A greater number of scholarly works have considered the impact of the Anti-
Masonic Party. These efforts focus on the life of America’s first exposure to a third
political party. The formation of national political parties and the “Second Great
Awakening” were important factors in the opposition to the Masonic fraternity.6 The
rapid decrease in Masonic membership is documented, but its recovery has been of little
interest to writers outside those who directed their efforts to a Masonic audience.
The primary documents that directly relate to Confederate Lodge No. 292 F&AM
of Alabama are located in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Alabama. These are stored
in the office of the Grand Secretary at his headquarters in Prattville, Alabama. Through
special permission of the Corporate Board of the Grand Lodge of F&AM of Alabama, I
was permitted to make a detailed study and to take high resolution photographs of the
documents that are relative to Alabama’s Military Lodges.
Since the focus of this paper is on one aspect of the social activities of Civil War
soldiers, the customary review of the battle actions have been omitted, except as they
have a direct influence on the formation or operation of the Army Lodges. There does
exist a growing body of literature on the history of the individual soldiers and unit
histories which, at times, give glimpses into non-military activities of camp life. Reid
Mitchell provides a bibliographic essay on the literature concerning the life of a soldier.7
Beginning with Bell Irvin Wiley (The Life of Johnny Reb, 1943 and The Life of Billy
6 Mark A. Tabbert, American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities, (New York NY: New York University Press, 2005), 58-60.
7 Reid Mitchell, “Not the General but the Soldier,” in James M. McPherson, and William J. Cooper, Jr., Writing the Civil War: The Quest to Understand, (Columbia SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1998), 81-95.