Zadock Packard Logan and his Civil War Service

Thanks to researcher Linda Logan Blanchard, we have an excellent compilation of Zadock Packard Logan’s Civil War service to share with you. In addition, Linda includes information about Zadock P. Logan’s siblings: C. Sylvanus Logan (who was hanged by the Confederate army), Israel Logan, Jasper Newton Logan, and Milberry Logan Heathcock as well as Zadock Packard Logan’s brothers-in-law. Even if you’re not of Zadock P. Logan’s line, this is extremely interesting reading in terms of what the Civil War was really like in an area with contested loyalties which is what this area of Arkansas was.

Some of this is in “Logan Connections,” but certainly not in this detail and not pulled together so comprehensively. A welcome addition. Thanks so much, Linda.

Zadock Packard Logan
Civil War History

“I deny ever being a volunteer in the confederate service. I Boldly opposed Secession and held out for the union until the Rebles got power and went to Schooting and hanging union men. Then I went to what was called Mcnears [McNair’s] Regiment for protection to save my life. Stayed there until times cooled Down and went home. Then came Jim Wooseleys Battalian. Came and took me and put me in what was called Recktars [Rector] Regiment of conscripts. From that I took chances with others to make it through the lines and while my Brother and 4 other men was caught and hung to the Same poll. I got through. whether the government treats me Right or not. I have and ever will be for the union.” Zadock’s affidavit of Jul 27, 1897 for his pension application. [I put in the periods, but will leave his spelling the way he wrote it.]

“A strong Unionist tradition had always existed in the mountainous regions of northwestern Arkansas, but by late 1862 and 1863 resistance to the Confederate authority was strongest in southwestern Arkansas, especially in the region south and west of the Saline River.” (DeBlack, 2003, p.75-78) Sebastian County, where the Logans lived in the 1850’s and 1860’s, is sometimes included in the northwest and sometimes the southwest.

“Arkansas is best described as a frontier when the war began. . . Its mountains in the northwest part of the state represented the edge of a frontier and were home to a crude, illiterate, volatile, and hard-fisted yeomanry living a in a subsistence-level economy that shared little with those in the regions below them. Even in areas south of the Ozarks a large population felt a persistent attachment to the union. . . Arkansas contributed fourteen white regiments [to the Union] more than 8000 troops.” (Weitz, 2005, p.22-24)

Zaddoc P. Logan mustered in Aug 17, 1861 a Camp Etter near Mt. Vernon, MO for 12 months. It was called Capt. Erwins Infantry, South Ark. Region. This infantry subsequently became Co C, 4th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry. The National Archives overview states “4th (McNair’s) Infantry Regiment [also called Southwestern Arkansas Regiment] assembled at Miller’s Springs, Lawrence County, Arkansas, recruited its companies in Calhoun, Hempstead, Lafayette, Montgomery, Pike, and Polk counties.” A second muster card says Zadock enlisted Oct 21, 1861 at Fort Smith, but it was not stated whether he was present. A third states he enlisted at Camp Etter, Mo from Feb 28-June 30, 1862, but not known if he was present.

On the muster card dated Feb 28, 1862, the remark is “on furlough from Jan 17, 1862 to Feb 17, 1862. . .+ so on roll”. The Battle of Pea Ridge or Elkhorn Tavern took place on Mar 6-7, 1862. It is doubtful that Zadock was in this battle. The running battles and skirmishes preceding this would have been while he was on furlough. The card for Aug 31-Oct 31, 1862 states he was absent and the remarks say “West Miss”. The 4th Arkansas Infantry was at the Battle of Richmond, KY in late August, 1862 and continued to be east of the Mississippi for the rest of the war. This validates Zadock’s statement that he went home as soon as he could.

Jasper Newton Logan probably was at the Battle of Pea Ridge in Rivers’ Battery Light Artillery. On the muster card dated Nov 8, 1862 he was listed as absent. In the remarks, it said, “left sick in Ark. April [1862?] Not heard from since.” Desertions from hospitals were very common.

