Excerpt from Proceedings of a Grand Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Virginia: Begun and Held in the Masons' Hall, in the City of Richmond, on Monday, the 9th Day of December, A. L. 5861, A. D. 1861
The lowering cloud, so threatening in its character at your last Grand Annual Communication, soon after burst in its fury, involving our country in sectional warfare, and which has since been waged with nu relenting bitterness. Occasionally the gloom may have seemed to abate its wrath, but it was only to increase in strength, to renew the conﬂict with redoubled force.
It is with saddened hearts that we find that the baneful inﬂuence of this bitter strife has extended to and taken root within our Grand Jurisdiction. Upon the call of the roll, silence prevails in many Subordinates. We deeply deplore the absence of many brethren, whom we have been wont to greet with the most fraternal and social feelings.
We know that many who are absent are in the ranks, battling for our rights and our family altars, and let us in Charity at least hope, that many, if not all, located in disaffected portions of our State, are absent from military restrictions, and not from any estrangement Of Masonic feelings, and that when the glad tidings of peace shall be sounded throughout our now oppressed land, when we shall have gained our independence, and have taken our stand amongst the nations of the earth, we trust, at least, then we shall see our Western and North Western brethren again in their places, united once more around our Holy Altar, joining in thanksgivings and praises to our Supreme Grand Master, for all His inestimable gifts; for the will and the means of' resisting oppression, and, more especially, for His protecting hand, which guided us safely through our troubles.
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