civil war brotherhood among soldiers
Civil War soldiers - Union and Confederate
Savannah, Georgia reported this story of Civil War soldiers from his Masonic lodge records.
was a time not long after Fort Sumter, and the War of Northern Aggression was
well under way. The Yankees, as they are still wont to do, had promptly
flocked to Hilton Head and Tybee Islands, the barrier islands on opposite
sides of the mouth of the Savannah River. The Savannah folks didnít mind
much that the Yankees had stolen the good beaches, for the water was still a
bit cool for Southern preferences and, besides, they knew the gnats and
mosquitoes would teach the Yankees a lesson theyíd never forget. So, the
Southerners, as Southerners are wont to do sometimes, just waited.
didnít have to wait very long before the Yankees on Hilton Head sent out a
messenger under a white flag. It seemed that the Yankees had among them a
young fellow who had passed through the Fellow Craft Degree before shipping
out. The Yanks were just sitting around slapping gnats when it
occurred to one of them that, just maybe, there was a nearby lodge that
could test him in the Fellow Craft Degree, and raise him to that of a Master
luck would have it, there was indeed a lodge in Savannah that would soon be
having a Masters Degree. One
morning, not too many days later, a detail of Confederate Cavalry slipped
across the Savannah River into South Carolina and traveled through Bluffton
to the shore opposite Hilton Head island.
there they escorted one Fellow Craft Mason and, I believe, a number of
Master Masons of the Northern Persuasion, safely through the Confederate
Lines, and back through about 35 miles of Confederate defenses to Savannah,
where the candidate and his witnesses were delivered into the lodge.
records note that this Brother was indeed proficient in the Fellow Craft
Degree, and he was raised to
the Degree of a Master Mason. That
night another detail of Confederate Cavalry, no doubt Brothers to a man,
slipped back across the Savannah River and safely escorted their Brothers
back to Hilton Head.
I have loved this story since the first time I heard it. It clearly
demonstrates that, at the darkest period in our Nationís history, when
brothers were killing brothers, Brothers could still be Brothers.
Georgia Masonic Messenger article by John Hohenstein, Zerubbabel Lodge No. 15, Savannah, Georgia; reprinted by Southern California Research Lodge in August 2008; published online by Sanford Holst on www.MasonicSourcebook.com, 5 February 2009.
If you pass this piece of history on to others, please credit the sources.
How does a secretive society build men who are this generous to their brothers among "the enemy"? The roots of these and other unusual practices in Masonry are deeply explored in the book Sworn in Secret. The Scottish Rite Journal calls this new book, "Thought-provoking, well researched and well written."
Sworn in Secret
Savannah during the Civil War
Civil War Brotherhood Among Soldiers
Muskets used by soldiers
in the Civil War
Civil War map
Worshipful Master of
Home Lodge No. 721
Eduardo Estrada (now PM)
Much like kings of old, the Worshipful Master at Home Lodge liked to be regaled with a good tale from time to time. Lacking a court bard or poet, he once asked for a bit of Masonic history to be read, and the account at left was that story.
Nothing like degrees to bring brothers together.
-- Gary, Los Angeles
During the Civil War, brothers knew how to be brothers. I hope it will always be that way.
-- Bill W, Alabama
Civil War Brotherhood
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