” in 1862 I think I was conscripted into Thom Hinemans [Thomas Hindman] Confederate army they made me take a gun and Drill twice a day. Such was the kind of Service that I done. I considered my Self a prisoner in the Reble army. after a short time I made my escape and got to the federal army. . . Now about my name. I claim my name to be Zaddock Packard Logan. my father dide when I was young. the Record of his childrens names was Burned in my mothers house. I may have at sum time written my name with one d or Some one may have. . . I will say that I am not trying to defraud nor cheat. if the government Dont owe me a pension I dont want it. all though an invalid I am not a Beging nor claiming that Dont belong to me if I know it. I can Laugh it on the end. it cant be Long… Zaddock P. Logan as it appears on my army Discharge. I have an Honorable Discharge from the Service of the united States in my home. I further state that I was assigned to what was called major Woosleys Battalian. Bill Witcher was captain in the Confederate army State of Ark”[Major James Woolsey and Capt. William J. Witcher were in the 34th AR Regiment]. This statement is from Zadock’s affidavit of Aug 5, 1896 for his pension application.

The growing disaffection of the people for the war was attributed to a variety of factors; a food shortage brought on by drought, spiraling inflation, the failure to pay or adequately provision soldiers, and discontent with the Confederacy’s conscription laws, particularly the provision that exempted one white man for every twenty slaves on each plantation.” (DeBlack, 2003, p. 76.) “From the beginning those who fought for the Confederacy came to see themselves as poor men who were having to fight a war to benefit rich men. Their own opportunities were being squandered in a conflict that had no goal other than the protection of slavery. Their fight was not only with conscription but also with the ruling class.” (DeBlack, 2003, p.78) In addition “civilians suffered from food shortages caused by poor harvests in 1861 and 1862 that were augmented by the insistence of Arkansas farmers to grow more profitable cotton rather than desperately needed staples. A cholera epidemic dramatically thinned the state’s hog population, and a critical shortage of salt made it difficult to preserve what pork was available. . . These miserable conditions continued west into Indian Territory, where many Cherokee and Creek soldiers were leaving Confederate service and joining Union forces.” (Christ, 2010, p, 38) The plantation owners refused to grow wheat and corn and take care of the subsistence farmers, who were fighting the war, and more importantly the families of those farmers. “Shortages of food and necessities, extortion, conscription and the inability of a society strongly based on a semi-subsistence agriculture to continue in the absence of its male workforce all weakened the Confederate cause, and these same elements contributed to desertion. (Weitz, 2005, p. 278) The Clark County editor Samuel M. Scott wrote to Governor Flanagin that the “cry of poor men being obliged to fight for the rich may be heard on all sides.” (DeBlack, 2003, p.78)

Rich man’s war. Poor man’s fight.

“State of arkansas County of montgomery in the matter of my pension claim and service in the confederate army State on oath that the command that I was conscripted in to was called major Wooseleys Battallion of home gards. Bill Witcher was Captain. there was no number nor letter that I no of Arkansas Troops. This is written by my own had this 14th day of november 1896”. Pension application affidavit of Zadock P Logan.

“Zaddock P Logan who was ENROLLED on the 10 day of Sep., 1863, in Company F of the 1 Regiment of the Ark. Inf. in the War of the Rebellion, and served at least 90 days and was honorably DISCHARGED at Fort Smith, Arkansas on the 10 day of Aug, 1865. . . I was in the confederate service prior to that stated above. I was forced into confederate service about Feb, 1862 and remained there until Sep 3, 1863.” Zadock’s affidavit of Jul 12, 1902 for his pension application

Colonel Rector’s new reorganized regiment, was initially organized at Camp Johnson, on July 11, 1862, near Fort Smith, Arkansas, as the “1st Regiment, Northwest Division, Trans-Mississippi Department with 1037 men. They were also called Rector’s War Regiment, 1st Arkansas Volunteers. The regiment was originally composed of eight companies mostly from Sebastian County, with some from Yell and Perry counties. Initially Gov. Henry Massey Rector indicated that these new regiments were for home defense and would not be transferred to Confederate service without their consent. But with the redesignation into the 35th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, that promise was broken. Thus, the men could easily be sent out of state and not be in a position to protect and support their families. The unit was placed in Fagan’s and A. T. Hawthorne’s Brigade, Trans-Mississippi Department.

