The Kemp Sketch
LOGAN, WILLIAM MITCHELL -- Born in North Carolina, September 15, 1802, a son of William Mitchell and Katherine (Henderson) Logan. Mrs. Logan's father was a brother of James Pinckney Henderson, first governor of the State of Texas. Children of Mr. and Mrs. William M. Logan, Sr. were: William M. Jr.,; John; Newton Wilson; James Henderson, Coutsworth Pinckney; Violet; and Mary Patterson Logan, was married to William F. Lytle. William M. Logan, Sr. moved with his family to Williamson County, Tennessee and there Mr. Logan, Sr. died in 1823. In 1829 John Newton Wilson and William M. Logan, Jr. started to Texas but stopped in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1831 William M. came to Texas and settled at Liberty. He received one-fourth of a league of land in Vehlein's Colony in 1835, the amount a single man was entitled to receive at that time as a headright. Under the law of the Republic of Texas the amount was increased to one-third of a league. Captain Logan appeared before the Board of Land Commissioners for Liberty County, February l, 1838 and applied for the one-twelfth of a league augmentation he was entitled to receive. He proved by two witnesses that he came to Texas in 1831. The land was surveyed in what is now San Jacinto County August 28, 1838 in Captain Logan's name. It does not follow, however, that he was alive at that time for it was customary to survey the land in the name of the person to whom the land certificate was issued irrespective of whether or not the person was alive.
At the outbreak of the revolution in 1835, Mr. Logan enlisted as Second Lieutenant of captain Andrew Briscoe's Company of "LIBERTY VOLUNTEERS" being discharged Nov. 25th of that year. According to a series of articles printed in the Galveston News and written by R.O.W. McManus of Liberty, Captain Logan's San Jacinto Company was organized in the following manner: On about the first of March, 1836, Joseph Dunman reached Liberty on horseback with a copy of Travis' appeal from the Alamo. It was agreed by a few citizens that a company of volunteers would be raised at once to hasten to Bexar, and Dunman proceeded to Anahuac to announce this fact. Other runners were sent out in other directions and in a few days the volunteers began to arrive. Benjamin J. Harper raised a company of 28 men at Beaumont. Franklin Hardin recruited some 20 men above Liberty; and Thomas Norment and Dr. Nicholas D. Labadie arrived from Anahuac. These, with the men from Liberty perfected the organization of a company on March 6th, electing Logan Captain, Franklin Hardin, First Lieutenant; and Harper Second Lieutenant. They immediately set out for the relief of Travis and did not learn until they reached San Felipe of the Fall of the Alamo. Just as the company was beginning its march from Liberty, Baker M. Spinks, a member of the committee of Safety for Liberty Municipality in 1835, drove up with a wagon load of bacon of which he presented to the company.
Captain Logan's Company at San Jacinto was the Third Company of the Second Regiment of the Texas Volunteers, the regiment being commanded by Colonel Sidney Sherman, but lately from Kentucky. The men having volunteered for 3 months service, the company disbanded on June 7, 1836.
The following notice appeared in the TELEGRAPH AND TEXAS REGISTER of Columbia, September 6, 1836: "Died. In this place on Friday evening last, Captain Logan, one of the heroes of San Jacinto, formerly of Mississippi. The U.S. papers please notice the above." It is almost inconceivable that the editors of the Telegraph, who were well acquainted with Captain Logan would not have corrected their error in subsequent issues of their paper had not Captain Logan died, as reported, yet, such was the case. Descendants of James Henderson Logan, brother of Captain Logan, have the original of the following document addressed to Captain Logan, after his reported death: "War Department Houston, June 10th, 1837 To Judge Wm. Hardin and Captain Wm. M. Logan Gentlemen: I am ordered by his Excellency, Sam Houston to request you to get the Militia of your County ready for immediate Service. You may momentarely expect Marching Orders. You will also cause them to their arms in good Order with a sufficient quantity of ammunition. The present crisis requires your prompt attention to this Order. Respectfully, (signed) J. SNIVLEY Acting Sec. of War. Approved (signed) SAM HOUSTON
The Compiler has been unable to learn when and where Captain Logan died. Mr. J.P. Logan of Port Arthur, Texas, states that his uncle John L. Logan told him that Captain Logan died in Houston in a yellow fever epidemic in 1839, but he, like the editor of the Telegraph, was mistaken. Bounty Certificate No. 2172 for 320 acres of land was issued in the name of William M. Logan, January 29, 1838, for having served in the army from March 7 to June 7, 1836. The land was surveyed in Polk County in August, 1838 for William B. Hardin. The Land Office records show however, that prior to the time it was surveyed the certificate had been transferred by B. Townsend, administrator of the estate of William M. Logan, to J.H. Griffin, who had in turn transferred it to Mr. Hardin. This proves, without a doubt, that Captain Logan died somewhere before August, 1838. Donation Certificate No. 523 for 640 acres of land was issued in the name of Wm. M. Logan in 1838 due him for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. This was lost and a duplicate was issued in Captain Logan's name July 19, 1854.
