Scottish Rite Education
Scottish Rite Education

Scottish Rite Education

Ref pg 221, House Undivided, by Allen E. Roberts

Battle of Ezra Chapel in Georgia on July 28, 1864.

A group of Confederates were sent to locate the body of Colonel Ben H. Heart of the 22nd Alabama.

While searching the group found a marker made of two cracker box boards inscribed: “Here lies Capt. Thomas I. Sharpe, of the 10th Mississippi Regimen, buried with full honors by his brother Masons of the New Jersey Regiment.”

Ref book, Better Angels of Our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War, By Michael A Halleran, a freelance writer, practicing attorney, and active mason.

Savannah Lodge Stories

In the records of a lodge in Savannah and the Georgia Masonic Messenger after Union soldiers captured the beaches on Hilton Head a white flag of truce was used to deliver a message to the Confederate lines. A Union soldier had passed his fellow craft and would they be able to find a nearby lodge to test and raise him to a Master Mason?

Within days a detail of Confederate calvary escorted the Fellowcraft Mason and several Union Master Masons of the North safely through the 30 miles to Savannah to conduct the raising, with all returning safely afterwards.

John McElroy of Co. L. 16th Illinois Calvary in his writings mentions masons providing medicine, food, tent materials, and more within the prisoner camp.

In Wisconsin, three lodges were forced to give up their charters because too many of their members were in the Armed forces. However, in this same state 19 new lodges were chartered during the same period of three years.

From the internet

Savannah Lodge completed a Union soldier’s MM degree during the conflict.

L. J. Williams of Harvard, NY enlisted in the 114th NY Volunteers at the beginning of the Civil War. He received the EA and FC degrees in Downsville Lodge # 464 prior to leaving home. He was captured and imprisoned near Savannah, Ga. He made his status known to his friends in the north and they used the proper channels and got in touch with Zerubbabel Lodge in Savannah. Would they convey the 3d degree? They did and then afterward, he was allowed to escape to his friends. He never revealed who helped him or how it happened.

Ref pg 152 House Undivided, By Allen E. Roberts

Apron from 1676 saves a home!

Frank Brame was living alone with his mother near West Point while his father and elder brothers were in the Confederate Army. He awakened in the night to matrices being piled in his homes hallway and lit on fire. One soldier found something and ran off to tell an officer who forced those engaged to cease. Guards were posted and the group was later pushed away by Nathan Forest. The object found was a Masonic Apron, “of curious workmanship and material that had been in the Brame family since 1676.”

Ref House Reunited, pg 14 – 22 by Allen E. Roberts

Individuals avoiding conscription.

“A substitute Wanted!” This was found in an advertisement in the Southern Confederacy, on May 3, 1862. Call at the Masonic Building. Note that the procuring of substitutes became a huge market, developing into brokers and agents, many of whom disregarded the laws of the state as well as moral considerations. Clams of prices for substitutes rose from $1,500 to $10,000 and more. Conscription was not the least bit popular in either the north or south.

Ref House Reunited, pg 14 – 22 by Allen E. Roberts

Who was blamed for the draft?

Who was blamed for the draft that resulted in this substitute market? In short, Freemasons.

In Ozaukee Lodge # 17, Port Washington Wisconsin November 10, 1862, a mob ransacked the lodge. It took a month and the use of troops to restore order.

Side note, not a single Grand Lodge missed an Annual Communication during the 4 years of war.

Side note, military traveling lodges were popular with the soldiers but had mixed results from a Grand Lodge viewpoint. Also, surviving records were scant with the exception of Texas Military traveling lodges which maintained fairly complete records. The claim is that the quality of many of those entering Masonry would never have passed if they were in their regions with a local lodge. From Texas, 33 of the Military Lodges issued dispensation, “a surprisingly large number…made complete returns to Grand Lodge”, according to Clyde B. Westbrook. And Texas is fortunate in another respect—the documents have been retained in the Grand Lodge Library and Museum.

Ref House Reunited, pg 14 – 22 by Allen E. Roberts

The Confederates guerilla warfare was very successful.

In the upper New England state of Vermont, the Confederacy struck. In St. Albans, A Royal Arch Chapter had a meeting interrupted by the noise of their banks being robbed. 21 Confederate soldiers raided the banks at 3 pm on Oct 19, 1864. The Confederates held the town in the name of the Confederacy for less than 30 minutes. Then, hotly pursued they escaped to Canada. The robbers successfully removed many thousands of dollars from the town. They also left several buildings ablaze, one for a full day from Greek fire in the water closets of the American Hotel.

Ref House Reunited, pg 14 – 22 by Allen E. Roberts

Union conduct after Savannah falls.

Savannah fell on December 21, 1864, to Federal forces. General John W. Geary was the Union’s commanding officer. His generous conduct moved Solomon’s Lodge # 1, F & AM during its “regular communication” held at “7 ½ O’clock” on the evening of March 15, 1866: (several paragraphs praising the conduct of General Geary, who was a Mason. This resolution is important because it shows what the commanding officer of an “enemy” force did from the perspective of those he had liberated. It shows another Freemason who was putting into practice those lessons he had learned within a Masonic Lodge. He was the Governor of Pennsylvania by this time, and he wrote a very humble reply as well.

Conrad Hahn

But men still wage a bitter warfare

Against the powers of hate and greed.

Ignorance spawns anew her coarse and spiteful soldiers:

Yet brothers everywhere our love will be needed.
Now wake the souls of those who dare to see

That life is love

And love will win

Wherever men must Brothers Be!