E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Announcements

 Civil War: MOLLUS Photograph Collection

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

26,500 digitized images from 117 volumes of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)- Massachusetts Photograph Collection.


Buy now  


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 contain 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.





Page number

1  Town of Centreville, Virginia  

2  Grigsby House, Headquarters of Joseph E. Johnston (General), Centreville, Virginia  

3  Grigsby House, Headquarters of Joseph E. Johnston (General), Centreville, Virginia  

4  Fort and Barracks, Centerville, Virginia; Confederate works, Autumn and Winter, 1861-1862  

5  Quaker Guns in Fort, Centreville, Virginia  

6  Fortifications, Heights of Centreville, Virginia; 5 soldiers pictured with full accoutrements; one soldier playing with dog  

7  Fortifications, Heights of Centreville, Virginia. Soldiers, civilian, goat and little person standing close to fascine.  

8  Stone Church Centreville, Virginia; 10 soldiers in foreground, one pictured with musket and bayonet.  

9  Looking East Manassas, Virginia. 4 men pictured in foreground in civilian attire, railroad yard and train cars seen in the background.  

10  Fortifications at Manassas, Virginia; wagons and train cars in the background.  

11  Fortifications at Manassas, Virginia. 6 men in foreground in civilian and soldier attire.  

12  Fortifications Manassas, Virginia occupied by 13th Massachusetts  

13  Provost Guard, 9th New York Volunteer Infantry at Manassas, Virginia.  

14  Clemens Knipschild (Captain, Company C, De Kalb Regiment, 41st New York Volunteer Infantry), at Manassas, Virginia. Photographed by Matthew Brady.  

15  Ruins of Manassas, Virginia  

16  Ruins of Manassas, Virginia. Ruins of railroad pictured.  

17  Ruins of Manassas, Virginia. Dead horse in foreground; two boys, train cars, wagons, tents in background.  

18  Blackburn's Ford Bull Run (1st), Virginia  

19  Ruins of the Railroad bridge near Blackburn's Ford Bull Run (1st)  

20  Ruins of the Railroad bridge near Blackburn's Ford Bull Run (1st)

21  Ruins of Stone Bridge Bull Run (1st) 

22  Stone Bridge Bull Run (1st) 

23  Stone Hospital-Matthew's House Bull Run (1st) 

24  Ruins of Mrs. Henry's House on battlefield of Bull Run (1st) 

25  Matthew's House, Slocum's grave, battlefield of Bull Run (1st) 

27  Union POW at Camp Sumter: Bird's Eye View & North East Angle, views inside and around the stockade in Andersonville, Georgia 

28  Union POW at Camp Sumter: South West View & South East View, views inside and around the stockade in Andersonville, Georgia 

29  Union POW at Camp Sumter: North West View & North East View, views inside and around the stockade in Andersonville, Georgia 
30  Grave Yard North of Stockade, Burial of Prisoners Andersonville, Georgia 
31L  Alfred Howe Terry (Major General, USV) 
31  Headquarters 10th Army Corps at Hatcher's Farm, 1864. Alfred Howe Terry (Major General) and staff: William P. Shreve (1st Lieutenant), L.A. Stimpson (1st Lieutenant), Alfred Howe Terry (Major General), Atherton H. Stevens (Major), Adrian Terry... 
32L  Edward Worthington Smith (Lieutenant Colonel, AAG, Brevet Brigadier General, USV, 10th Army Corps) 
32  Headquarters of 10th Army Corps. David Bell Birney (Major General) and staff - Edward Worthington Smith (Lieutenant), Briscoe (Captain), Dandy (Captain), Jones (Lieutenant), J. C. Henshaw (Major), William V. Hutchings (1st Lieutenant), John E.,... 
33  1st Division, 1863-1864, headquarters, Rixey House 3rd Army Corps 
34L  "The two photographs of the 40th Massachusetts are responsible for the whole Loyal Legion Colleciton. The originals faded and seemingly useless were in the hands of Captain C.A. Currier 40th Massachusetts Infantry and about the year 1883 were... 
34  Headquarters 1st Division-3rd Army Corps, Rixey House, Near Culpepper, Virginia 1863-1864.David Bell Birney (Major General) and staff: William P. Shreve (1st Lieutenant), B.S. Calef (1st Lieutenant), Edward L. Ford (Captain), J. B. Fassitt (1st... 
35  Camp of the 40th Massachusetts Infantry, Miner's Hill, Virginia. Winter of 1862-1863, 
36  Camp of the 40th Massachusetts Infantry Miner's Hill, Virginia. Winter of 1862-1863. Soldiers training with rifles. 
37L  2 exterior views of Falls Church, Virginia. Image 2: Matthew Brady seated in front of church. 
37  Exterior of Falls Church, Virginia in which General Washington owned a pew 
38  Interior view of Falls Church, Virginia 
39  Interior view of Falls Church, Virginia. Graffiti visible. 

40  Colors of 19th Massachusetts Infantry. List of Battles: Ball's Bluff, York Town, West Point, Fair Oaks, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Bristow... 
41  Headquarters 4th Massachusetts Cavalry before Richmond, February 1865. 
42  4th Massachusetts Cavalry Camp before Richmond, February 1865. Image 1: Field and staff: Lieutenant Lathrop, Adjudant, Lieutenant Soule, Regimental Quarter Master, Dr Weber, Colonel Washburn, Lieutenant Colonel Scott, Dr. Garvin. Image 2: Street of... 

43  Camp at Varina, Virginia February, 1865. Image 1: Stable Company I, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry. Image 2: Street of Company M, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry. 
44  Image 1: Camp in the rear of headquarters, Army of the James. Varina, Virginia February 1865. Image 2: Chapel 4th Massachusetts Cavalry 
45L  Battle of, the Crater Petersburg, Virginia 

45  Image 1: Interior of the "Crater" Petersburg, Virginia Image 2: Fortifications at Fort Davis 
46L  George B. White (Commander), 1882; US Ship Kearsarge 

46  Image 1: Crew of the USS Kearsarge on the deck of the ship; 32 lb Broadside Gun, Danforth, C.H., Acting Master's Mate; Boys; Graham, F.A., Gunner; Preble, Edward E., Midshipman; Bartlett, Ezra, Acting Master's Mate. Image 2: US Ship USS Kearsarge... 
47L  US Ship Kearsarge. A sloop of war named for Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire was best known for her defeat of the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama. 
47  US Ship Kearsarge, Cherbourg, France (looking forward), after 11-inch pivot gun Chief engineer W.H. Cushman and Acting Master E.M. Stoddard. 

48L  Image 1: Unexploded shell in sternpost of USS Kearsarge. Image 2: US Ship Kearsarge survivors of the fight with the "Alabamas" taken 1915: William M. Smith, John C. Woodbury, William S. Evans, William H. Giles, John F. Bickford, Patrick McKeever,... 
48  James R. Wheeler (Acting Master), S.L. Smith (3rd Assistant Engineer), looking aft US Ship Kearsarge 
49  Confederate States' ship, "La Florida arretant un Clipper Federal" 
50L  Soldier's National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia 
50  House and Soldiers Monument Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia


Buy now