The first in-depth study of the Freemasons during the Civil War
One of the enduring yet little-examined themes in Civil War lore is the widespread belief that on the field of battle and afterward, members of Masonic lodges would give aid and comfort to wounded or captured enemy Masons, often at great personal sacrifice and danger. This work is a deeply researched examination of the recorded, practical effects of Freemasonry among Civil War participants on both sides.
From first-person accounts culled from regimental histories, diaries, and letters, Michael A. Halleran has constructed an overview of 19th-century American freemasonry in general and Masonry in the armies of both North and South in particular, and provided telling examples of how Masonic brotherhood worked in practice. Halleran details the response of the fraternity to the crisis of secession and war, and examines acts of assistance to enemies on the battlefield and in POW camps.
The author examines carefully the major Masonic stories from the Civil War, in particular the myth that Confederate Lewis A. Armistead made the Masonic sign of distress as he lay dying at the high-water mark of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg.
"A valuable contribution to both Civil War history and the history of the Masonic lodge. Recommended." (CHOICE)
"[A] strong affirmation of the bond between warring Masonic brethren, in the war that brought more of them together on opposing sides than any in our history." (Christopher L. Hodapp, Editor, Journal of the Masonic Society)
"Michael Halleran has set a new, high standard for scholarship on Freemasonry in the Civil War. His stories are compelling, the research is impeccable, and his analysis gives fresh insights on the 'mystic tie' of the fraternity." (S. Brent Morris, Ph.D., Managing Editor, Scottish Rite Journal)
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Excellent Masonic and Civil War History
The book is well researched, with full citations and footnotes. It is a very interesting book which should be of interest to anyone researching Freemasonry. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook