Brothers: 

We had a great rehearsal this past Thursday night. The SW was in the west and he did a wonderful job. Our new SW started learning the middle chamber two weeks ago and he ran through it for the first time. He did a great job, How nice it is to be young and learn lectures with ease. 

I would like to remind everybody to pay your dues. The dues are $140 if you pay before June 1st and $200 if you pay after June 1st. We started this structure because of the lack of fund raiser’s this past year and we need to pay our bills and assessments for 2021. If you are unable to pay your dues for any reason please call me.

This Tuesday Moosup will install their officers. Installation at 6:30PM and lodge meeting at 7:30PM.

We will be doing the FC degree on March 27th. We are in need of Stewards for this degree. If you are willing to help, please call me.

See below is a story about the Civil War also found here https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-final-act-by-a-mason.82881/


January – 23rd @1930
February – 27th @ 1930
Mar. 6th  lodge clean-up at 10 am
March – 27th @ 1000 – Quarterly
April- 24th @ 1930
May – 22nd @ 1930
June – 19th @ 1000 – Quarterly
July – 17th @ 1930
August – 21st @ 1930
Sept. 3rd thru the 6th. Tentative…Woodstock fair, Parking. Volunteers will be needed for this event.
September – 18th @ 1000 – Quarterly
October – 16th @ 1930
November 13th @ 1930
December – 4th @ 1000 – Annual Meeting.

THE FINAL ACT BY A MASON IN THE CIVIL WAR

It was an April morning three days after General Robert E. Lee had surrendered to General U.S. Grant. The Southern troops, led by General John B. Gordon, a Mason, were marching in columns towards the Northern troops who were standing in formation waiting for the Southerners to stack arms and fold their flags. Suddenly a shifting of arms is heard. Gordon looked up with alarm. There was nothing to fear. General Joshua Chamberlain had ordered his troops to assume the position of “honor answering honor.” Immediately, the Confederate troops snapped to attention and returned the honor. It was the first act to heal the wounds of a nation that had spent four years and 618,000 lives in civil war. That command of “honor answering honor” was ordered by a Mason. 

Major General Joshua Chamberlain was a member of United Lodge #8, Brunswick, Maine. After the war, he became Governor of Maine from 1866-1871 and President of Bowdoin College from 1871-83.
And for my closing example, we go back a few years but now we are again on our own state’s soil in Gettysburg, and perhaps the best example of the ties of brotherhood which occurred on the battlefield at Gettysburg. This battle, the turning point of the War, saw 93,000 Federal troops doing battle with 71,000 Confederates. Of those numbers, more than 35,000 were killed or wounded in the three days of fighting from July 1 to July 3, 1863. Of the men who fought, 17,930 were Freemasons, including the roughly 5,600 who became casualties. 

One of the most famous events and one that I have mentioned earlier that occurred at Gettysburg was the huge Confederate infantry push known as Pickett’s Charge. On July 3, Pickett (a member of Dove Lodge #51, Richmond, Va) led nearly 12,000 men on a long rush across open fields towards the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. It has been called the last and greatest infantry charge in military history.

One of the men leading that charge was Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead, CSA. He was a member of Alexandria-Washington Masonic Lodge #22 in Alexandria. Originally from North Carolina, he had attended West Point, and fought with the US Army for a number of years before resigning his commission to fight for the Confederacy. During that time, he had occasion to serve with now Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, USA (Charity Lodge #190, Norristown, Pa.) while both men were in the west. The two had become good friends. However, with Armistead’s resignation, it had been nearly two and a half years since the two men had had any contact. Until Gettysburg, that is.

It was Hancock who had taken command of the fragmented Union troops on Cemetery Ridge on July 1, and organized them into a strong front that had withstood three days of pounding from the Confederate guns. And it was his position, in the center of the Union line, that was the focus of Pickett’s Charge. General Armistead led his men and vaulted the stone wall, yelled “give them cold steel” and headed for the cannons that had until recently been firing on his men.

As he laid his hand on one of the guns of the 4th US Artillery, the 69th Pennsylvania Infantry fired upon the gray coated General and the men who had followed him. Many went down including Armistead. He was heard to cry for help “as the son of a widow.” Colonel Rawley W. Martin of the 53rd Virginia lay near by and witnessed as some of the men of the 69th Penna. Rose up and came to Armistead’s aid. Captain Henry H. Bingham (Chartiers Lodge #297, Canonsburg, Pa.) physician and Mason, was brought to assist Armistead. Armistead inquired of his friend and Masonic Brother General Winfield Scott. Learning that Hancock had also been wounded, he entrusted to Bingham his Masonic watch and personal papers to give to his friend and Brother General Hancock. Two days later Armistead died in a Union hospital on the Spangler farm of his wounds.

Bingham survived the war and in fact won a Congressional Medal of Honor in 1867. He retired in 1867 and went on to become a member of the United States Congress where he served for 33 years. He died in 1912 at the age of 70.

General Hancock survived his wounds though it was a long time until he returned to the Army. He later commanded the Department of the East of the United States Army and died in 1886 still in command. In 1880, he had lost an attempt for the United States Presidency to James Garfield.

Weekly Master’s Message for January 31, 2021

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