Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Civil War Soldier's Promise is Kept

In the earlier post aout the journey home of Thomas Logan Johnson, I mentioned he had promised his wife, Julia, a home like they had had in Tenneesee.

Ten years after their arrival home, the home was built on their farm 2 miles south of Beulah, Missouri.  There were no nails in the home, rather pegs were whittled by the boys to secure the home together.  My husband's great grandfather was ten years old at the time, so that would have put the year at 1877 when they built the home.

It was described to me 'as the style where the hall goes all the way through the house'.  That would mean it was a 'dog trot' which is reasonable since Tenneesee was known for it's dog trot cabins.

A single story dog-trot cabin located in Lincoln Parish, LA.  Photo from Wilkipedia

After the first winter, they had to close in the 'dog-trot' as it was too cold in Missouri in the winter to leave it completely open.  The house was also described as large so I've assumed it was a 2 story dogtrot which was quite rare.  Was this like the one they had in Tenneesee where Logan had grown up as a boy?  I don't know, but it's fun to surmise.
A two story dog-trot cabin that is in Alabama.  Also from Wilkipedia.
Sadly, the Johnson Dog-Trot cabin burned to the ground during the early days of the Great Depression.  Toledo Johnson's sister, known as Aunt Mattie, a daughter of Logan and Julia, was living in the home at the time.   It probably also explains why there are no known mementos of Logan's CSA service nor any photos of the family.  It must have all went up in flames.

The caption says this is a photo of Toledo Johnson, the baby conceived on the long journey home from war, holding his first great grandchild in 1942.  The lady is Florence, his wife, holding the same baby.  The photo was taken on their farm near Houston, Missouri.

I am glad that neither Logan nor Julia lived to see their fine cabin burned to the ground.  I think they would have found that very distressing.  I only wish I could find a picture of it. 

As I've mentioned, we are planning to go to the area and re-trace the steps home that Logan and Julia would have taken from Claiborne Parish, Louisana, back to Beulah, Missouri.  I just discovered that Road Scholar (used to be called Elderhostel) has a 5 day program in September of 2012 in Springfield, Missouri on "The Civil War West of the Mississippi River".  I think that sounds like a delightful way to start our journey and will check out the details.


  1. I think your trip is a fantastic way to retrace the route of Logan and Julia.

  2. I would love to take a journey like that. To walk in their footsteps. It would be a very touching experience for sure.

    Florence looks mighty frail in that photo. goodness...

  3. I'm so happy for your family, that you have this much info, and that you are writing it all down for future generations.

    Very often, I wonder about things but don't have my parents or grandparents to ask. I failed to get it all down when I could have.