“On Jun 17, 1862, Thomas Hindman also issued General Orders No. 17, the use of “partisan rangers,” bands of guerrillas whose purpose was ostensibly to stage hit-and-run raids on detached Federal units and harass its lines of supply. Hindman’s order gave legal sanction to a brutal and merciless guerrilla conflict that historian Daniel Sutherland has called “the real war” in Arkansas. The true legacy of General Orders No. 17 is a record of horror that rivals the more publicized–and romanticized–guerrilla war in Missouri. (Christ, 2010, p.25) ” In the last two years of the war, both major armies, jayhawkers, and bushwhackers of all varieties preyed upon the civilian population. . . In essence they all competed to see who would burn the barns, steal the livestock, waste the corn, and drive off the slaves. In the end, it mattered little to the civilians which party perpetrated the act, since the suffering was the same.” (Weitz, 2005, p.222)

In the spring of 1863 violence broke out within Confederate Arkansas. Soldiers deserted from military camps, avowed Unionist organizations appeared, and armed clashes took place between those who stated their hostility toward Confederate authorities and loyalists who continued to support the Southern cause.

Zadock’s initial enlistment in Confederate 35th Arkansas Infantry was with Capt. McCord’s company of Infantry, but not dated. Zadock’s enlistment at Fort Smith is dated July 8, 1862 in Co A of 35th AR 1 Reg’t Arkansas Infantry on a muster card dated June 12 to July 14, 1862 for 3 years. This regiment was designated at various times as 1st Regiment (Rector’s) Arkansas Infantry Northwest Division, Trans-Mississippi District; King’s Regiment Arkansas Infantry; McCord’s Regiment Arkansas Infantry, and 35th Regiment Arkansas Infantry. On the June 12 to Oct 31, 1862 muster card he is listed as present and on detached Service. He was promoted from ranks on May 26 1863. The Sept 1 to Oct 31, 1863 muster card had in the remarks; Deserted Sept 1, 1863. That same card says he was paid to Oct 30, 1863. Zadock said in his pension application he deserted Sep 3, 1863. The 35th was fighting in the battle of Bayou Fourche on Sep 10, 1863 as Zadock was joining the Union Army.

The 35th was active at Helena on 4 Jul, 1863 where it reported 57 casualties, according to the National Archives overview of the regiment. Zadock was probably in this battle because he didn’t desert until Sep 1, 1863. The battle at Helena, AR was led by Lieutenant-General Theophilus Holmes. Jefferson Davis sent the least competent commanders west of the Mississippi. Robert Kerby has described Holmes’s plan of attack as “a model of brutal irresponsibility.” The description of the battle in Christ’s book is very thorough. “The heaviest casualties were among Price’s division, victims of the slaughter pen at Graveyard Hill, and Fagan’s Arkansians at Battery D.” (Christ, 2010, p. 139) Many men deserted, “particularly in the case of Fagan’s (the 35th had been placed in Fagan’s brigade) and McRae’s brigades, two units composed primarily of Arkansians that had taken some of the heaviest casualties at Helena.” (Christ, 2010, p.146) In February 1863 Brig. Gen. William L. Cabell was given the task of cobbling together a force from the shattered remnants of Hindman’s army. It was made up of neighborhood guerrilla bands, local partisan rangers, conscript Arkansans–many of whom would have preferred to enlist in the Union army–and some homesick Texans. (Christ, 2010, p.208) “Hill’s regiment, and Woosley’s and Cawford’s battalions were raised from deserters and jayhawkers who had been lying in the mountains, and forced into service,” Cabell reported. These men deserted, but Wiley Britton wrote that “probably no one believed it was because the men of these regiments were frightened that they ran, but because they were Union men and did not wish to fire upon their friends, or be placed in a position to be shot by them.” The key to controlling the Indian Territory was holding Fort Smith. Cabell’s force was nine miles southwest of Fort Smith, on Aug 22, 1863. This is very close to Greenwood, AR where the Logans lived. “With the return of Fort Smith to Federal control, the town became a haven for Unionists, who quickly organized politically. On October, 3 they adopted a series of resolutions supporting the Lincoln administration’s policies, abolishing slavery and barring all but “Unconditional Union” men from voting in elections.” (Christ, 2010, p.223)

The muster cards for the 35th regiment have Zadock enlisting variously on Jul 8, 1862 Aug 17, 1861 for 12 months, Jul 8, 1862 for 3 yrs., and Jun 12, 1863 for 3 yrs. I believe it was Jul 8, 1862 for 3 yrs. This matches the history of the unit and his brothers, Jasper and Sylvanus, also enlisted on July 8, 1862. The Aug 17, 1861 dates was his original enlistment with the 4th Regiment and the 4th had been east of the Mississippi after the Battle of Pea Ridge on Mar 6-7, 1862. The June 12, 1862 date was the beginning date of the June 12 to July 1, 1862 muster card.