Descendants of James Henderson Logan have the original of the following letter dated, they think Houston, Nov. 18th 1839 and signed by Captain Logan.
A close inspection by the compiler has convinced him that it was written in 1837 instead of 1839. Certainly if it was signed by Captain Logan it was written before January 1, 1839: "Mr. John Taylor Please deliver to R.D. Morse my saddle horse that is in your possession and oblige. (S) WM. M. LOGAN".
Mr. J.P. Logan, Port Arthur, says that Captain Logan died sometime between November 12, 1839 and January 6, 1840. He says he has proof that on November 12, 1839 Captain Logan bought a horse from Joseph Felkel and that on January 6, 1840 James Davis asked to be appointed administrator of the estate of William M. Logan, deceased. If Mr. Logan will closely examine the paper regarding the sale of the horse he will find that this was signed November 12, 1837 instead of 1839.
Captain Logan's home was in Liberty County and his estate was doubtless probated in that county with B. Townsend as the first administrator. Unfortunately tho, early records of Liberty County were destroyed by fire.
The following was published in the MORNING STAR, Houston, November 23, 1839:
"Died in this city yesterday morning in the 30th year of his age, Captain William M. Logan of the county of Liberty.
"If unaffected modesty, joined to sterling worth, forms any right to a passing notice of tribute then, merit added to virtue, the subject of this communication richly deserves an eulogy from a more competent source. Captain Logan was a lieutenant at the siege of Bexar, and was in various engagements which occured during that period and he also commanded a Volunteer Company at the Battle of San Jacinto.
"His merit as a soldier was known and felt, both by the Commander in Chief and his fellow Citizens.
'When order was restored to our Republic, he was elected by the Citizens of his County to the office of Sheriff, which post he held at the time of his death. But, in our devoted city "The Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast" and has spared none. The best of our citizens have been taken from us and we have but to bow, with submission to the Almighty's power, who has seen fit to deprive us of their society, and to live in the belief that, "Whatever is, is right."
The following item also appeared in the MORNING STAR, November 23, 1839:
"The friends and acquaintants of Captain William M. Logan deceased are requested to attend his funeral this morning at eleven o' clock to proceed from the City Hotel, November 23rd."
This is to certify that Capt. W. M. Logan entered the army of Texas, as commander of a company and has served faithfully for the term of three months and that his conduct has been at all times that of an honorable and brave officer, he was at the Battle of San Jacinto on the 21st April on which occasion he led his command into action with credit to himself and men, and is entitled to the gratitude of every true lover of his country, and is therefore this day honorable discharged from said service. Head Quarters Victoria Jan 7, 1836 Thos J. Rusk, Brig Gen. Com. S. Sherman Col. 2d Regiment
I certify that Wm. M. Logan, served in the army of the people of Texas, in the campaign of '35 in the month of November, in the company of Liberty Volunteers under my command, and that he was honorably discharged from the service, on the 25th day of that month, having been under my command as second Lieutenant, twenty-one days; and further, that I do not believe he ever had any certificate of the time of his service, or of his discharge. Given at San Jacinto, February 15th, 1837. A. Briscoe, Guard Capt Liberty Volunteers Apprv. B. E. Bee Sec. War.
Liberty March 3rd 1838 Mr. J. W. Moody, Auditor Dear Sir Please send me by Mr. Allen my pay certificate, in my own name, the time I do not recollect. He will receipt to you for the same & oblige your etc.
WM. M. Logan
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Captain
- Company: Second Regiment Texas Volunteers
- Date of Birth: 1802 Sep 15
- Birthplace: Tennessee, Williamson County
- Origin: Mississippi
- Came to Texas: 1831 Nov
- Date of Death: 1839 Nov 22
- Other Battles: Bexar
- Bounty Certificate: 2172
- Donation Certificate: 594