Late on Friday evening, 22 April 2011, the South Carolina Masonic Research Society (SCMRS) concluded its first Banquet and Symposium in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, which is right across the Cooper River from downtown Charleston – the seat of Southern secession and home of so much Masonic history. The theme for the symposium was “Freemasonry and the Civil War” – properly referred to as the War Between the States. It was an appropriate theme in that the Country is currently commemorating the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the start of that terrible war. The immediate Past President of the SCMRS, Worshipful Brother Paul C. Graham, has described it as a “home run” event.
It was truly an enlightening and first-class occasion that featured two internationally known Masons who are accomplished authors and speakers. They were Right Worshipful Brother Michael A. Halleran, author of The Better Angels of our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War and current Grand Junior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Kansas; and Worshipful Brother Wayne E. Sirmon, a Past Master from Alabama, an expert in the Masonic connections surrounding the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, and a member of Lieutenant George E. Dixon’s lodge in Mobile, Alabama. For those that do not know, Brother Dixon was the last commander of the Hunley – the first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
The fellowship, the good food, the period appropriate music, and the diverse crowd of attendees – Confederates, Federals, Brothers, ladies, etc – all added to the special night. It was the type of event that has caused many non-attendees to say “I’d wish I had been there” after they heard how it went.
Grayson W. Mayfield, III DDGM
South Carolina Masonic Research Society
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