Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), or simply as the Loyal Legion is a United States patriotic order, organized April 15, 1865, by officers of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States who "had aided in maintaining the honor, integrity, and supremacy of the national movement" during the American Civil War. It was formed by loyal union military officers in response to rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. They stated their purpose as the cherishing of the memories and associations of the war waged in defense of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic; the strengthening of the ties of fraternal fellowship and sympathy formed by companionship in arms; the relief of the widows and children of dead companions of the order; and the advancement of the general welfare of the soldiers and sailors of the United States. As the original officers died off, the veterans organization became an all-male hereditary society. The modern organization is composed of male descendants of these officers (hereditary members), and others who share the ideals of the Order (associate members), who collectively are considered "Companions". A female auxiliary, Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States (DOLLUS), was formed in 1899 and accepted as an affiliate in 1915.
The Loyal Legion - U.S. Marine Band
Following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, rumors spread that the act had been part of a wider conspiracy to overthrow the legally constituted government of the United States by assassinating its chief men. Many people at first gave credence to these rumors, including three of the officers assigned to the honor guard for Lincoln's body as it was transported to Springfield, Illinois, for burial; these three men, Brevet Lt. Col. Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell, Lt. Col. Thomas Ellwood Zell, and Captain Peter Dirck Keyser, are considered the founders of the Order. To demonstrate their loyalty, they decided to form a "Legion" modeled on the Revolutionary WarSociety of the Cincinnati. The Loyal Legion was organized largely during the same meetings that planned Lincoln's funeral (as well as during a mass meeting of Philadelphia war veterans on April 20), culminating in a meeting on May 31, 1865, in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, at which the name was chosen.
Originally, the Order was composed of three classes of members:
Officers who had fought in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States in the suppression of the Rebellion, or enlisted men who had so served and were subsequently commissioned in the regular forces of the United States, constituted the "Original Companions of the First Class." The eldest direct male lineal descendants of deceased Original Companions or deceased eligible officers could be admitted as "hereditary Companions of the First Class."
"Companions of the Second Class" were the eldest direct male lineal descendants of living Original Companions or of living individuals who were eligible for membership in the First Class. (The use of the Rule of Primogeniture was abolished in 1905 for both the First and Second classes of membership, opening membership to all male lineal descendants, and later changes opened membership to male lineal descendants of siblings of eligible officers. As the former officers died off, and the Order became composed entirely of descendants, the Second Class of Companions was discontinued.)
The Third Class comprised distinguished civilians who had rendered faithful and conspicuous service to the Union during the Civil War. By the law of the Order, no new elections to this class were made after 1890.
The Loyal Legion grew rapidly in the late 19th Century and had Companions in every Northern state, and also in many of the states that had once formed the Confederacy. The Commandery in Chief was established on October 21, 1885 with authority over the 14 state commanderies then in existence. Previously, the Pennsylvania Commandery functioned as the "first among equals" of the commanderies as it was both the oldest and largest.
Today, the Order serves as a hereditary society (male descendants of eligible officers) rather than as a functioning military order (though many Companions are either military veterans or even on active military duty). Among other activities, Companions organize and participate in commemorative events, provide awards to deserving ROTC cadets, and assist with preservation efforts. Of special note is that, each year, the Loyal Legion commemorates President Lincoln's birthday with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 2009, the MOLLUS helped coordinate an extended tribute with the help of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of Lincoln's birthday.
There are now three basic categories of membership: Hereditary, Associate (non-hereditary), and Honorary. Just as many Original Companions of the Order were also members of the Grand Army of the Republic (the "GAR"), many current Companions of the Order are also members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the legal heir to the GAR.
Organizationally, the Loyal Legion is composed of a National Commandery-in-Chief and individual state Commanderies. There are currently 20 state Commanderies. States without their own Commandery are placed under the jurisdiction of an existing Commandery. Current national officers include Commander-in-Chief Eric Armando Rojo of the District of Columbia, Senior Vice-Commander-in-Chief Joseph T. Coleman of Pennsylvania, and Junior Vice-Commander-in-Chief Robert Pollock of Ohio. Recent past Commanders-in-Chief include James Alan Simmons of Texas, Waldron Kintzing "Kinny" Post of New York, and Jeffry Christian Burden of Virginia.
A membership medal as given to an "Original Companion" (here, Capt. Edward Taylor of the 95th Ohio Infantry). The basic design of the medal remains unchanged.
A membership medal worn by Brevet Col. Perrin V. Fox of the 1st Michigan Engineers. His son later wore this medal as a descendant member. Descendant members wore a ribbon with a blue stripe in the center until well into the twentieth century, when all members resumed using the red-center ribbon.
