Founded April 15, 1865, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) was the nation’s first Civil War veterans organization. The founders of the Loyal Legion drew their inspiration for the structure of the Order from the Society of the Cincinnati.
Nearly twelve thousand Union Civil War officers became MOLLUS members. At its peak, MOLLUS counted practically every prominent veteran federal officer among its ranks. Original Companions Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley served as Presidents of the United States.
In recognition of his profound influence regarding the founding and the principles of the Order, Abraham Lincoln was enrolled by Special Resolution, April 15th, 1865.
With the aging and passing of the Original Companions, MOLLUS membership requirements were eventually broadend to allow descendants of eligible officers to join the Order as Hereditary Companions.
The contemporary MOLLUS is a nonprofit patriotic, historical and educational society dedicated to preserving and promoting the memory of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War through ongoing programs, special events, scholarship, and other activities.
The Pennsylvania Commandery is the oldest and largest commandery within MOLLUS. Lineal male descendants of commissioned officers, or those later commissioned, who served in Union forces from 1861 to 1865 are eligible for membership. Hereditary membership is also open to lineal male descendants of a sibling of such officers after the applicant’s eighteenth birthday. Associate membership is available to men not eligible for Hereditary membership.