Lewistown in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Story of the Logan Guard
A volunteer militia company known as the Logan Guards of Lewistown, Pennsylvania was formed during the years just prior to the Civil War. In the spring of 1858 five young men of the town—R.W. Patton, Frank Sterrett, J. Ard Mathews, William Weber and Jacob Hamaker—organized meetings to establish such a company and the unit took shape. Well trained and drilled in the military methods of the day, the Logan Guards became a fixture at events across Mifflin County. In a ceremony in September 1859, the ladies of Lewistown presented the volunteers with an impressive silk flag, bearing the image of Logan, noted American Indian, and the company's namesake. The motto "Heroic Actions Win Immortality" Emblazed on the front.
Following the surrender of Fort Sumter in April 1861, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to protect Washington, D.C. On April 16, 1861, a telegram arrived at Lewistown Junction from Prennsylvania Governor Curtin requesting troops to defend the Union. Logan Guards commander, John B. Selheimer replied, "We are coming." Captain Selheimer sent out the all across the county and ninety-two men mustered around the
Four other companies from eastern Pennsylvania joined the Logan Guard at Harrisburg, where the troops were sworn into ninety days of Federal service. Now numbering over five hundred men, they journeyed together to Washington, collectively known to posterity as the First Defenders. The troops faced a menacing, pro-Southern mob intent on stopping their progress as they made a perilous march through Baltimore, Maryland en route to the capital city. Eventually, the Logan Guards and other volunteers billeted on the night of April 18, 1861 in the halls of U.S. Congress and other government buildings. That first night, while receiving new weapons and fresh ammunition, President Lincoln greeted each man personally, thanking them for their prompt response to the impending crisis.
When the country was in peril, the Logan Guards responded like the Minute Men of old. Over one third of the original 92 volunteers received commissions during the Civil War, and served in a large number of Pennsylvania
Note: Generally when speaking it is common to address a group of soldiers as the Guard, as in National Guard, or the Home Guard. In what seems contrary to modern military nomenclature, the name "Logan Guards, (with an "s) has appeared in print since the company's founding in 1858. The group wrote about themselves as "Logan Guards." The company flag, presented by the ladies of Lewistown in 1859 refers to the volunteer unit on the flag as the Logan Guards.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1861.
Location. 40° 35.836′ N, 77° 34.445′ W. Marker is in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, in Mifflin County. Marker is on South Main Street south of East Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 East Market Street, Lewistown PA 17044, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Masonic Temple Building (a few steps from this marker); Mifflin County's Finest and Most Luxurious Theatre WMRF (within shouting distance of this marker); Benedict Mansion House (within shouting distance of this marker); 10 South Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Mifflin County Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); 12 South Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Fosnot-Wilson Building (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewistown.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 1, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 612 times since then and 282 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 1, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3. submitted on June 29, 2023, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.