A CIVIL WAR STORY
by John Hohenstein
Zerubbabel Lodge #15, Savannah, Georgia
It was a time not long after Fort Sumter and The War of
Northern Aggression was well under way. The Yankees, as
they are still wont to do, had promptly flocked to
Hilton Head and Tybee Islands, the barrier islands on
opposite sides of the mouth of the Savannah River. The
Savannah Folks didn't mind much that the Yankees had
stolen the good beaches, for the water was still a bit
cool for Southern preferences and, besides, they knew
the gnats and mosquitoes would teach the Yankees a
lesson they'd never forget. So, the Southerners, as
Southerners are wont to do sometimes, just waited.
They didn't have to wait very long before the Yankees on
Hilton Head sent out a messenger under a white flag. It
seemed that the Yankees had among them a young fellow
who had passed through the Fellow Craft Degree before
shipping out. The Yanks were just sitting around
slapping gnats when it occurred to one of them that,
just maybe, there was a nearby lodge that could test him
in the Fellow Craft Degree and raise him to that of a
As luck would have it, there was indeed a lodge in
Savannah that would soon be having a Masters Degree.
One morning, not too many days later, a detail of
Confederate Cavalry slipped across the Savannah River
into South Carolina and traveled through Bluffton to the
shore opposite Hilton Head Island.
From there they escorted one Fellow Craft Mason and, I
believe, a number of Master Masons of the Northern
Persuasion, safely through the Confederate Lines and
back through about 35 miles of Confederate defenses to
Savannah where the candidate and his witnesses were
delivered into the lodge.
The records note that this Brother was indeed proficient
in the Fellow Craft Degree and he was raised to the
Degree of a Master Mason.
That night another detail of Confederate Cavalry, no
doubt Brothers to a man, slipped back across the
Savannah River and safely escorted their Brothers back
to Hilton Head.
Brethren, even in times of war, we take care of each
John R Bradshaw
February 2, 2018:
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