Civil War: The Massachusetts Commandery MOLLUS Photograph Collection 26,500 Images Part 2 of 2

Part 2 contains volumes 69-87, 91-101, 103-122,126-131, 134, 136.

Part 1 and 2 contains a total of 26,500 digitized images from 120 volumes of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)- Massachusetts Photograph Collection.

Part 1 and 2 of this collection is composed of 8,532 album pages from 120 of the 136 volumes of the MOLLUS photograph collection held by the Military History Institute. They together 19,500 photographs and 7,000 illustrations.

This collection has been used in numerous scholarly and popular histories as well as playing a key role in the popular Ken Burns public television series on the Civil War.

Ken Burns and his staff spent six weeks at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center going through the MOLLUS collection to pull illustrations for his popular PBS series on the Civil War. According to Dr. Richard J. Sommers, senior historian at the AHEC, "When the Military History Institute acquired this collection in December 1973, it was the most important discovery of Civil War photographs in the 20th century."

Within the 120 albums, there are different types of photographic images including tin types, cyanotypes, salted paper prints, albumen, matte collodian, platinum and silver gelatin photographic prints.

The collection was built primarily by Colonel Arnold A. Rand and General Albert Ordway. Colonel Rand sent out solicitations to veterans throughout the United States requesting photographs of rebellion scenes and portraits of general, regimental, staff and naval officers. General Ordway, working in Washington, had connections to high profile officers and thus access to their collections. Rand and Ordway also purchased negatives taken during the war by and under the supervision of Mathew Brady from the H. T. Anthony Company, to which they were transferred by Brady as payment of debt. In addition they also purchased over 2,000 negatives taken by famed Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner.

Rand and Ordway eventually sold the collection in the 1880s to John C. Taylor, who made stereographic prints and lantern slides for purchase. In 1907 the negatives were purchased by Edward B. Eaton, who used the images in several books he published on the Civil War, most notably The Photographic History of the Civil War.

About Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States

Three Union Army officers met in Philadelphia on April 15, 1865, as word spread of the death of President Abraham Lincoln. They discussed forming an organization to preserve the federal government from future threats. Five days later a mass meeting of Union Army veterans in Philadelphia pledged allegiance to the Union and plan their participation in the funeral cortege. After the funeral, the three officers formed an organization of officers and former officers of the Civil War, patterned on the Revolutionary War officers' organization, the Society of the Cincinnati. They called the new organization the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). It was structured with a National Commandery-in-Chief and state Commanderies.

Membership to the organization peaked at nearly 12,000 Army, Navy, and Marine officers, to include: Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Schofield, Miles, McClellan, Hayes and Custer. MOLLUS continues as an organization today, accepting men as members who are descendants (great grandsons, great grandnephews) of Civil War Union officers.
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