C. Sylvanus Logan, born 1841, was Zadock’s youngest brother. He also enlisted on Jul 8, 1862 at Fort Smith in the 35th AR Regiment. On the muster card dated Feb 28 to Apr 30, 1863 he was listed as absent without leave since Dec 30, 1862 in Sebastian County Ark. On the muster card dated May 1 to Aug 31, 1863 in the remarks section: Hung in Sebastian Co. July 20, 1863.

Initially the Confederate command was loathe to execute “good deserters.” If they went home to take care of their crops and families, but came back, they were forgiven. They began executing deserters to make examples of them when the desertion rate became astronomical. It was affecting the readiness of the army to fight and they had to use recruits to track down the deserters. Sylvanus was executed two weeks after the debacle at Helena and the desertion rate from Holmes’s army was extremely high.

Sylvanus’ hanging so enraged Zadock and his brothers Israel and Jasper, their brother-in-law, George Washington Walker, John Hathcock, and John T. Hathcock that they all enlisted in the Union Army on Sept 10, 1863 at Fort Smith. They were already strong Unionists against secession and this only strengthened their resolve. John Hathcock Sr. and Israel Logan were rejected by the examining surgeon. The Hathcocks [Heathcock, Haithcock] were relatives of Zadock’s sister, Milberry Logan Heathcock (1820-1857).

On Sep 1, 1863, the Union Army reoccupied Fort Smith. The Battle of Devil’s Backbone occurred on Sep 1, 1863. In the 1860 census, Zadock, his brothers Israel and Sylvanus, and their sister Mary Polly Logan Carver [married George Washington Walker in 1862], lived in Sebastian County and their Post Office was Backbone. The Hathcocks also were neighbors in Sebastian County with the Post Office of Backbone.

I will include a family story here as recounted by John Frank Logan, (1920-2017) Zadock’s last surviving grandchild.
“The five great tribes were caught up in the Civil War and suffered as much or more than their white counterparts. The Choctaw and Chickasaw had definite Southern sympathies. The Creek and Cherokee were split. Many of these battles and skirmishes were fought in Western Arkansas. Grandpa and Grandma [Delilah Marinda Wood Logan, 1835-1909] lived just South of Fort Smith, Arkansas, not far from Indian Territory. Grandpa was away during much of this period serving in the Union forces. . . Grandma Logan woke up one morning to find her little homestead right in the middle of a sizeable skirmish between two Indian forces.
She decided this was no place to be, so she quickly wrapped her small child, my Aunt Margaret [Margaret Jane Logan Loudermilk, 1860-1918], in a blanket and left hurriedly on foot. One of the Indian soldiers took a shine to the brightly colored blanket wrapped around the child and took it from grandmother. She stopped right in the middle of the ongoing battle, looked up the Indian General, and demanded her blanket back. He sent an Aide to retrieve the blanket, and again she left to depart the battle zone. Another Indian soldier with an eye to color again took the blanket. Grandmother Logan had a streak of stubbornness and she forthwith hied back to the same Indian General again demanding her blanket. This time he not only retrieved her blanket for her, but gave her a full military escort out of the battle zone. . .
Grandpa’s enlistment was an open declaration of Union sympathies, and this would mark his farmstead as an open target for Confederate reprisals. . . No one knew what to really expect from day to day, and this was the position Grandma found herself in. The populace also suffered some severely cold winters.”

Zadock and Jasper found a way to stay close to home, for good reason. They either just walked away, or deserted from a hospital.

“This is how the Civil War was fought in Arkansas: ambushes, midnight raids, often with civilians treated as combatants and neighbors turned predators.” (Sutherland, 2000, p. 133)

” In the last two years of the war, both major armies, jayhawkers, and bushwhackers of all varieties preyed upon the civilian population. . . In essence they all competed to see who would burn the barns, steal the livestock, waste the corn, and drive off the slaves. In the end, it mattered little to the civilians which party perpetrated the act, since the suffering was the same.” (Weitz, 2005, p.222)

“In September 1863, Col. William F. Cloud told his superiors that “the people come to me in the hundreds, and beg of me to stand by them and keep them from being taken by the conscript officers or from being taken to the rebel army from which they have deserted.” Many deserters brought their own weapons. . . Gen. William L. Cabell knew Arkansas had deserters running free within its borders, because many of them were his. In 1863 his unit, the First Arkansas Cavalry, attacked the Union post at Fayetteville and was beaten back. . .To add insult to injury, the force that defeated Cabell at Fayetteville, the First Arkansas, was a Union unit made of Confederate deserters.” (Weitz, 2005, p.223)

