Welcome to the home page of the Michigan Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. As you will see, the Order is one of the oldest veterans/hereditary organizations still in existence in the country. Please read over our history and our role today. We would appreciate hearing from you and about your officer ancestors who helped save the Union in 1861 - 1865.

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States is 501(c)(10) organization and is approved (1974) by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as an organization to which tax deductible gifts can be made pursuant to Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code, provided that said contribution are used exclusively for the Charitable purposes specified in section 170(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. The MOLLUS also maintains a Loyal Legion Memorial Fund Trust which is a 501(c)(3) organization and is approved (1967) by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as an organization to which tax deductible gifts can be made pursuant to Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Michigan Commandery Officers


Bruce B. Butgereit
1691 Summerfield Street SE
Kentwood, MI 49508-6499
Telephone: 616-827-3369
Fax: 616-827-3366
Senior Vice Commander
Paul Davis
P.O. Box 6517
Saginaw, Michigan 48608-6517

Junior Vice Commander
Adam William Gaines
293 Lakeside Drive
Harrow, Ontario
Canada N0R 1G0
Telephone: 519-736-1091
Recorder / Treasurer
Bruce B. Butgereit, II
1948 Wyoming Ave
Wyoming, MI 49519
Telephone: 616-827-3369
Registrar (Past Commander)
Keith G. Harrison
4209 Santa Clara Drive
Holt, MI 48842-1868
Telephone: 517-694-9394
Charles Ducharme
1096 Grayton Road
Gross Point Park, MI 48230
Commandery Council
Colin B. Butgereit
607 Winthrop St., Apt. B
Staunton, VA 24401
Commandery Council
Don Shaw
3914 Larchmont St
Flint, MI 48532
Commandery Council
Dr. Thomas E. Singelyn
840 Bishop
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230
Telephone: 313-886-2787

Brief History

On 15 April 1865, as word of President Abraham Lincoln's death spread throughout the country, three Union Army officer friends met in Philadelphia to discuss the tragic news. Rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders prompted the three officers to form an organization that could help thwart future threats to the national government.

A mass meeting of Philadelphia veterans was held on 20 April 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 (MOLLUS), first appeared in a notice calling a meeting on 31 May 1865 at Independence Hall.

Since its inception, the MOLLUS membership has included nearly 12,000 Civil War officers. At its zenith, MOLLUS counted practically every prominent officer among its ranks. Among them were Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman; Lt. Generals Philip H. Sheridan, George Armstrong Custer, Nelson A. Miles and John M. Schofield; Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, George B. McClellan, Rutherford B. Hayes, David McMurtie Gregg and Grenville M. Dodge; Admiral David G. Farragut; Rear Admirals Bancroft Gherardi and George W. Melville. In addition to Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes, Original Companions Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley served as Presidents of the United States.

With the eventual aging of the Original Companions, membership within MOLLUS was eventually changed to provide for Hereditary Companions; descendants of eligible officers. Many Original Companions of MOLLUS were also members of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Similarly, many Hereditary Companions of MOLLUS are currently also members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the legal heir to the GAR.

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States is composed of a National Commandery-in-Chief and individual state Commanderies. There are currently 18 Commanderies and one Provisional Commandery. The Michigan Commandery was created in 1885.

Objectives of the Order

The principal objectives of MOLLUS are to foster military and naval science, promote allegiance to the United States government, perpetuate the memory of those who fought to preserve the unity and indivisibility of the Republic and to honor the memory and promote the ideals of President Abraham Lincoln.

Each year MOLLUS sponsors and participates in a variety of ceremonies and programs designed to promote its Objectives, including:

1. Programs to honor President Abraham Lincoln and events memorializing the Civil War and the men and women who were active in them,
2. Presentations of ROTC awards to further the studies of military and naval science,
3. Presentations of literary awards to promote further research and writing about Lincoln and Civil War subjects,
4. Erecting, restoring and maintaining plaques and monuments commemorating events and personalities of the Civil War,
5. Supporting efforts to preserve Civil War battlefields and sites,
6. Publishing a quarterly historical journal, The Loyal Legion Historical Journal, and
7. Engaging in other patriotic and educational activities.

Michigan Commandery Activities

The Michigan Commandery participates in various annual programs and ceremonies; including, Veterans' Day programs in various Michigan cities; Remembrance Day ceremonies in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; and Lincoln Birthday Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. In 1994 and 1995, the Commandery also participated in the sponsorship of three U.S. 12 Highway Marker renaming dedications, two in Michigan (at the beginning point and ending points of the highway in Michigan - Detroit and New Buffalo) and one in Indiana (Chesterton), commemorating the valor of the Iron Brigade. In 1996, the Commandery participated as one of the sponsors of the State Museum's year long display of Michigan's Civil War flags.

Each year the Commandery presents MOLLUS ROTC medals and certificates to outstanding Army, Navy, and Air Force cadets in ROTC programs at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University. In addition, the Commandery continues its project to restore the statue of Michigan's Civil War General Alpheus S. Williams, located on Belle Isle in Detroit.


There are currently two categories of membership within the Commandery: Hereditary and Junior.

Hereditary - Direct male descendants of the age of 18 years or more of a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Navy or Marines who served during the War of the Rebellion, or male descendants of a brother or sister of any such officer.

Junior - Direct male descendants under age 18 years of an eligible officer or of a brother or sister of any such eligible officer. Junior Companions cannot vote or hold office.

Applications fees and annual dues for the Michigan Commandery are $20.00 and $25.00, respectively. Membership inquires should be directed to:

Keith G. Harrison, Registrar
Michigan Commandery, MOLLUS

Download Membership Application and Instructions:

Application for Hereditary Membership
Application Instructions

Internet Published Michigan Commandery, MOLLUS War Papers

Published Loyal Legion Vignettes by Michigan Commandery Companions

Michigan Civil War Sesquicentennial
History Partners

Michigan and the
Civil War Sesquicentennial 2011 - 2015

Michigan and the Civil War
150 Years

Additional On-line Resources

National Home Page, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
National Home Page, Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States
National Home Page, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Michigan Department, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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Copyright (c) 1997 - Present
Michigan Commandery
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the US