The Better Angels of Our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War First Edition
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—Christopher L. Hodapp, Editor, Journal of the Masonic Society
“Michael Halleran has set a new, high standard for scholarship on Freemasonry in the Civil War. His stories are compelling, the research is impeccable, and his analysis gives fresh insights on the “mystic tie” of the fraternity.”
—S. Brent Morris, Ph.D., Managing Editor, Scottish Rite Journal
“Through impressive documentation, Halleran proves Masonic membership (which was high on both sides) frequently altered individuals' actions dramatically within their own army and in their treatment of the enemy. A valuable contribution to both Civil War history and the history of the Masonic lodge. Recommended”
“Tales of Masonic brothers helping each other, even across battle lines, have long been part of Civil War lore. Michael Halleran’s wonderful study reveals the history behind these mythical stories. He discovers a surprising number of these accounts, subjects them to careful analysis, and shows how much Masonic fraternity made a difference in the experiences of Civil War soldiers.”
—Steven C. Bullock, Ph.D., Worcester Polytechnic Institute
"Not much has been written on this topic, which makes Halleran's book the beginning of a new trail. It is recommended to Freemasons, and to those interested in the Civil War and what influence Freemasons had."
?—Blue & Gray Magazine
“The book’s topic is well deserving of close study. Halleran contributes to the ongoing study of freemasonry and fraternalism as an overlooked yet significant part of nineteenth-century American life and culture.”
—Journal of Southern History
“Given the freshness of the topic, the good research, and the effective presentation, I strongly recommend this book. It covers a significant but un-studied aspect of the war.”
—Earl J. Hess, author of The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat: Reality and Myth and In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications and Confederate Defeat
About the Author
- Publisher : University Alabama Press; First edition (March 11, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 248 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0817316957
- ISBN-13 : 978-0817316952
- Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #902,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book concentrates primarily on the actions of Freemasons among the enlisted ranks and the junior officer corps in both the Federal and Confederate armies. It illustrates many examples of Freemasons protecting fellow Masons captured or wounded in battle; wounded Masons using the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress in battle to seek assistance or quarter from other Masons on the opposing side; mortally wounded Masons attaching their Masonic scrolls or Lodge membership cards to their uniforms in hope that their remains will be properly buried by other Masons; Masons protecting Masonic Lodge buildings and other property during battles and other military operations; numerous instances of Masons helping other Masons who were Prisoners of War, as well as a number of other circumstances in which Masons met with, arranged temporary truces with, and generally assisted fellow Masons in the opposing army.
The book is well written and well researched, with full citations and footnotes. In short, a very interesting book which should be of interest to anyone researching Freemasonry.
And in the interest of full disclosure, this reviewer is a Freemason.