Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Commandery of the State of Massachusetts, collector.

Alternative names

Biographical notes:

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) was founded as a veterans' organization for Union officers of the American Civil War. It later opened its membership to descendants of Union officers, and is still active today.

MOLLUS was established on 1865 April 15 after the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Three Union Army officers met in Philadelphia to discuss the rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders. The officers decided to form an organization that could help thwart future threats to the national government. A mass meeting of Philadelphia veterans was held on 1865 April 20, to pledge renewed allegiance to the Union and to plan for participation in the funeral arrangements for the President. The Philadelphia officers, who served as an honor guard for President Lincoln's funeral cortege, met again after the funeral was over to establish a permanent organization of officers and former officers patterned after the Society of Cincinnati established after the Revolutionary War. The name they chose, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, first appeared in a notice calling a meeting on 1865 May 31, at Philadelphia's Independence Hall.

The Massachusetts Commandery of MOLLUS was instituted on 1868 March 4, and organized two days later. There were 13 charter members who all became officers in the new organization. Brigadier General Francis A. Osborn was the first commander, followed by Generals Devens, Rockwell, and Martin. From early days they began to collect materials associated with the Civil War and for a time established a museum at the top of the Cadet Armory on Columbus Avenue in Boston.

A significant part of the museum's collection was visual images associated with the Civil War, much of which was donated by MOLLUS members. The Boston Globe contributed all the photographs they used for their series of articles Civil War Day by Day, having assembled illustrations for four years of stories. It is said that the museum at one time held 37,000 photographs.

Most of this information was taken from the MOLLUS web site at: http://suvcw.org/mollus.htm

From the guide to the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk)., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), one of the military societies founded at the close of the Civil War, was established on April 15, 1865 after the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Three Union Army officers met in Philadelphia to discuss the rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders. The officers decided to form an organization that could help thwart future threats to the national government. A mass meeting of Philadelphia veterans was held on April 20, 1865, to pledge renewed allegiance to the Union and to plan for participation in the funeral arrangements for the President. The Philadelphia officers, who served as an honor guard for President Lincoln's funeral cortege, met again after the funeral was over to establish a permanent organization of officers and former officers patterned after the Society of Cincinnati established after the Revolutionary War. The name they chose, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, first appeared in a notice calling a meeting on May 31, 1865, at Philadelphia's Independence Hall.

The Massachusetts Commandery of MOLLUS was instituted on March 4, 1868, and organized two days later. There were 13 charter members who all became officers in the new organization. Brigadier General Francis A. Osborn was the first commander, followed by Generals Devens, Rockwell, and Martin. From early days they began to collect materials associated with the Civil War and for a time established a museum at the top of the Cadet Armory on Columbus Avenue in Boston. A significant part of the museum's collection was visual images associated with the Civil War, much of which was donated by MOLLUS members.

Patriotic cover art began to be produced extensively in the United States from the earliest days of the Civil War. Printing firms in both the North and the South produced covers including lithographed images printed (or occasionally embossed) on envelopes depicting satires of enemy politicians and generals, tributes to heroism, and a huge variety of other patriotic images using caricatures, allegories, slogans, portraits, etc. relating to Civil War events and personalities. The envelopes were intended to be used and they would show the patriotic feeling of the sender, or would express a particular political sentiment, often of a propaganda nature. The great majority of designs were created and sold during the war from 1861 to 1865, however some were also produced after the war, apparently for collectors.

From the guide to the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Civil War Commandery of the State of Massachusetts collection: Patriotic covers, ca. 1861-1865., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)



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