Note to self. The Laravel docs are here that cover Authentication. But when it came time to use a filter and a non email based user name I had to modify the auth.basic filter, or any filter you want to use.

It ended up looking like this since I wanted user_account and not email to be the username for authentication.

Route::filter('auth.basic', function()
    return Auth::basic('user_account');

You can see this option here

public function basic($field = 'email', Request $request = null)