Major General George Cadwalader – First MOLLUS Commander-in-Chief, 1865–79. (Died in office.)
Dwight Eisenhower (General of the Army, U.S. Army) – Honorary Companion admitted in 1953.
Note – Presidents Andrew Johnson and James Garfield were both generals in the Union Army during the Civil War, and were thus eligible to be veteran companions of MOLLUS, but did not join the Order.
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, who had served under President Lincoln from 1861 to 1865, was elected as a MOLLUS Companion of the 3rd Class. While he was Vice President, he served as a corporal with Company A of the Maine State Guard (a.k.a. Maine Coast Guards) at Fort McClary in Kittery, Maine from July to September 1864.
Vice President Charles G. Dawes, who served under President Coolidge from 1925 to 1929, became a First Class Companion in succession to his father, Brevet Brigadier General Rufus Dawes. Vice President Dawes served as a brigadier general with the U.S. Army during World War I and also received the Nobel Peace Prize.
In addition to the above, President Andrew Johnson, who was Vice President prior to the death of President Lincoln and the founding of MOLLUS, was eligible to become a First Class Companion of MOLLUS but did not join the Order. President Chester A. Arthur, who was Vice President prior to the death of President Garfield, was elected in 1882 as a 3rd Class Companion, while he was serving as President.
A limited number of individuals may be elected as Honorary Companions of MOLLUS. They are usually individuals who have had distinguished careers either in public service or the military.
Brigadier General Charles P. Eagan – U.S. Army Commissary General court-martialed during the "embalmed beef" scandal during the Spanish–American War. Expelled from MOLLUS after making disparaging remarks about General Nelson Miles before a Congressional committee investigating the scandal.
Brigadier General Lucius Fairchild – MOLLUS Commander in Chief, 1893–95; GAR Commander-in-Chief, 1886–87; Governor of Wisconsin and Minister to Spain.
Originally, the MOLLUS had Companions of the Second Class, who were the eldest sons of Companions of the First Class (i.e., veterans of the Civil War who also held a commission at some point). A Second Class Companion became a First Class Companion upon the death of his father. This practice was discontinued in 1905, when the MOLLUS Constitution was changed to allow any direct male descendant of a Union officer to become a MOLLUS Companion. The nomenclature of First Class and Second Class Companions was discarded, leaving only the qualifiers of "Original" and "Hereditary" Companions. Later, the eligibility rules were changed to allow nephews of Union officers to become a MOLLUS Companions. Furthermore, brothers of fallen officers were allowed to join as hereditary companions if there was no surviving issue.
Major General David D. Porter, USMC, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, was eligible to for membership in MOLLUS by right of his descent from his grandfather, Admiral David Dixon Porter.
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, CIA Director Allen Dulles were eligible for membership in MOLLUS by right of their descent from their maternal grandfather Colonel John W. Foster, who served as Secretary of State in the administration of President Benjamin Harrison.
Several Europeans of royal descent at eligible for membership in MOLLUS by right of their descent from Captain Philippe d'Orleans, the grandson of King Louis Philippe I of France.
Carroon, Robert G. & Dana B. Shoaf, (2001). Union Blue : The History of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Books. ISBN 1-57249-190-6. LCCN00049955.
Augustus Pearl Martin (November 23, 1835 – March 13, 1902) was an American politician and soldier from Massachusetts who served as the mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1884. He also was a leading artillery officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War and was the leader of the state's Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. He also served as a general in the postbellum state militia.
Charles Comfort Tiffany (1829–1907) was an American Episcopal clergyman, born in Baltimore. He served as chaplain for the 6th Connecticut Infantry during the Civil War from October 1864 to May 1865. He studied at Dickinson College, Andover Theological Seminary, and at Halle, Heidelberg, and Berlin; and was ordained priest in 1866. He was Archdeacon of New York (1893–1902).
He married Juila Wheeler, niece of William Butler Ogden, the first mayor of Chicago, at Saint James Church in the Bronx. He had met her while serving in the parish prior to his call to Boston and return to New York as rector of Zion (Manhattan) and Archdeacon. After her death, he commissioned a stained glass window in her memory showing the view from their Connecticut summer home, from the firm of his relative Louis Comfort Tiffany.
His publications include History of the Protestant Episcopal Church (1895) and The Prayer Book and Christian Life (1897).
Tiffany was the son of Comfort and Laura Tiffany, and related to Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co. jewelers. He served as a pall-bearer at the funeral of the Manhattan jeweler.Tiffany was a member of the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States – an organization for officers who served in the Union armed forces during the US Civil War.
Frederic Walker Lincoln Jr. (February 27, 1817 – September 12, 1898) was an American manufacturer and politician, serving as the sixteenth and eighteenth mayor of Boston, Massachusetts from 1858–1860 and 1863–1867, respectively.
