I. Statement of the Problem
During the American Civil War there were 244 Military Masonic Lodges created to
meet the social and fraternal needs of the soldiers of the North and South. Allen Roberts,
the charter Master of the Civil War Lodge of Research, states that ninety-four of these
Lodges were associated with Federal forces and that 150 were formed within the
Confederacy.1 Nineteen Army Lodges were established by the Grand Lodge of Alabama.
The first, Confederate No. 292, at Ft. Morgan, Alabama, began operation on October 7,
1861. The following week Alabama Volunteers No. 293 was granted permission to
operate and served the Masonic needs of the 9th Alabama Volunteers, then camped at
Manassas, Virginia. Two more Lodges were formed in 1862; eight in 1863; and seven in
During the American Civil War, approximately 500,000 men were members of the
Masonic fraternity. This represents eleven percent of the adult male population and it is
probable that a similar fraction of soldiers on both sides were Freemasons.3
There have been few studies of these organizations, which were an important part
of the fabric of many of the regiments fielded during the war. The traditional focus of
historians has been on the movements of armies, their battles and other actions directly
involved in the clash of arms. A more recent style of historical research has utilized the
artifacts of the individual soldiers. These range from the simple collection of memoirs to
1 Allen E. Roberts, House Undivided: The Story of Freemasonry and the Civil War, (Richmond VA: Macoy Publishing, 1961), 106.
2 Joseph Abram Jackson, Masonry in Alabama: A Sesquicentennial History 1821-1971, (Montgomery AL: Brown Printing, 1970), 177.
Sheldon A. Munn, Freemasons at Gettysburg, (Gettysburg, PA: Thomas Publications, 1993), 20.