Research Subjects: Biographies

Not One in Ten Thousand Know Your Name: the Officers of the British 1st Battalion of Detachments in 1809 -- Captain William Logie 92nd Foot

By Robert Burnham and Ron McGuigan

Major William Logie
Major William Logie
(Image provided by Robert Huggard)

William Logie was christened on 12 November 1782 at Edinburgh Parish, Midlothian, Scotland. His parents were Alexander Logie and Agnes Cluny.  He had four brothers and four sisters and was the second child and the oldest son.[1]

William Logie was commissioned as an ensign without purchase in the 92nd Foot in 1800.[2]  He would be part of the British Army that defeated the French in Egypt in early 1801.[3]  On 20  August 1801, he was promoted to lieutenant without purchase.[4]  Sometime in the next two years he would go on half pay, most likely in 1802 with the Peace of Amiens.  On 17 March 1803, Lieutenant Logie came off half pay by exchanging back to full pay in the regiment with Lieutenant William Macpherson.[5] On 16 March 1808, he married Mary McNair, who was 23 years old and from Skelmorlie Scotland .[6]  In May 1808, Lieutenant Logie was promoted to captain without purchase, with a date of rank of 5 May 1808.[7]

Captain Logie was with the 92nd when they landed in Portugal in 1808.  He was left behind when the regiment marched into Spain as part of General Moore’s army.  He was attached to the 1st Battalion of Detachments in February 1809 and would command its Gordon Company, made up of him, “. . . Lieutenant Cattanach, Lieutenant Durie, Surgeon Beattie, eight sergeants, a piper, and seventy-six rank and file.”[8]  Captain Logie led the company during the Douro Campaign and the capture of Oporto, but “When the regiment marched from Oporto Lieutenant John Durie was left behind sick, and the following day the same fate befell the good Captain Logie, which every man in the company was sorry for, the more so as no officer of the 92nd was left with them, and they soon felt the want of him.”[9]

William Logie returned to the United Kingdom in September 1809 and would be united with his wife and son, who was born on 18 December 1808, while he was in Portugal.  He would join the 2nd Battalion, which was stationed in County West Meath, where his second son was born on 17 October 1810 at Althone.  In October 1811, the 2nd Battalion returned to Scotland , and William and Mary’s first daughter was born on 1 November 1811 at Greenfield.  A second daughter was born on 9 July 1813 in Irvine, Scotland , however Captain Logie had already returned to the Peninsula and had reported to the 1st Battalion by November.[10]  He would fight at the Nivelle, Garris, Orthes, Aire, Tarbes, and Toulouse.

In 1814, Captain Logie went half pay, most likely in October when the 2nd Battalion 92nd Foot was reduced. He was not in the regiment for the monthly army list of December 1814.  Captain Logie and his family were probably living in Renfrewshire, just west of Glasgow, for several years.  Two of their children were born there. His wife died on 2 August 1818.  On 2 February 1822, Captain Logie married Anne Smith of Gamrie, Banff, Scotland , who was 38 years old.  Their son was born on 16 December 1823 in Rosefield, Nairnshire, Scotland .[11]

Anne Logie
Anne Logie
(Image Provided by Robert Huggard)

In November 1824, he came off half pay as a captain in the newly raised 97th Foot.[12]  The following spring, the regiment would head to an overseas posting in Ceylon .  Captain Logie would take his family with him, and his youngest daughter Barbara, was born at sea on 31 July 1825.[13] He was given the rank of brevet major with a date of rank of 27 May 1825.[14] Since he was at sea, it would probably have been six to eight months before he was notified of his promotion.  On 20 March 1827, he was promoted to major in the army unattached and forced to go on half pay.  This was based a new interpretation of the regulations allowing for officers who held superior brevet rank to their regimental commissions to be promoted to unattached rank.[15] Once again, it would take many months for word to reach Major Logie of his promotion and being placed on half pay.

Major Logie sailed from Colombo, Ceylon on 13 December 1827, aboard the sailing bark Morning Star, captained by Thomas Gibbs.  Tragedy would strike the ship and Major Logie’s family before they arrived in England .  On 19 February 1828, they were accosted by pirates aboard the slave ship Black Joke led by Bernito de Soto.  Captain Gibbs, the first mate, and two sailors were killed and several of the crew were wounded.  The men were separated from the women and secured below.  The pirates pillaged the ship and raped all the women aboard.  In order to hide their crime, they bored holes in the sides of the ship intending to sink it.  They also destroyed much of the ship’s rigging. The pirates left the ship and sailed away.  The women then freed the crew and passengers.  A search of the ship discovered six feet of water in the hold and the ship’s charts were gone.  Only eight of the crew were fit for duty.  The remaining officer, George Bushby, had decided to sail to the nearest port, which was Pernambuco, Brazil ; but after discussing the situation with Major Logie, he decided to sail for England rather than risking running into more pirates.  On 13 March, they were able to obtain help from the Guilford, including some supplies, navigational instruments, and two sailors.  The ship made it to England on 18 April 1828.  De Soto was captured, tried, and hung in Gibraltar.[16]

