Auglaize County, Ohio

History and Genealogy

History of Auglaize County

Logan, or Captain Logan

Logan, whose Indian name was Spenica Lawbe, i.e., the High Horn, was taken prisoner when a youth, by Gen. Logan in his expedition against the Mack-a-chack town of Logan County in 1786. This youth was named Logan by the whites in Kentucky, to which name the title of captain was afterward prefixed. His appearance was commanding, as he was about six feet high, weighed two hundred pounds, and possessed the lofty bearing of the true savage. His intimacy with the whites ripened into friendship, and became of great service to the Americans, for whom he fought with constancy until he offered up his life in their cause in 1812. After the fall of Detroit, the commander at Ft. Wayne, Col. Johnson, became solicitous about the safety of the women and children under his charge, and desired their removal to some safer point in Ohio. He, therefore, called for volunteers to escort them to Ft. Piqua. Captain Logan responded at once, and so was given charge of a few other mounted volunteers who acted as escort. So solicitous was he on this mission, that it is said he never slept during the trip from Ft. Wayne to Piqua. Again, in September, while the troops lay at Piqua awaiting flints, agent Johnson, at the instance of Gen. Harrison, secured the services of Logan as a spy. In this capacity he proceeded undiscovered, entered Fort Wayne, and returned safely with the intelligence of the siege of the fort and the death of Stephen Johnston, the agent's brother, who was shot while attempting to escape with the news of the siege. This information was of great importance to Gen. Harrison, who at once pushed the army forward to the relief of the besieged garrison. In November, 1812, he was placed in charge of a small party of scouts by Gen. Harrison, with instructions to reconnoitre in the direction of the Maumee Rapids. When near this point they met a superior force of the enemy, and were compelled to retreat. Logan, in company with his favorite companions, Captain Johnny and Bright Horn, escaped to the left wing of the army under command of Gen. Winchester, who was informed of their adventure. A subordinate officer without provocation charged Logan with infidelity to the Americans and sympathy for the enemy. Stung with indignation, the chief called a friend to witness that he would refute the foul charge the next day, by either leaving his body to bleach in the woods, or returning with the warrior's trophy of victory. Accordingly, on the 22d of November, in compare with his faithful friends, Captain Johnny and Bright Horn, he started down the Maumee. About noon, while resting, they were surprised by seven savages, among whom were the Pottawatomie Chief Winnemac and young Elliott, bearing a British commission. Outnumbered, as he was, Logan met Winnemac with open hand, told him they were tired of the American cause, and just then deserting to join the English. The suspicions of Winnemac caused him to disarm his prisoners, and then proceed toward the British camp at the rapids. These three, however, had no idea of remaining prisoners, and at once commenced planning an escape. Their prudence inspired that confidence in their captors which caused their guns to be restored, and, while marching along, they contrived to place bullets in their mouths to have in readiness for reloading when the opportunity presented. Captain Johnny, to remove the suspicion which might attach to this movement, remarked, "me chaw heap tobac." In the evening they encamped on Turkey Foot creek, about twenty miles from the American camp. Here, believing the prisoners to be deserters as represented, the captors rambled about in search of black haws. Some were out of sight when Logan signalled the attack upon those who remained. At the first fire two of the enemy fell dead, and a third mortally wounded. At this onset all parties came in reach, fired, and "treed." There were now four of the enemy, which gave such an advantage that, while Logan watched the front, the fourth passed around until the great warrior was exposed, and shot him through the body. Two of the surviving four were at this moment wounded, and compelled to fall back. At this juncture Captain Johnny mounted Logan, mortally wounded, and Bright Horn, also wounded, upon two of the enemy's horses, when they left the field and reached Winchester's camp about midnight. Captain Johnny secured the scalp of Winnemac, and, proceeding on foot, reached camp about daylight. Of the seven captors, five were either killed or mortally wounded by Logan and companions. This event produced a mournful sensation in camp, as all regretted the accusation which produced such unhappy results. Logan died two or three days later, after requesting Col. Johnson to send his two sons to Kentucky to be educated by Major Hardin. Col. Johnson did all he could to carry out the wishes of the dead chief, but was frustrated in his efforts by the Indians, and especially by the mother of the boys, who prevented the execution of the colonel's plans. The children accompanied their mother to the west, and became as wild as any of the race. Of Logan it may be said he was popularly esteemed for bravely, fidelity, and magnanimity. He was closely identified with this county, as his home was at Wapakoneta, where his remains were brought for burial. In consideration of his fidelity he was granted a section of land within the county, still known as the "Logan Section," in the township bearing his name. His last acts exhibit that high sense of honor which proferred death to a dastard's or traitor's name. On these qualities is built the immortality of his fame.

From "History of Auglaize County, Ohio, with the Indian History of Wapakoneta, and the First Settlement of the County", Robert Sutton, Publishers, Wapakoneta, 1880