Watts, Griffin, Logan Quartet Whose Deeds Will Long Be Remembered
From the 1938 centennial edition of The Times-Register
One of Salem’s greatest war heroes was Colonel Robert C. Allen who moved to Salem from Bedford in 1857, and entered into the practice of law with Col. William Watts. He led the Twenty-Eighth Virginia Infantry Regiment in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg and after six color bearers were shot down in that fatal charge he, though wounded in the shoulder, seized the flag and called on his men to follow him as he attempted to scale the wall at Cemetery Hill and fell mortally wounded. He was shot twice in the head, besides suffering the shoulder wound. He lies buried in an unknown grave in Gettysburg.
In his regiment were the “Roanoke Grays” and the exploits of Col. Allen at Gettysburg were afterward related by Henry S. Trout who was near him when he was killed.
Another War Hero
One of Salem’s most distinguished sons and a civil war hero was Col. Robert Henry Logan who was born in the town of Salem on July 10, 1839. He entered West Point as a young man and would have graduated from that place in the class of 1861 had he not resigned a few months before graduation to serve his native state. He served as an instructor at Lynchburg and later took part in the campaigns in West Virginia and Kentucky and still later in Virginia and Maryland. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in command of the 45th Virginia Regiment. He was wounded in three engagements and captured once but escaped. Three times were horses shot from under him, once at Fort Donaldson and twice at Winchester. Following the war he studied law and practiced in Salem. He died December 26, 1900.
Captain Charles B. Griffin who was in charge of the Salem Flying Artillery following the resignation of Captain Abram Hupp goes down in history as the man who fired the last shot in the War Between the States. He was born in Salem on August 29, 1833 and received his early education here, later attending Roanoke College and finally graduating in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He practiced in Salem until he joined the local artillery company.
When war was declared he joined the Salem Flying Artillery as surgeon but when Captain Hupp became incapacitated, he was elected as commander of the company.
Following the war he again returned to his medical practice in Salem but following the war his health was not good. During the four long years of warfare, he suffered many hardships and these sufferings showed their effect on his health in later years. He died here in 1885 and when he was laid to rest the pallbearers were members of that famous company which he led during the civil war.
-Prepared by Lisa King