He elected a 3rd Class (honorary) Companion of the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States in recognition of his support of the Union during the American Civil War.
George Brydges Rodney (7 October 1842 – 21 September 1927) was an officer in the United States Army who served as the sixth commander of the Department of Alaska, from April 21, 1874 to August 16, 1874.At the outbreak of the American Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Army on April 23, 1861 in an independent company of artillery formed in Pennsylvania. He was promoted in the Regular Army to the rank of 1st lieutenant in the 4th Artillery on the 5th of August of the same year. He received a brevet (honorary promotion) to the rank of major on September 20, 1863. He remained in the Army after the war and was promoted to captain in 1869, major in 1892, lieutenant colonel in 1899 and to colonel in 1901. He was promoted to brigadier general the day before his retirement from the Army on August 5, 1903. He was a companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
He was the son of Delaware politician George B. Rodney.
James Seaman Casey (January 28, 1833 – December 24, 1899) was a US Army officer who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Indian Wars. He was born in Philadelphia.
Casey joined the 7th New York Militia in April 1861, just after the outbreak of the American Civil War, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of the 5th Infantry Regiment in August of the same year. He was promoted to captain in December 1863, and became Commissary of Musters of the Army of the Potomac. He was brevetted major in March 1865 for his actions in the Battle of Fort Stedman. After the war he became a Companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
After the war, Casey served under colonel Nelson A. Miles in the Black Hills War, later receiving the Medal of Honor for leading his company's assault in the Battle of Wolf Mountain. He was promoted to major of the 17th Infantry Regiment in June 1884 and to lieutenant colonel of the 1st Infantry Regiment in April 1890. He was eventually promoted to colonel of the 22nd Infantry Regiment in January 1895, and retired two years later. Casey was buried at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, New York.
James William Forsyth (August 8, 1834 – October 24, 1906) was a U.S. Army officer and general. He was primarily a Union staff officer during the American Civil War and cavalry regimental commander during the Indian Wars. Forsyth is best known for having commanded the 7th Cavalry at the Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29, 1890 during which more than 150 men, women, and children of the Lakota were killed and 51 were wounded.
Commissary Sergeant John Galloway (1843 – May 23, 1904) was an American soldier who fought in the American Civil War. Galloway received his country's highest award for bravery during combat, the Medal of Honor, for his action at Farmville, Virginia in April 1865. He was honored with the award on October 30, 1897.Galloway joined the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry from Philadelphia in August 1861. He was promoted to regimental commissary sergeant in January 1865, and was discharged the following July with the rank of first lieutenant. After the war, he became a companion of the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
John Guest (7 March 1822 – 12 January 1879) was a Commodore of the United States Navy, whose active-duty career lasted from the late 1830s through the Civil War.
Guest was born in Missouri on 7 March 1822. He was appointed Midshipman 16 December 1837, served in the frigate Congress during the Mexican–American War, and protected foreign residents from Chinese Imperial forces at Shanghai in April 1854.
During the Civil War, he held several sea commands and participated in actions along the Gulf Coast. He commanded Owasco and Sangamon, passing the forts for the capture of New Orleans and engaging Confederate batteries in the siege of Vicksburg. He also took part in the capture of the forts at Galveston, Texas, and the capture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
After the Civil War, Guest became a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, a military society for officers who had served the Union during the war.
He was promoted to commodore in 1873, and at the time of his death was commandant of the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine.
John Lawson Ballantyne III (born July 20, 1931) is a retired lieutenant general in the United States Army.He is a 1954 graduate of the United States Military Academy.
He served as commander of the United States Army Military District of Washington from 1983 to 1986 and as chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board from July 1988 to June 1989.He was formerly a commander of a Combined Arms Operations Research Activity operation.His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Soldier's Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster*, the Bronze Star Medal with 'V' for 'VALOR' device and two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with awards numeral 43 and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
(* - two awards of the Soldier's Medal is rare, seldom noted)
His father, John Lawson Ballantyne Jr., served in World War II.
General Ballantyne is an Honorary Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
Lucius Frederick Hubbard (January 26, 1836 – February 5, 1913) was an American politician. The Republican served as the ninth Governor of Minnesota from January 10, 1882 to January 5, 1887. He also served as an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Born in 1836 in Troy, New York, and orphaned at ten, Hubbard first worked as a tinsmith in the east and then in Chicago. At age 21 he moved to Red Wing, Minnesota with an old hand-operated printing press and some type; within two months, he was publisher and editor of the Red Wing Republican, in which he promoted his strong political views.
