From Pilgrimage to Promise: Civil War Heritage and the Landis Boys of Logansport


The author traces the positive spirit of a Union regiment through its assistant surgeon, Abraham Landis, and his sons, who gained fame in San Juan, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, and Washington, D.C. In their enduring optimism, the "Landis boys" remind us today of the spirit of the Thirty-Fifth Ohio Volunteers, when patriotism and respect for others were the norm. Their charm, warmth, integrity, and good humor are reflected on these pages. This fascinating chronicle is beautifully organized and artfully told. It touches all walks of life and includes many remarkable moments in history.

The Landis boys' paternal and maternal ancestry of Landises and Kumlers made their way from Europe to opportunity in the Pennsylvania province in 1749. They dealt with the discord and uncertainties of the American Revolution and, as farmers, preachers, and physicians, prospered and sought further opportunity by moving west to Ohio in the early 1800s. In 1862, Abraham Landis left his wife with five small children and served as a Union surgeon. After being wounded and imprisoned, he was discharged and taught his five sons-Walter, Charles, John, Frederick, and Kenesaw Mountain-about his "pilgrimage through the Confederacy." The Landis boys, heirs to ancestral and colonial tradition, grew to appreciate their father's abolitionist stand as a Civil War surgeon and, finding opportunity in a small-town setting, went on to achieve national prominence in the twentieth century. From modest beginnings, all five sons prospered-Walter as the first Postmaster of Puerto Rico, Frederick and Charles as U.S. Congressmen, John as a pioneering Health Officer of Cincinnati, and Kenesaw Mountain as the first Commissioner of Baseball. Numerous vintage photographs and illustrations enliven the narrative.

Lincoln Landis

(2006), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, 438 pp.

ISBN: 9780788438318