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Military Order of the Loyal Legion
of the United States
The Loyal Legion Historical Journal
The Loyal Legion Historical Journal
Jeffry C. Burden
Welcome to the World Wide Web home of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). On April 15, 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 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 Independence Hall.
Since its inception, the MOLLUS membership has included nearly 12,000 Civil War officers. At its zenith, the MOLLUS counted practically every prominent officer among its ranks. Among them were Generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman; Lt. Generals Philip H. Sheridan, Nelson A. Miles and John M. Schofield; Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, George B. McClellan, Rutherford B. Hayes, George Armstrong Custer, David McMurtrie 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 the MOLLUS was changed to provide for Hereditary Companions; descendants of eligible officers. There are currently four categories of membership: Hereditary, Junior, Associate and Honorary. 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. Membership information may be obtained by going to our interactive Membership Information Request form.
Organizationally, the MOLLUS is composed of a National Commandery-in-Chief and individual state Commanderies. There are currently 19 Commanderies. Additional information regarding the MOLLUS, its history, commanderies, membership, and activities may be obtained by going to our Web Site Index page.
The MOLLUS 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.
|Keith G. Harrison|
National MOLLUS Webmaster
Copyright © 1995 - Present
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
This Web Site is copyrighted. It is intended to provide information regarding the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Civil War. Copies of pages and information may be made for personal use but commercial use of these pages shall not be allowed without the expressed, written consent of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, The North American Building, 121 S. Broad Street, Suite 1910, Philadelphia, PA 19107.