During the American Civil War, Hubbard joined the Union Army in 1861 as a private in the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He took part in the siege of Corinth, the siege of Vicksburg, the battle of Nashville and the battle of Fort Blakely. He became colonel of his regiment and, for his services at Nashville, was made a brevet brigadier general on December 16, 1864. After the war's end Hubbard returned to Red Wing, where he simultaneously engaged in milling and railroading. He won election to the state senate, completing his second term in 1875. A partner in the Midland Railroad, he also presided over operations of the Cannon Valley Railroad until his gubernatorial election in 1881.
Hubbard forcefully urged government intervention in public health, corrections, charities, railroads, agriculture, and commerce, and the legislature complied by increasing the state's regulatory and licensing powers. His second term lasted three years, in accordance with a state constitutional amendment to have state, county, and federal biennial elections all coincide.
He was a member of the Military Order of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Sons of the American Revolution.
In 1887 Hubbard took over operations of yet another railroad. When America declared war against Spain in 1898, President William McKinley appointed the 62-year-old as a brigadier general of volunteers and asked him to oversee a military post in Florida. Two years later, Hubbard moved to St. Paul and then to Minneapolis, where he died at 77.
Morgan Gardner Bulkeley (December 26, 1837 – November 6, 1922) was an American politician, businessman, and sports executive. A Republican, he served in the American Civil War, and became a Hartford bank president before becoming the third president of the Aetna Life Insurance Company, a post he held for 43 years. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in recognition of his role as the first president of the National League. Bulkeley served on the Hartford City Council and was a four-term mayor of Hartford. He later served as the 54th Governor of Connecticut for two terms and as a United States Senator.
Dr. Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell (August 16, 1828 – August 16, 1879), is the initial Founder of Phi Kappa Sigma International Fraternity, the first fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania. Mitchell was also a doctor and physician in the Union Army, distinguished member of the Masons and an active social member of Philadelphia.He was a co-Founder, on April 15, 1865, of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, or MOLLUS, the first post-Civil War veteran's organization. He bore Companion #00001. The organization, which welcomed those who had served in the suppression of the Rebellion, and were at some point in their careers commissioned officers in the military service of the United States, exists today. It is composed primarily of their descendants.
Samuel Crocker Lawrence (November 22, 1832 – September 24, 1911) was a Massachusetts politician who served as the first Mayor of Medford, Massachusetts. Lawrence was born in Medford on November 22, 1832 to Daniel and Elizabeth (Crocker) Lawrence.
During the American Civil War, he served as colonel of the 5th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After the war he became a Veteran Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
In 1869 he was elected captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.
A highly active Freemason, Lawrence served as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Massachusetts from 1881-1883. In 1884 he was installed as a 33rd Degree Mason.
He was a director of the Eastern, Maine Central and Boston and Maine railroads.
Samuel Miller Quincy (; 1832–1887) was the 28th mayor of New Orleans and a Union Army officer during the American Civil War.
He was the son of Josiah Quincy, Jr., former mayor of Boston, and the younger brother of Josiah Phillips Quincy. He was a distant cousin of President John Quincy Adams and a descendant of Rev. George Phillips who settled in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630.
He was also a Harvard graduate (1852), lawyer and legal historian, and Union soldier in the American Civil War, during which he was wounded, captured, imprisoned, and exchanged.
Shortly after the attack on Fort Sumter, Quincy was commissioned a captain in the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment on May 25, 1861. He was promoted to major on October 22, 1862 and to colonel on January 18, 1863. He resigned his commission on June 5, 1863 but was re-commissioned as the lieutenant colonel of the 73rd United States Colored Infantry Regiment on November 29, 1863 and was promoted to colonel in command of the regiment on May 29, 1864. He served briefly as Mayor of New Orleans from May 5 to June 8, 1865.
He transferred to the 96th US Colored Infantry Regiment on September 27, 1865 and was mustered out on January 21, 1866 and became the colonel of the 81st US Colored Infantry the next day. He was honorably mustered out of service on November 30, 1866.On February 21, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Quincy for the award of the honorary grade of brevet brigadier general, United States Volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious services during the war, The U.S. Senate confirmed the award on May 18, 1866.He was a member of the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
William J. Kershaw was a member of the Wisconsin State Senate and the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Kershaw was born in County Antrim in what is now Northern Ireland. During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army. Afterwards, Kershaw was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. He died in 1883.
Captain William Parkinson Wright (b. 1846, Illinois; d. 1933, Pennsylvania) was a veteran of the American Civil War. He was an officer in the 156th Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the war. He was the 25th Commander-in-Chief, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) (1931-933) and the 66th Commander-in-Chief, Grand Army of the Republic (1932-1933).
Wright was the last Commander-in-Chief of MOLLUS who was a veteran of the Civil War.
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