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A. Logan went into the civil war to conquer or die; this spirit he infused into his regiment, his brigade, his division, and finally into the grand old Army of the Tennessee. I will not trace his history throughout the war, to Donelson, Corinth, Vicksburg, Savannah, Columbia, Raleigh and the end, because that has already been done by himself and his friends better than I can.
On the 22nd of July, 1864, the Union army before Atlanta was composed of three distinct armies, the Cumberland, Ohio and Tennessee, all more or less engaged in furious battle from left to right, a distance of seven miles. The left was the Army of the Tennessee commanded by General McPherson, composed of three corps, the 15th Logan, the 16th Dodge and the 17th Blair. In the midst of that battle. General McPherson was killed; and I, the common commander of the whole, ordered instantly General Logan, the senior, to assume command of the Army of the Tennessee, and to go on to complete the orders given to General McPherson. General Logan fulfilled his work that day nobly and perfectly; I complimented him personally on the field; no man ever questioned his patriotism, valor or ability in action, and he had good reason to expect the succession. The lawful right to appoint a successor to McPherson vested in President Lincoln. but he may have acted solely on my advice; I am willing to assume the whole responsibility.
The science of war is not modern; it is as old as time, and like most sciences has resolved itself into three parts: logistics, grand strategy and combat, each essential to success. General Logan was perfect in combat, but entertained and expressed a species of contempt for the other branches; whereas a general, who undertakes a campaign without the forethought and preparation involved in logistics, will fail as surely as the mechanic who ignores the law of gravitation. After consulting with my trusted commanders, I recommended General Howard to succeed McPherson. General Howard had been a corps commander reduced to a division commander by the consolidation of the 11th and 12th Corps into the 20th, fought with the Army of the Tennessee at Missionary Ridge, went with us up to Knoxville, every day was with us to July 22, when McPherson was killed, and was, by the only lawsul authority of our Government, appointed to command the Army of the Tennessee; and I bear Logan's memory in the greater honor, because he submitted with soldierly grace and demeanor. General Logan was by nature and habit ardent, enthusiastic, vehement in action, all qualities which command the admiration of men; but he was strongly personal, apt to exaggerate the importance of events near his person, and correspondingly to underrate the value of services beyond the reach of his vision. These considerations added to the fact that all the time he was in the military service he seemed to maintain his political relations with his old constituency in Illinois, were the actuai reasons which deprived him of the immediate succession to McPherson of the command of the Army of the Tennessee. In due time he did, however, succeed to that command; and when at the close of the war, the Army of the Tennessee marched past the Capitol, down Pennsylvania avenue and before the President, General Logan was at its head, your commander. During the critical period, July, 1864-May, 1865, I did not dream that General Logan felt aggrieved, nor do I believe he would have been, had it not been for others.
When the war was over, I advised him personally to remain in the regular army as a Brigadier-General, but he preferred to return to Illinois, which promptly sent him back to Congress as a member at large. As a matter of course the vast armies which had subdued the rebellion were rapidly disbanded, returned to their homes, and out of them was organized the regular army needed in peace, three-fourths of the officers and all the enlisted men being volunteers, the other fourth of the officers were graduates of the military academy at West Point. Logan soon manifested his hostility to these last, and in a speech of March ioth, 1870, displayed his antagonism to West Point, attributing the fact that he, as a “volunteer,” had been outraged by the selection of a West Pointer to succeed McPherson. I felt bound to retort, and in his speech in the House of Representatives, March 29, 1870, he was even more personal, and I am consoled with the belief that my interposition did great good towards saving the present army from the utter destruction then aimed at it. Of course this occasioned a temporary breach between us,
but gradually by experience and observation he himself became convinced that war was a science, and that preliminary instruction in its fundamental principles was a good thing for a government like ours, where individual men are as nothing, but the good of the whole paramount.
