industrial, commercial, professional, and other pursuits necessary for the preservation of life and liberty. In a most exciting political campaign there were few personal conflicts or settlements of old scores on account of unjust and outrageous acts perpetrated during the warfare between the North and the South. Veterans met veterans [209] and extended the right hand of fellowship to each other. There were reunions, reconciliations, and happy meetings between the bitterest of foes.

Naturally they differed much in political affiliations, some being most ardent Republicans, while others returned to the Democratic party, to which they had belonged before they entered the service. Before going into the Army General Logan had acted with the Democratic party, and left it when he had to choose between his party and his country. On account of the change of principles of that party during the war, he felt he had no desire to again become an advocate of the principles of Democracy, but would continue his adherence to the Republican party, whose platform advocated the principles for which he and thousands of others had stood during over four years of blood and strife.

He did not intend to enter politics again, desiring to resume the practice of law, but this was not to be. In the very first campaign after his return home from Louisville, Kentucky, where he mustered out the entire Army of the Tennessee, our home was crowded with men from all over the country, insisting that he accept from the Republican party nominations for political positions. There were hordes and hordes of ex-Union soldiers from almost every State north of the Mason and Dixon line, who were untiring in their efforts to secure the adherence of the most distinguished men of the army. The assassination of Mr. Lincoln had left such a deep spirit of resentment that Republicans were busy in securing the support and advocacy of the ablest men who had been in the army, to fit elective official positions.

We kept open house and entertained legions of people, which was no small thing to do at that day and time, with the inconveniences of poor markets and independent employees upon whom we were obliged to depend. It would be an incredible story were I to describe graphically the chase for chickens, fresh meats, fish, and edibles considered fit to [210] be placed before these numerous guests. It was the old, old story of choicest fruits, vegetables, poultry, and other good things being shipped to the higher-priced markets, and the cities and residences in the rural districts having a great scramble to get anything worth being put upon the table. As I look back upon it now, I think we performed miracles in the line of satisfying hungry men and women who joined in the petitions to General Logan to accept the various nominations for official positions. Illinois had been represented since the census of 1860 by a Congressman-at-large, as they had not redistricted the State. Hon. S. W. Molten, a most estimable man, was a candidate for re-election as a member of Congress in 1866, but, the soldiers being in the majority in the Republican party, they demanded that General Logan should succeed Mr. Molton in Congress because they anticipated serious trouble over the various questions that should follow the close of the war and the assassination of Mr. Lincoln. General Logan talked to me very seriously on the subject, and I felt intensely interested in what he might do, as he had sent his resignation to Washington as soon as he got his affairs properly adjusted, but had not yet embarked in the legal profession, which it was his intention and ambition to do. Mr. Molton was a loyal friend of General Logan's and insisted that he would withdraw in favor of the general if the general would consent to allow his name to be used. Without waiting for his answer, the State convention convened and General Logan was nominated by acclamation on receipt of his reply. But for the fact that they insisted it was necessary for the success of the Republican party for him to make the race, he would not have done so. As soon as the convention was over and he had signified his acceptance, then began an indescribable scramble for him to make promises to almost every county in the State to speak in the interest of the State ticket.

The months of June and July we had spent in our headquarters [211] in Saint Paul,Minnesota. Our party consisted of Eliza Logan Wood, the great tragedian, Katie Logan, who was subsequently our adopted daughter, General Logan, myself, our daughter Dollie, and baby son, John A. Logan, Jr. We made Saint Paul our headquarters and went to all the important lakes in Minnesota, having a very delightful time fishing. The general had had no such respite from constant care and anxiety since he entered the army in 1861. He entered into all our plans for recreation and rest with the enthusiasm of a boy. When we visited the lakes we had our boats and went out in the morning, returning in the afternoon with boats laden with beautiful fish, all of us having participated in the catch. It can be said to have been one of the most delightful summers of our lives.

Upon the announcement of the general's nomination for Congress, we returned to Chicago and the general immediately entered upon the campaign. I remained at Joliet, Illinois, to visit cousins of General Logan, Mr.Fish and Mrs. Henry Fish, Mrs. Fish being a daughter of Joel Manning, many years auditor of the Illinois Canal, and one of the most splendid men of his time. In the midst of enjoying their hospitality I received a telegram telling me of the death of my mother at Marion, Illinois. A young man by the name of Henry Hopper, of that town, having gone to a Democratic convention at Cairo, Illinois, was exposed to and attacked by cholera. He arrived home at noon and was dead at night. His wife followed him a few hours later; her mother, with whom they lived, was seized and having no one to aid her she sent for my mother, who went to her and remained until after her death, after which she secured some one to take charge of the body. Returning home, she was not at all alarmed about herself, as she was fearless of danger or disease and only very glad that she had been able to perform the last offices of nurse and physician for the poor woman. Before the dawn of another morning, August 24, 1866, she herself was a corpse. [212] My father, in great grief and bewilderment, had directed that telegrams be sent to the Republican headquarters at the old Tremont House in Chicago. They arrived after we had left the city, and were laid on a table in the committee-room where they stayed until some one came in who felt that they should be opened. Finding the contents so sad, they tried to find General Logan, who immediately thereafter telegraphed me the overwhelming news. It was, up to that time, the greatest sorrow of my life, as my mother and I had been companions from my childhood. I appreciated her great mentality and remarkable executive ability. I knew that my father in his wonted dependence upon her was perfectly undone, so I lost no time in joining him, and to my dying day shall I remember his anguish and the desolation of our beloved old home. There were five children of the thirteen brothers and sisters at home, and my dear father to whom I had to give my immediate attention. Consequently, the remainder of the year was a very busy one for me, as I felt my first duty was to my husband, and, of course, there were many occasions when he needed me to accompany him. I made it a point to look after him carefully, for after he made long speeches in the open air he was always completely exhausted. I was ever glad to be with him to give him my personal attention and to receive his friends and guests while he took a few hours' rest.

Travelling and canvassing in those days were a very different proposition from the present day. There were not so many railroads in any State as there are to-day, and various points had to be reached by driving overland, and not always upon the best of roads. This necessitated the spending of much time in covering the distance from point to point, and as these campaigns are always conducted in the heat of summer and the inclemency of fall rains, great fatigue and exposure were inevitable. The result of the campaign was most flattering to General Logan, as he received practically the [213] largest number of votes that had ever been cast up to that date for any candidate.

Early in December General Logan went to Washington to attend to some matters before the departments and to settle the accounts of a number of officers under his command who had not been able to get a complete settlement with the Government when the troops were mustered out of the field. My father's family and my own two children requiring my attention, we decided that I had better remain at our home in Carbondale, Illinois, until the general should take his seat in Congress, March 4, 1867.

The people were so relieved by the close of the war and the prospects of great prosperity that, although I was in mourning myself, I found it far less depressing than it had been the preceding winter when the end of the war was so uncertain. It was interesting to see the activity of the men who had been in the service, who were so anxious to take up some sort of peaceful pursuit which promised success for them. The elections having resulted in such stupendous majorities for the Republican party, no one doubted that in a few brief months all the vexatious problems arising from the war would be settled, and that this country would enter upon an era of progress and prosperity.

1 Vol. II, pp. 357-386.

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