John Alexander Logan (1826-1886), was a Major General during the Civil War, having served with General Grant at Vicksburg, Mississippi as well as with General Sherman on his march through Georgia to the sea. He was elected a U.S. Congressman from Illinois, 1858, and a U.S. Senator, 1871. On Decoration Day, 1886, in an oration at Riverside Park in New York, John Logan said:
"But the beautiful ceremonies of love and remembrance, now so universally performed with flowers, came to the fullest expansion through the growth of the Christian religion. Branches of palms were thrown in the path of our Savior as He entered Jerusalem. The crucified Christ received a crown of thorns from His executioners, but flowers strewn by unseen hands exhaled their fragrance around the cave where His body was laid." - Decoration Day, 1886, in an oration at Riverside Park in New York. Stephen Abbott Northrop, D.D., A Cloud of Witnesses (Portland, Oregon: American Heritage Ministries, 1987), p. 290.