On Sep 10, 1863 Zadock P. Logan enlisted in the Company F of the 1st Arkansas Infantry of the United States Army at Fort Smith, AR. He was mustered in on Feb 26, 1864. He was present until his discharge on Aug 10, 1865. Zadock may have been in action at Mt. Ida on Nov, 13, 1863, if he wasn’t already reacting to the vaccine. From Nov 17 through Dec, 1863 he was absent sick at Ft. Smith caused by the vaccination. Zadock, Jasper, Israel, and George W. Walker all received a small pox vaccine that was contaminated in the fall of 1863. Zadock was probably in Steele’s Expedition to Camden March 23-May 3, 1864: which included Prairie D’Ann April 19-13; Moscow Apr 13; Camden Apr 15-18; Jenkins’ Ferry, Saline River; Apr 10. March to Fort Smith May 1-16. Promotion to Corp. Jun 10, 1864. Skirmish, Bates Township, Nov 2, and Newton County, Nov 15, 1864. Garrison duty at Fort Smith and escort and duty on the Frontier until Aug, 1865. Dec 1864 on detached service at Ft Smith since Nov 30, 1864. May to July ’65 he was at a Detachment of enlisted men on duty in the Provost Marshalls Office Fort Smith, Ark. These battles and dates are from the enlistment papers and muster cards of Zadock P. Logan Union Co. F 1st Regiment of Arkansas Infantry US, and the National Archives Record of Service of the Regiment.

George W. Raymond wrote in an affidavit on Jul 27, 1889 that as the Capt of Co C of the 1st Ark Regiment, “the year of 1864 in the months of April and May of said year the aforesaid claimant [Jasper N. Logan] contracted Piles by hard marching and excessive duty while on marches to Camden Ark and Little Rock and back to Fort Smith Ark. . . I was in command of the Co. . .” This was a part of the pension application of Jasper N. Logan.

Zadock first filed for a disability pension on Mar 30, 1872. In that document, they called the smallpox vaccine a syphilitic vaccine. He was treated at Bellview Ward Gen. Hosp., Fort Smith, Ark. A doctor in 1872 swore he had the symptoms of secondary syphilis. At that time, they would scratch the pustules of someone with smallpox and then use that to inoculate people. The only problem was, they would often also have syphilis, so the goal was to use the pustules of children because they would not have had the opportunity to contract syphilis. In Jasper’s pension application file is a report from the Surgeon General’s Office dated May 9, 1884. Monthly Report of Gen Hosptl Fort Smith, Ark for Dec. 1863 shows the following records, “Class I. Order II, were 39 cases of Inoculation with syphilitic virus.” Here they describe chancres and abscesses that discharge after being punctured. In January, there were ten more cases. In Zadock’s pension application the Surgeon General’s Office said, “the records of Ft. Smith Ark were destroyed when evacuation of fort in January, ’65.” The vaccine was obviously contaminated with something. A doctor in an affidavit on Nov 12, 1902 stated Zadock had never had syphilis. In different documents in Zadock’s and Jasper’s pension application files they called the vaccine syphilitic, impure, diseased, or poisonous. Since all of the brothers lived long lives, (I don’t have a record of Israel’s death) and had children born after the war who lived long lives, it probably wasn’t syphilis. Zadock’s pension was denied in 1874. He reapplied in 1880, 1892, 1893, and finally in 1902 he received a partial pension of $10 per month, and in 1905 he received a full pension of $12 per month.

References:

Christ, Mark K. (2010). Civil war Arkansas. 1863: The battle for a State. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

DeBlack, Thomas A. (2003). With Fire and Sword: Arkansas, 1861-1874. University of Arkansas Press.

Logan, C. S., Pvt. (Jul 8, 1862 to Aug 31, 1863) Confederate Co. A, 35th Arkansas Infantry enlistment and muster cards. Listed as absent without leave since Dec 30, 1862. Hung in Sebastian Co. Jul 20, 1863.

Logan, Israel K. Pvt. (Sep 10, 1863 to Jan 26, 1864). Union Co. F. 1st Arkansas Infantry enlistment record. Rejected by the examining surgeon and discharged.

Logan, J.N., Pvt. Jul 8, 1862 to Feb 24, 1864) Confederate Co. A, 35th Arkansas Infantry enlistment and muster cards. Listed as absent after Dec 7, 1862 when he was wounded at Prairie Grove.

