Friday, January 14, 2011
Freemasons speak of East and West, but leave it to Bro. Michael A. Halleran, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature, to get published in North & South magazine. The January issue of the official magazine of the Civil War Society features a six-page spread of Halleran’s work. (You know Bro. Michael from Heredom, The Plumbline, Scottish Rite Journal, et al.)
I stumbled across this today in a bookstore, completely by chance, while looking for something to read to kill some time. There were scores of periodicals on the rack facing me, and the only visible part of this magazine was the top of its banner, but of course the dual square-and-compass designs leap out at you.
I take this article as a précis of his book. It quickly explains how Masons and their lodges functioned on the front lines of the U.S. Civil War, and shares stories of how Masonic charity came to govern the actions of combatants in opposing armies. His work is scholarly research, and not the familiar self-aggrandizing legends that Masonry loves so much. I have not read his book yet, but I look forward to it, if for no other reason than to see this author demolish the popularly accepted story of Gen. Lewis Armistead at Gettysburg.