The Logan Battery, a civil war replica cannon that adorned the front lawn of the Brandeis School of Law for nearly 40 years, is gone — and has been for nearly eight months.
Questions have been raised about why the iconic landmark was removed, where it is now, and whether or not it is coming back. According to UofL Director of University Planning, Design and Construction Kenneth Dietz, Mother Nature is the reason the cannon is currently sitting in a University’s storage facility.
“The primary problem was the wood wheels and spokes, which is typical of a parrot gun of that time period,” Dietz said. “When a wood wheel is in a static position on the ground it’s susceptible to rot due to moisture, which then allows easy access to wood eating insects. When we got to the scene eight months ago the damage was so bad that the cannon was already on the ground, so we went about looking for a solution.”
In 2010, the cannon suffered the exact same damage and was successfully repaired. But the artisans who worked on the battery in 2010 are not currently available, leading Dietz to search for alternative solutions.
“We’re trying to line up parts, as there are some people who still make wood wheels, and asking area blacksmiths and Physical Plant if they would be interested in replacing the wood wheels, making repairs and re-installing the cannon. We have also been given the name of the curator of a Civil War museum to recommend other qualified craftsperson,” he said.
The cannon was dedicated May 13, 1978, to honor General John Alexander Logan, an 1851 law school graduate who served under multiple generals including General Ulysses S. Grant, during the Civil War.
Logan returned to his home state of Illinois serving multiple terms in the U.S. Congress as both a representative and senator and ran for U.S. vice president in 1884. He also founded the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Union Civil War veterans that was instrumental in the creation of Memorial Day.
Dietz says the landmark will return, but the timetable and cost for the repair is not known at this time.