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.