Arkansas Toothpick


Freemasons At Gettysburg

January 03, 2008 By: admin Category: Old But Helpful Newsletter Articles, Research, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

For over 275 years, men both young and old, have sought and became members of the most flourishing fraternal organization in the world, Freemasonry. To seek membership one must only ask to be admitted, believe in a supreme being, and be of the highest moral character. Political, social, and religious differences are set aside and membership means the practice of brotherly love and equality to all. Once a Mason, all personal animosities are to be left outside the lodge room door and harmony is the order of business.

In 1861, Freemasons across the Unites States were finding it increasingly difficult to hold harmony and good will toward all, both inside and outside the lodge room. The sectional differences that rocked the country also attempted to drive a wedge in the country’s half a million Freemasons. With the nation already split, Masons made the same choices as their non-Masonic counterparts, and they gravitated to their respective personal beliefs. Could one Mason still uphold the principles of the craft while fighting his Masonic brothers? While on the battlefield would the members of the craft remember their solemn obligations to their fellow brethren regardless of the color of his uniform? With their conscience as a constant companion, each Mason, Northern or Southern, Union and Confederate, dealt with these questions.

This article taken from “Freemasons at Gettysburg” by Sheldon A. Munn identifies various members of both sides of the conflict that found themselves asking those same questions. This article will attempt to identify some of the more famous Masons that fought at Gettysburg. Even though there were thousands that fought during this battle, this article will focus on only a handful.

Privates, lieutenants, colonels and generals, soldiers from all walks of life, and all geographic areas of the United States were Freemasons during the war.

With only two things in common, their Masonic membership and their participation in the turning point of the Civil War, the soldiers listed here are the best examples of the kind of men who joined the order and the reasons that the bonds of Masonic brotherhood were never severed. Mr. Munn, through his work, shows why 130 years ago, as well as today, Freemasonry continues to be a fraternity which promotes unity and brotherly love.

Statistics of Masons at the Battle of Gettysburg: During the American Civil War, there were thirtymillion people in America. Half a million people were Free & Accepted Masons. Noted author and historian, Allen E. Roberts, acknowledges the Most Worshipful Grand Master James McCallum of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, verifying the population of five-hundred thousand Free & Accepted Masons in our country in 1861. The Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, represented by Richard Vaux, responded to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee in confirmation of his statement.

The sum of 1.67 percent coincides identically with the present population of four million Free and Accepted Masons in our country of two hundred fifty million Americans during the present decade. This percentage includes men, women and children now in America. In his book, Masonry Under Two Flags, Roberts notes that “Masons made up about eleven percent of the armed forces of both the United States and the Confederate States.” After considerable research of our 1860 population statistics, it is most probable that eleven percent of those men in our country were Masons. There were 163,000 Union and Confederate soldiers engaged in the Battle of Gettysburg. 51,000 men were casualties, representing 31.3%. Eleven percent of that number produces 17,930 members of the Masonic fraternity.

This article can be downloaded from the July, 2007 edition of the newsletter located at the top of the page…great Civil War articles written by Civil War buffs in Arkansas.

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Civil War in Helena

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The Seven Generals Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Helena, Arkansas needs your help in funding several historic projects. The camp plays an integral part in the maintenance of battle field sites and preservation of historic properties. A donation in any amount would be greatly appreciated and put to good use!

A list of the sites maintained by the Seven Generals Camp:
1) The Confederate Cemetery, where over 120 Confederates are buried, including General Patrick R. Cleburne, General James C. Tappan, and General Thomas C. Hindman.

2) Civil War Helena interpretative markers- we maintain over 50 historical interpretative panels throughout the city, including the battlefield, Confederate Cemetery, General Tappan's home, Battery C, and many other historic sites.

3) Confederate Memorial Park- We purchased and donated to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. in Columbia, TN approximately an acre of battlefield property that serves as a memorial to the Confederates that fought in and died in the Battle of Helena. Many soldiers are still unaccounted for and this park serves as their "marker". We maintain the park and the costs are mounting in maintenance, an electric bill to keep a light on the 1st National Confederate Flag that flies on a nice 25 foot pole overlooking Fort Curtis across the street.

4) We do living histories often and have a growing number of recruits that want to start re-enacting and doing living histories and interpretative programs. The costs of purchasing new and used Civil War re-enacting supplies are staggering. Any monetary or re-enacting supplies that can be donated would be appreciated.

If you would like to donate used or new re-enacting gear and supplies, we will take any items, even if they need to be fixed or mended. Re-enacting clothing items of all sizes and types needed, including hats. We have a youth program as well, so smaller sizes are welcomed as well. If you would like to donate supplies or equipment, mail it to Seven Generals Camp, PO Box 409, Helena, AR 72342.

The best part is that all items donated to the Seven Generals Sons of Confederate Camp #135's living history program are tax deductible! Upon the arrival of your donation, we will respond with our tax ID# for tax purposes.

Below are a couple choices in donating to the maintenance and preservation of Helena's battlefield:

-Make a one-time donation in any amount

-Make a donation on a regular basis. Those that donate $1000 over time will have their names on a sign of donors on Confederate Memorial Park and you will receive the Lt. William Rector Award, which includes a certificate and a medal. Over time we will start an endowment that will ensure the perpetual upkeep of historic Confederate sites in Helena.

Confederate Memorial Park- Helena, AR

Arkansas In The Civil War

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Because of the valiant support of dedicated individuals across the globe, the money has been raised for the purchase of Confederate Memorial Park in Helena, Arkansas.

We have taken a rare opportunity for the Sons of Confederate Veterans to own a core piece of battlefield and made it a reality! Located in Helena, Arkansas directly across from Fort Curtis and to the side of a Civil War era home (Moore-Hornor Home), both properties of which are maintained by the State of Arkansas (Delta Cultural Center) is approximately an acre of core battlefield that backs up to the site where General Price's troops made an attack on Fort Curtis on July 4, 1863.

On March 15, 2013 the General Executive Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans met in Biloxi, MS. At this meeting it was decided that the property will be donated to the SCV- This is a much-needed heritage victory in the Delta!

Your support is greatly needed!
Mail a check or money order today to:

Seven Generals Camp #135
PO Box 409
Helena, AR 72342

Your donation is tax-deductable!

ALL donations are tax-deductible!

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