On 23 March 1832, Major Logie retired from the army by selling his unattached commission.[17] He and his family immigrated to Canada in 1832 and settled in the Kingston, Ontario area.  He bought a house he named Glenlogie.  This house was built by Edwards Laws around 1820.  It was here that Major Logie entertained local and visiting military officers.[18]

While living in Kingston, Major Logie became involved in local businesses and government.  In 1835, he was a representative of the Midland District Agricultural Society.[19]  He was one of the directors of the Commercial Bank of Kingston in 1845[20] and petitioned the local government about the grammar schools in Kingston.[21] He helped suppress the Rebellion of 1837 - 1838, serving as a senior officer in the local militia that defended Kingston from an expected attack in February 1838.  His exact role is not known, however he was mentioned in a poem written by Lieutenant Hogg to commemorate the event:

“Cold blew the blast, and hard froze the night
Of the threat’ned attack, we all may remember;
But the sons of Old England stood firm in their might,
For bent was each breast to make no surrender.”
“Our gallant commander [Lieutenant Colonel Cubitt, Royal Artillery] the mischief foreboded,
In our fortress that night was determin’d to stand;
The slow-match was burning, the guns were all loaded
With grape-shot and canister by his command.”
“Our bold Commandant, [Major Logie] both fearless and daring,
A son of the brave old ‘Ninety-and-twa,’
His eye like the eagle’s, his soldier-like bearing,
Bespoke him the veteran of time that’s awa”[22]

In March 1838, some officers met at Barriefield.  "The adjutant who called the meeting was Lieutenant N. Bate, formerly a regular, who, along with a few British officers, put the Frontenac Militia into proper shape in a relatively short time. Some of the officers of the 3rd Regiment were well known Pittsburgh residents: Colonel John Marks; Lieutenant Colonel William Logie (who was also Fort Major at Fort Henry); Captain J. Matthewson, Alex. Cowan, and G. Strachan..."[23]

"By the time the 3rd Regiment had been organized the Rebellion was over; but then the so called Patriots in the United States , who sensed (wrongly) that the Canadians wished to be free of the British, began to make excursions into Canada . The most serious was the raid in the Prescott area, where the Battle of the Windmill took place in November 1838. During the absence of the British troops sent to this battle, the 3rd Regiment was mobilized and occupied Barriefield and the dockyard.  Afterwards, Lt Col Marks and Lt Col Logie were part of a court martial that tried and sentenced many of the captured rebels at Prescott."[24]

In 1841, William Logie was among those who met to help organize support for Presbyterian College, which eventually would become Queen’s University, in Kingston.  At least two of the men in the meeting would have buildings named after them, while a portrait of William Logie hangs in Summerhill – the guest house at the University.[25]

Major William Logie's Tomb
William Logie's Tomb
(Image Provided by Sue Huggard)

Major William Logie died on 17 June 1853 and is buried in Lot 126, Section N in the Catarqui Cemetery, Kingston, Ontario, Canada .  The inscription on his tombstone reads:

JUNE 17 1853


MARCH 10 1868



Anne Logie died in 1868.[27] One grandson, William Alexander Logie would become a major general and be a co -founder of the 71st Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. During World War I, he would be responsible for training camps at Niagara Falls and Borden.  In 1915 he assumed command of Military District #2 ( Toronto) and held the position for the duration of the war.  His son, Alexander Chisolm Logie, was a major in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada and was killed in action at Kappelenbach, Belgium during the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary on October 20th, 1944.  He is buried at Bergen-op-Zoom, Holland.[28]

Major Logie received the General Service Medal (Silver Medal) with clasps for Egypt , Nivelle, Orthes, and Toulouse.[29]

Acknowledgment: I would like to thank Robert and Sue Huggard of Canada, who have extensive papers on the Logie Family. They very generously provided background on William Logie and the images used in this article.


[1] Email from Robert Huggard, 18 October 2008; “Major William Logie”

[2] London Gazette: 10 May 1800

[3] Carter; pp. 19 - 32

[4] London Gazette: 7 November 1801

[5] London Gazette: 17 March 1803

[6] “Major William Logie”

[7] London Gazette: 3 May 1808

[8] Robinson; p. 16

[9] Ibid; p. 17

[10] Gardyne, pp. 417 – 419; Email from Robert Huggard, 18 October 2008

[11] “Major William Logie”; Email from Robert Huggard, 18 October 2008

[12] London Gazette: 12 November 1824

[13] “Major William Logie”

[14] London Gazette: 27 May 1825

[15] London Gazette: 19 March 1827

[16] Huggard; Ellms: pp. 73 – 84; Konstam: pp. 200 - 201

[17] London Gazette: 23 March 1832

[18] Patterson: p. 77; Alexander: pp. 23 - 24

[19] Patterson; p. 75

[20] MacPherson; p. 100

[21] Documentary; p. 24

[22] Bonnycastle; pp. 89 - 107

[23] Patterson; p. 28

[24] Ibid; p. 30

[25] Creighton, pp. 148 – 149; E-mail from Robert Huggard, dated 18 October 2008

[26]E-mail from Robert Huggard, dated 20 October 2008

[27] “Major William Logie”

[28] E-mail from Robert Huggard, dated 20 October 2008

[29] Mullens; p. 505

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2009

Not One in Ten Thousand Know Your Name: the Officers of the British 1st Battalion of Detachments in 1809 ]

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