Logan, Jasper N., Pvt. (Nov 1, 1861 to Apr 30, 1862) Confederate Capt. Rivers’ Battery, Arkansas Light Artillery enlistment and muster cards. Left sick in AR Hospital in Apr, 1862, not heard from since.

Logan, Jasper N., Pvt. (Sep 10, 1863 to Aug 10, 1865) Union Co. F. 1st Arkansas Infantry enlistment record.
Honorably discharged Aug 10, 1865.

Logan, Jasper Newton. (Mar 1, 1907 to Nov 17, 1914) US Pension Application Certificate number 320224.

Logan, John Frank. (1979) Ramblings. Part of a series of 18 reminiscences entitled, “A Letter to My Children of My Life and Times.”

Logan, Z.P. Cpl, (Jul 8, 1862 to Oct 30, 1863) Confederate Co. A 35th Arkansas Infantry enlistment and muster cards. Deserted Sep 1, 1863.

Logan, Zaddoc P, Pvt (Aug 17, 1861 to Aug 31, 1862) Confederate Co. C 4th Arkansas Infantry enlistment and muster cards. On furlough from Jan 17, 1862 to Feb 17, 1862. After that absent West of Mississippi.

Logan, Zadock P, Cpl (Sep 10, 1863 to Aug10, 1865) Union Co. F. 1st Arkansas Infantry enlistment and muster cards. Honorably discharged Aug 10, 1865.

Logan, Zadock Packard. (Mar30, 1872 to Jun 8, 1908) US Pension Application file number 173290, Certificate number 1054425.

Moneyhon, Carl H. (2000) Disloyalty and Class Consciousness in Southwestern Arkansas, 1862-1865. In Ann J. Bailey and Daniel E. Sutherland (Eds.) Civil War Arkansas: Beyond Battles and Leaders.pp.117-132). Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press

National Archives Records of Service Regiments

Sutherland, Daniel E. (2000) Guerrillas: The Real War in Arkansas. Ann J. Bailey and Daniel E. Sutherland (Eds.) Civil War Arkansas: Beyond Battles and Leaders. pp.133-154). Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press.

Weitz, Mark A. (2005). More Damning than Slaughter: Desertion in the Confederate Army. University of Nebraska Press.

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Photograph believed to be of Benjamin Franklin Logan (B.F. Logan), Cleveland County, NC, 1872

I recently purchased the following photograph (tintype) on eBay. The label on the back reads: “Sheriff Cleveland 1872.” The sheriff in Cleveland County, NC, in 1872 was B.F. (Benjamin Franklin) Logan. B.F. Logan and his family are covered in detail in “Logan Connections.”

My plan is to donate the photo to the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, Cleveland County, North Carolina, unless somebody has a better location to suggest. (I have been in close contact  with long-time correspondent, cousin, and dear friend, Betty Logan, formerly of Charlotte, NC,  who has been helping me run down potential sources for the photograph.)

Alternate suggestions are welcome: mljones@mac.com.

 

BF Logan Sheriff 6.jpg

IMG_20180726_0001 3.jpg

Quick survey of assorted Clinch / Clench / Clynch information

Source: Virginia in 1740: A Reconstructed Census, TLC Genealogy, Inc., 1992

No Clench; 7 listings for Clinch, all in Surry County; No Clynch

Source: Virginia County Records — Spotsylvania County, Volume I by Crozier

No Clench, Clinch, or Clynch

The following are all too late to be of help in terms of ancestry of William Logan of Spotsylvania County, VA, but for reference:

Virginia Marriages Early to 1800, Jordan R. Dodd, 2001

No Clench; No Clynch; 5 Clinch listings, but all in the timeframe 1786-1787: Surry, Frederick, and Culpeper counties

Virginia Wills and Administrations –1632-1800 by Torrence

No Clench; No Clynch; 1 Clinch, Brunswick County, Christopher, 1768

Virginia Tax Records, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1983

No Clench, Clinch, or Clynch

Virginia in 1760: A Reconstructed Census, TLC Genealogy, Inc., 1996

No Clench; No Clynch; Clinch: one in Bedford and two in Surry County

Virginia Will Records, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982

No Clench; No Clynch; Clinch, Christopher, Brunswick County, 1768; Surry County Will and Deed Book, 1730-1739

Virginia Marriages 1700-1799, Cecil D. McDonald, Jr.