Logan grew-and I believe none of his ardent flatterers watched his progress from a common to a higher statesmanship with more interest than I, his old commander at Atlanta. During his last years I saw much of him-at the time of the last national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic in San Francisco; in Oregon; in Pugets Sound; and finally in New York last December. He came from Washington to the Fifth Avenue Hotel, had rooms next to mine, and we came together every evening. He was then six years my junior, seemingly in perfect health, and as a matter of course I supposed he would survive me. We were perfectly reconciled, and I am sure he then gave me credit for acting towards him at all times as I believed best for the common cause, our country and its ultimate destiny. George Alfred Townsend had sent me a copy of his book “Katy of Katoctin,” which is a work of fiction, including much of the true history of John Brown's attempt at Harper's Ferry in October, 1859, and his subsequent execution, together with the best pen picture I have yet seen of the murder of Mr. Lincoln, the pursuit, capture and shooting of the murderer, Booth. After referring to this book, Logan asked me if I had seen a recent similar publication entitled “Uncle Daniel's Story," depicting the terrible sufferings of a good Union family in Illinois, chiefly by the acts of the belligerent non-combatants who, like hyenas and coyotes, hung on our rear snarling and growling, for whoin Logan felt and expressed a measure of detestation ten times as strong as against the Southern soldiers, who had been misled and were made to believe they were fighting for their homes and firesides; whereas, in fact their success would have been their ruin and eternal war. On learning that I had not seen the book, the next day he brought me a copy inscribed to me and promised to reveal the name of the author. I have since read the book, but Logan, then in good health and with as fair a promise of long life as any one of his age that I can recall, never had the opportunity to fulfill that promise. All I wish you, our mutual comrades, to understand is, that General Logan at the time, and for some years after the war, supposed I had done him injustice in 1864; that he resented it to my serious damage in Congress in 1870, but with increasing years and experience he softened till we were on terms of the most intimate friendship. He first supposed West Point was the cause, but he soon perceived that West Point was a school —not a cause, and that it was wise that every soldier before undertaking grand campaigns should have preliminary instruction in the science of war based on the experience of other great men during the past three thousand years.
Logan was ambitious, had a right to be, and had he lived a few more years might have succeeded to the Presidency of the United States, because true manhood, courage and fidelity to a constitutional government will at every crisis command the allegiance of a law.loving people, and create a verdict from which there is no appeal. So it was in 1861, so will it continue to be, and this government, like all others, must study the question whether it be wiser to be prepared beforehand, or wait till the last minute and pay the penalty, as we did in 1861-5, in thousands of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. Logan was pondering this great problem when he died. He will never more attend our annual meetings. I saw his dead body entombed in the Hutchinson vault, near the Soldier's Home at Washington last January, and learn that in due time it will be transferred to Chi. cago.
We, of the Army of the Tennessee, remember him as he was at his best in battle, ever forward, ever onward, “ nulla retrorsum,” till our enemy cried “hold, enough,” when we ceased war, and all went back to our homes, and allowed the wise men in Congress assembled to settle the differences. Whether this task has been well done or ill done is none of our business, but in the names of such men as John A. Logan and William B. Woods, this Society feels a just pride, and so long as we tarry on earth we will point to them as brilliant examples of the citizen soldier. We may not erect monuments of marble and bronze for all, because we are poor in money, and our numbers grow daily less; yet we can record their virtues and deeds, to be gathered into the general history of our country, to be a source of pride to their families, and to serve as examples for the patriotic youth of our land that have already pushed aside the ancients, who it may be linger superfluous on the stage of life.
William B. Woods was born of honored parents on the 3rd of August, 1924, at Newark, Licking county, Ohio. He had from the first the advantages of good schools, and was by nature a student of books. Entering Hudson College, Ohio, he passed from the junior class to the senior class of Yale after a most thorough and jealous examination, a fact in which he always manifested a pride more satisfactory to himself than in his sub:sequent brilliant civil and military career. He then studied law and took a lively interest in politics as a Whig, and canvassed the State of Ohio in 1852 for General Scott as President. But when the Whig party died, he joined the Democrats, beconring a member of the State Legislature and Speaker of the House of Representatives, in which capacity he exhibited remarkable skill; and when the civil war burst on the country, ignoring all party lines he was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the bill for a million of dollars to enable Governor Dennison to raise and equip men for the war—the very men with which General McClellan was enabled to occupy Western Virginia and the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, so important to the “cause" at the beginning of hostilities.
William B. Woods had a younger brother, Charles R. Woods, familiarly known to us of the army as “Susan Woods," after a West Point nickname which is generally chosen by one's fellow cadets, according to the law of contraries. In this instance an effeminate name was given a large, strong, athletic man, because he was not a Susan, but a male of the most masculine gender. Charles R. Woods was born in 1828; was a cadet from 1848 to 1852; and in 1861, had had nine years' experience in frontier service. A soldier by profession as well as by nature, calm, resolved, and willing to do a man's full share in the terrible crisis then upon us—not aggressively ambitious but conscious of his power, Charles R. Woods was the very type of man and soldier to work out the great problem, which had thus suddenly been forced upon us. His elder brother, William, equally patriotic, of larger reputation at the time, far better known to his fellow citizens of Ohio, knowing well the manly character of his younger brother, waived to him the leadership in the family. When in the autumn of 1861, the people of Ohio saw for themselves that the war was not to be a fourth of July celebration nor a ninety days' affair, but a terrible conflict of arms, they cast about for leaders in men of knowledge and experience; and when that most valuable body of men, which formed the 76th regiment of Ohio had been enlisted, Charles R. Woods was appointed the Colonel; William B. Woods, the Lieutenant-Colonel; and Willard Warner, the Major; all brothers in fact, because the wife of William B. Woods was War