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THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES - page 4 / 17

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II. Review of the Literature

Despite the extensive efforts of historians to describe, analyze and understand the

American Civil War, significant gaps remain in the historiography of this conflict. While

efforts to investigate many of these poorly studied topics have increased in the past thirty

years, these studies of gender, race and other social aspects highlight the sparcity of

scholarly effort given to other facets of this complex portrait of the Civil War soldier.4

Studies of the individual soldier include first-person accounts in the form of

memoirs, letters and diaries. Because the fraternal activities of these men were of little

concern to twentieth century authors, virtually no mention of Masonic Lodges are

contained in books based on these materials. Whether the original sources contain useful

references is, at this time, unknown.

Steven Bullock and others have considered the role of Freemasons in the American

Revolution. There have also been some efforts to study the relationship of Freemasonry

and communities in New England, most notably by Dorothy Ann Lipson and Mary Ann

Clawson. However, the only broad-reaching work on the fraternity during the Civil War

is by the late Allen Roberts, whose efforts are devoid of references and were written for a

strictly Masonic audience.5

4 James M. McPherson, and William J. Cooper, Jr., Writing the Civil War: The Quest to Understand, (Columbia SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1998), 4.

5 Steven C. Bullock, Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840, (Chapel Hill NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), Dorothy Ann Lipson, Freemasonry in Federalist Connecticut 1789-1835, (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977), Mary Ann Clawson, Constructing Brotherhood: Class, Gender and Fraternalism, (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989), Allen E. Roberts, House Undivided, etc.

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