Clinch, William and Rebecca Thompson, 29 Dec. 1777, Surry County

Virginia Land Records, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982

No Clench; No Clynch; Clinch, Mary; Clinch, Rebecca Edloe; Clinch, William

Some Clench and Clinch records

Essex County, Virginia, was one of the formation counties of Spotsylvania County. There are some CLENCH records from 1721 from Order Book Abstracts of Essex County, Virginia 1716-1723, Ruth and Sam Sparacio.

At a Court held for Essex County on Tuesday the 18th day of July 1721

Jacob CLENCH, a Servant boy belonging to ROBERT BEVERLEY is adjudged to be five years old.

Mary CLENCH, a Servant girl belonging to ROBERT BEVERLEY, is adjudged to be seven years old.


From Historic Roads of Virginia — Spotsylvania County Road Orders, 1722-1734, Nathaniel Mason Powlett, 1985

No Clench or Clinch; No Logan listed


St. Mark’s Parish Vestry Book, 1730-1785, Rosalie Edith Davis

Clinch, Jacob and Widdow [sic] Clinch; No LOGANs listed

Friday, October 11, 1745

Order that Alexdr. Parker, Gent. be paid four hundred and thirty six pds. of tobacco for tending the Weddow [sic] Clinch.

Order that Jacob Clinch be paid four hundred pds. of tobacco for Nursing and Burrying [sic] the Weddow Clinch.

Order that Francis Slaughter Gent. be paid two hundred pds. of tobacco for tending the Weddow Clinch.


There are numerous Clinch and Clench listings in the Library of Virginia Index to Wills and Administrations; however, most of them are far too recent to be of help to us. (Most are from Surry County, VA.)

Ditto for Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County. (These listings don’t begin until 1745.)

William Logan, “Clench / Clinch,” and Illegitimacy

Most William Logan (of Spotsylvania County, Virginia) researchers believe the court alias “Clench” or “Clinch” refers to illegitimacy. So do some impartial (non-Logan) Virginia researchers. Let me quote one, Ann Avery Hunter. This correspondence with Ann is from nearly 20 years ago (1999). Some excerpts:

“I have never seen an alias in a Court record that was assigned by the individual and I can’t think of any reason for it. I have seen records that say ‘William Garthright, known as Whisperer’ and ‘John Jones, called Frognose,’ but the only times I’ve seen ‘alias,” and I have seen a number of them, it has been in the case of an illegitimate birth. I have also heard that [so] stated in a talk by one of the experts on VA genealogy at a statewide conference.”

Ann Avery Hunter goes on to give some specific examples from her research. It’s a different county (Chesterfield), but the Virginia law/court system is the same, of course. “I spent a year reading the Chesterfield Co., VA Court Order books page by page and saw any number of ‘alias’ deeds and will beneficiaries. They were all illegitimate offspring who had to use their mother’s maiden name in legal documents. In many cases, the father was brought to court by the mother and ordered to pay support, so there was no question about why the ‘alias’ was used on later documents. Sometimes when these people left wills themselves, they had been using their father’s surname for so long that the will was recorded in that name. I guess by that time no one remembered or cared that this was not a legal name.” [Note: The Spotsylvania County, VA, court records referring to William Logan “alias Clench or Clinch” do not pertain to deeds and wills, so these specific examples don’t pertain except to bolster the case about aliases used in the colony of Virginia’s courts.]

Researcher Hunter goes on to offer this advice: “… look at the Spotsylvania Court Order books from the time your Logan ancestor was born until he was 14 or so and see if there is anything on a Clinch/Clench paying for his support. For the most part this happened just before the father was being legally married, probably because the mother was worried about not getting any help from him after his marriage.” [Note: The Spotsylvania Co. and Orange Co. records all appear to be after William Logan was older than 14; however, it’s still a good tip in terms of researching other counties where he may have been raised before coming to Spotsylvania.]

Ann Avery Hunter adds this: “Sometimes you need to read through ‘all’ of the Court documents in the time period in which your ancestor lived. About 1/3 of relevant information is found in documents not indexed under the surname you are searching for [!, exclamation mine].” She gives an example of three generations of one of her family lines that was indexed in the name of an unknown sister’s husband. None of her family left wills and had no other deeds, “so it was a dream come true.”

