Camp Logan
Camp Logan was a World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

-era army training camp in Houston, Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. The site of the camp is now primarily occupied by Memorial Park
Memorial Park, Houston, Texas
Memorial Park, a municipal park in Houston, Texas, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Opened in 1924, the park covers approximately inside the 610 Loop, across from the neighborhood of Memorial. Memorial Drive runs through the park, heading east to downtown Houston and west to...

 where it borders the Crestwood
Crestwood, Houston, Texas
The Crestwood neighborhood of Houston, Texas, is located just a few miles from downtown, along the north side of Memorial Drive, east of Memorial Park....

 neighborhood, near Memorial Elementary School. Some chunks of concrete, many building foundations, and extensive trenches used for training or middens still remain in the heavily-forested park. Many of the trails through the park in this area trace the routes of old Camp Logan roads. One stretch of a Camp Logan road remains in original condition, that being the shell-surfaced service road to the golf course.

A map of Camp Logan as well as other resources about the camp and its history are available at the Houston Public Library
Houston Public Library
Houston Public Library is the public library system serving Houston, Texas, United States. The library system has its headquarters in the Marston Building in Neartown Houston.-History:It can trace its founding to the Houston Lyceum in 1854...

 in the Texas and Local History Collection, housed in the Julia Ideson building
Julia Ideson Building
The Julia Ideson Building is a Houston Public Library facility in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States.The building, with Spanish Renaissance architecture, is part of the Central Library; it houses the archives, manuscripts, and the Texas and Local History Department...

, next door to the Central Library downtown.

A historical marker in the park across the street from the school commemorates the camp, and the 1917 riot
Houston Riot (1917)
The Houston Riot of 1917, or Camp Logan Riot, was a mutiny by 156 African American soldiers of the Third Battalion of the all-black Twenty-fourth United States Infantry. It occupied most of one night, and resulted in the deaths of four soldiers and sixteen civilians. The rioting soldiers were tried...

 that occurred there. The marker was, initially, to be placed by the Memorial Park golf course club house. This was strongly opposed by The Friends of Memorial Park. The group felt that the marker would be better suited for location in a right of way median located at Washington Avenue and Wescott, an area that was not a part of Memorial Park. The marker was finally placed on the edge of the park at the corner of Arnot Street and Haskell.

The Camp Logan Riot

On August 23, 1917, a riot erupted in Houston. Near noon, two policemen arrested a black soldier for interfering with their arrest of a black woman in the Fourth Ward. Early in the afternoon, when Cpl. Charles Baltimore, one of the twelve black military policemen with the battalion, inquired about the soldier's arrest, words were exchanged and the policeman hit Baltimore over the head. The MPs fled. The police fired at Baltimore three times, chased him into an unoccupied house, and took him to police headquarters.

Though he was soon released, a rumor quickly reached Camp Logan that Baltimore had been shot and killed. A large number of the soldiers decided to march on the police station in the Fourth Ward and secure his release. If the police could assault a model soldier like Baltimore, they felt none of them were safe from abuse.

Maj. Kneeland S. Snow, the battalion's commander, initially discounted the news of impending trouble. But around 8pm Sergeant Vida Henry of Company I confirmed the rumors. Kneeland ordered the company first sergeants to collect all rifles and search the camp for ammunition. As the order was being obeyed, a soldier suddenly shouted that a white mob from Houston was approaching the camp. Soldiers rushed into the supply tents, grabbed their rifles, and began firing wildly in the direction of supposed mob. The officers found it impossible to restore order. Sergeant Henry led more than 100 armed soldiers towards Houston, by way of Brunner Avenue and San Felipe Street and into the Fourth Ward. In their two-hour march on the city, the mutinous soldiers killed fifteen white civilians, including four policemen, and seriously wounded twelve others, one also a policeman, subsequently died. Four black soldiers also died; two were accidentally shot by their own men, one in camp and the other on San Felipe Street. They Captain Joseph Mattes of the Illinois National Guard, mistaking him for a policeman, then began quarreling over their course of action. After two hours of terror, Henry advised the men to return to camp and shot himself in the head.

Early next morning, August 24, civil authorities imposed a curfew in Houston. On the twenty-fifth, the army hustled the Third Battalion aboard a train to Columbus, New Mexico. There, seven black mutineers agreed to testify against the others in exchange for clemency. Between November 1, 1917, and March 26, 1918, the army held three separate courts-martial in the chapel at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The military tribunals indicted 118 enlisted men of I Company for participating in the mutiny and riot, and found 110 guilty. It was wartime, and the sentences were harsh. Nineteen mutinous soldiers were hanged and sixty-three received life sentences in federal prison. One was judged incompetent to stand trial. Two white officers faced courts-martial, but they were released. No white civilians were brought to trial. The Houston Riot of 1917 was one of the saddest chapters in the history of American race relations. It vividly illustrated the problems that the nation struggled with on the home front during wartime.

Camp Logan also developed further notorious attention among the residents of Houston the following year as the focal point of the first widespread local outbreak of the deadly 1918 Spanish Flu
Spanish flu
The 1918 flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic, and the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus . It was an unusually severe and deadly pandemic that spread across the world. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin...

. By September 24 of that year over 600 cases had been reported by the US Army surgeons at the camp, who made the fateful decision to send the sick to homes and hospitals in the community to try to protect those soldiers still healthy at the camp. By October 3 doctors reported 48 soldiers from the camp had died from the flu and it had begun to rapidly spread through the city. By October 9 the local newspapers reported that 33 flu related deaths had now occurred in the city and that the Mayor, District Clerk, and 20 police officers had contracted. Flu cases in the city were now reported to be in the thousands and steps were being take to put quarantines in place. Public schools, restaurants, and gatherings were shut down including the Barnum & Bailey Circus and local churches.

In recent years, Camp Logan refers to the neighborhood tucked in to the northeast corner of Memorial Park
Memorial Park, Houston, Texas
Memorial Park, a municipal park in Houston, Texas, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Opened in 1924, the park covers approximately inside the 610 Loop, across from the neighborhood of Memorial. Memorial Drive runs through the park, heading east to downtown Houston and west to...

, bordered by Westcott and Arnot streets, north of Memorial Elementary School.

External Links

Map of Camp Logan, 1918]
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