Mahoning Valley claims link to origin of Memorial Day

By William Lewis

YOUNGSTOWN — Memorial Day, the day on which graves of veterans are decorated, has a long and well-established connection to the Mahoning Valley.

In the days after the Civil War, Gen. John A. Logan, commander and chief of the Grand Army of the Republic of the Union forces, issued General Order 11 instructing veterans to decorate graves of comrades who died in the conflict.

This order resulted in the establishment of Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day.

The Mahoning Valley’s connection to the holiday lies in Youngstown’s historic Oak Hill Cemetery on the city’s South Side, where Logan’s son, Maj. John A. Logan, is buried.

John Logan married Edith Andrews of the prominent Youngstown steelmaking family and lived here during the 1890s. His military service included the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, where he was killed by a sniper’s bullet in 1899. Logan was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award that can be given to military personnel.

In the years since Gen. Logan issued Order 11 and his son was buried at Oak Hill, generations of veterans have decorated Logan’s grave along with the graves of thousands of other veterans buried in area cemeteries.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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