The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.
Wesley Logan of Wayne County, Missouri, enlisted with the 11th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) at Ft. Smith, Arkansas, on November 4, 1863. Logan’s status—whether enslaved or free—before joining the army is not known, nor are the exact circumstances of why he went to Arkansas to enlist. It may have been due to the hostile conditions in Missouri where slave owners and guerrillas patrolled the countryside to prevent enlistments. To make matters worse, some of the district provost marshals refused black enrollment or, at the very least, failed to encourage it.The 11th USCT served at Ft. Smith on garrison duty until November 1864, when it was ordered east toward Little Rock. Then 150 of its members joined a detachment of the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry to capture a Confederate encampment at Boggs Mill, where they seized papers, flour, 18 horses, and 20 stand of weapons on January 24, 1865. Logan may not have participated in this affair. He had spent much of the fall and early winter seasons of 1864 recovering from an unspecified illness that kept him in the fort’s hospital.