General John A. Logan with granddaughters Cindy Logan Hankins and Leslie Logan George before the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, ILL. Thanks to the Director P. MichaelJones for helping us with historic information and the picture of Cindy, Leslie and the General.
Cayucan Related to First Official Memorial Day- May 30, 1868
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued General Order No. 11 stating, “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
Cayucan Cindy Logan Hankins is the great-great granddaughter of General Logan. “Father took great pride in his heritage. Daddy retold us the stories he heard from his grand-Pop, so we have family stories that may not be in the history books. One was he was disowned by his family when he supported the Union’s war effort to free the slaves.”
As a member of Congress in 1861, Logan supported a compromise between the North and South. His position labeled him a traitor in his own state of Illinois. However, President Abraham Lincoln praised him. Logan is credited with convincing 40% of eligible Illinois volunteers to fight with the Union and he served on the front lines commanding the Army of Tennessee during the Battle of Atlanta.
“My Great-Great Grandmother Mary Cunningham Logan got word the General had been wounded and died, but after traveling to retrieve the body, he was alive. She nursed him back to health and by 1871 he was elected to the Senate. After visiting Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia, Mary was disturbed by the tattered flags and withered flowers. She suggested to her husband that Congress needed a day to properly honor those lost serving their country. An official Memorial Day was her idea and he got it through Congress.”
In 1884 the Republican presidential ticket was james G. Blaine with General Logan as Vice-President. “I’m told they lost by a narrow margin,” said Hankins. Internet sites and the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, Illinois, agree Logan would have been the Republican presidential nominee if he hadn’t died in 1886.
General Logan’s name is memorialized on bronze plaques throughout the nation. There are statues, a community college and a museum that bear his name. Regularly, another plaque will be sited somewhere in the nation and the museum appreciates notice so they can include where the recognitions can be found. In 2014 Hankins and surviving Logan ancestors will attend a reunion, reenactment and gun salute at the John A. Logan Museum.
“The first time I went through the museum, he seemed taller. Walking through your family’s history makes you want to learn more about our American history,” said Hankins.
A Cayucan since 1985, she and her husband, Doug Hankins, retired from real estate. She owned Seaside Real Estate and Property Management. She now enjoys time with her 4 dogs, quilting and feeding the homeless.