Most of us genies don’t get exercised about illegitimacy; nonetheless, since not everyone in one’s family is a genealogist (I repeat: alas), it’s always good to add some context:

  • In colonial Virginia, for the most part, the “crime” of bearing an illegitimate child fell on the mother. [Aside: Women couldn’t vote or serve in the House of Burgesses. All laws were written by men and adjudicated by men.]
  • For colonial Virginia, there are three major factors to keep in mind regarding extramarital activity: gender (see first bullet point), class, and race. [Aside: Come to think of it, we’re not that far removed from colonial times after all.]
  • In terms of social class, many colonists were indentured servants, that is, people who got their ocean passage paid and were then “bound” in service for several years’ work. (Far more people came over by indenture than paid their own passage.) By definition and circumstance, these people were not the wealthy upper class, of course.
  • Indentured servants weren’t allowed to marry. A term of indenture could be seven years. This presented some challenges when a young couple fell in love, but had to wait several years to marry.
  • At the same time, women who were indentured as servants often worked in their master’s home, isolated. Sexual predation by men to whom they were indentured was common. Those men held most of the power in the equation. In addition, masters sometimes deliberately tried to impregnate indentured females to extend their time of indenture.
  • Several writers point to both the gender imbalance in colonial Virginia and the comparative “weakness of community institutions and standards,” especially in the frontier communities, which is what Spotsylvania County was at the time, to explain why the illegitimacy rate in the colony was 2-3 times higher than in England.

William Logan and “Clench/Clinch” confusion

When it comes to William Logan of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, I’m reminded of the famous Mark Twain line: “The researches of many commentators have thrown much darkness upon this subject, and it is probable that if they continue we shall soon know nothing at all about it.” Certainly a broad overstatement in this case, and besides, I’ve been one of those well-meaning “commentators.” That said, however….

Here’s my concern. Many Logan researchers, in their attempt to IDENTIFY William Logan, sometimes “alias Clench / Clinch” in Virginia court records, from among all the other potential William Logans “out there,” refer to him as William “Clench” Logan. This is very helpful as an identifier for us genie researchers and also as a clue to possible ancestry (more on that in a subsequent post); however, it neither accurately reflects how William Logan referred to himself nor how other people referred to him and knew him.

This is an important distinction. Think about yourself. Take off your “genie” hat for a moment. What if, years from now, people referred to you in a way you never were referred to in life? Family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, yourself: Nobody used your name this way or called you by this court alias when you were alive. It would be exceedingly odd for people to “begin” to use a name never used in your lifetime (except in court). Alas, not everybody is, or will be, a genie. Unintentionally, we may have confused the issue for future readers of our research and for those new to researching William Logan of Spotsylvania County.

This rendering of his name has led some people to think William Logan had an alias in the popular, not legal, sense; that is, that “Clench” or “Clinch” was an alias like Billy “The Kid”, Alan “The Horse” Ameche, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, or Vito “Babe” Parilli. That is most certainly not the case with William Logan at that time and place (1720s, 30s, and 40s in colonial Virginia). Nobody called him “Clench” or “Clinch” on the street.

Then there’s the fact that William Logan, “alias Clinch or Clench” (certainly the two spellings are simply a matter of interpreting the writing: Is it an “i” or an “e”), has somehow become only “Clench.” Why not “Clinch”? Why is one picked over the other? I have never heard an explanation for that choice.

It’s also important to point out that, in all the Spotsylvania and Orange County, Virginia, court records that reference William Logan (once or twice, Login), there are approximately four times as many which refer to him as “William Logan” than as “alias Clench or Clinch.”

My view is that we should look at Clench or Clinch as valuable clues to possible ancestry (more in another post) and that among ourselves as genealogical researchers, it may be helpful to use “Clench or Clinch” as an identifier. But we may want to do a bit of explaining, too; provide some context; and not merely call him William “Clench” Logan. With the best of intentions, in the process of identifying this William Logan, we are simultaneously misleading people about his name. We are unintentionally “throwing darkness on this subject.”

The next post will look at the possibilities that “alias Clench or Clinch” give us for furthering our knowledge of his ancestry — and ours.

 

 

 

 

William Logan, 1st North Carolina Battalion, Revolutionary War, 1777-1778

William Logan, one of the four Logan brothers at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, served earlier as a private with the First North Carolina Battalion, commanded by Colonel Thomas Clark.

Source: “Roll of Lt. Colonel Mebane’s Company of the First North Carolina Battalion, commanded by Colonel Thomas Clark, September 8th, 1778,” Army Returns, Book 27, page 22, North Carolina State Archives