Masonic Resolution for Capt. Kirkpatrick

Grave of Captain Kirkpatrick, New Richmond, IN.

Montgomery County, Indiana
“The Crawfordsville Journal”
Thursday, July 28, 1864

RESOLUTIONS – At a meeting of the members of Pleasant Hill Lodge, No. 63, held at the Lodge room on Friday evening. July 15th, 1864, the following Preamble and Resolutions were adopted:

WHEREAS, Our beloved brother, Capt. Absalom Kirkpatrick, fell on the 27th of June, lost in the advance on Kenesaw Mountain, while gallantly leading his company to the charge;

and,

WHEREAS, The virtues of our deceased brother, as a man and as a Mason, demand a tribute to his memory; therefore, be it.

RESOLVED, That while we mourn our sad affliction and bereavement, in the death of this brother, we desire to bow to the will of Him whom we as Masons and creatures, are bound to revere and honor, for “He ever doeth all things well.”

RESOLVED, That in all his relations of life, in his social and Masonic intercourse, our deceased brother was a man of integrity and exalted virtue, a cheerful companion and friend, and therefore, in him was a model worthy of the imitation of all true Masons.

RESOLVED, That in his death, this Lodge has lost a faithful member, the country a gallant soldier, the wife an affectionate husband, and the father a dutiful son.

RESOLVED, That we deeply sympathize with the family of the deceased, and tender our heartfelt grief in their afflictions.

RESOLVED, That the Lodge be draped in mourning, and the members wear the usual regalia for thirty days.

RESOLVED, That these resolutions be recorded in the minutes of this Lodge, and copies be forwarded to the wife, and father of the deceased.

RESOLVED, That the above resolutions be presented to the “Crawfordsville Journal” and the “Crawfordsville Review” for publication.

__________________________________________________________

Capt. Absalom B. Kirkpatrick, along with his brothe Cyrus H. Kirkpatrick, enlisted as a members of company G, on October 15, 1861. Absalom was 23 years old and a resident of  the Pleasant Hill area; modern day New Richmond, Indiana. He was commissioned 1st lieutenant on December 12, 1861, Absalom would recieve a quick pronotion to Captain, being commissioned on May 19, 1862.

Captain Kirkpatrick had led company G through many battles, he was always in the thick of the action. June 27, 1864 was no diffrent, as Kirkpatrick and the Fortieth Indiana were preparing to asault a well fortified Confederate position on Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia. Wagner’s brigade was placed in column of regiments, the 40th Indiana would be at the head of the assaulting column. Only 500 yards of ground was between Wagner’s Brigade and the Confederate line commanded by Gen. Patrick Cleburne. When the 40th cleared the protection of their own brestworks, Gen. Cleburne’s line “exploded in a blaze of musketry.” The Hoosiers quickly reached the Confederate obstructions, (40 yards from the C.S. trenches), the men began to pull, rip, and cut at the abatis trying to make a pathway. The regiments of the brigade were starting to stack upon one another. At this point Gen. Wagner stated that Captain Kirkpatrick asked, ” Where shall I strike the enemy’s lines?” Wagner pointed out a direstion to him and rode off. Captain Kirkpatrick directed his men toward the point of attack the Confederate line still alive with musket fire. Confederate artilley started cutting through the ranks as Kirkpatrick kept his men moving. The 40th seems to have been directing their attack at  Turner’s Mississippi Battery.

In the 1868 book “Annals of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment, Indiana Vols.,the attack of the Fortieth is recounted: ” The enemy reserved their fire till the 40th advanced to within a short distance of their works, had raised the yell, and were moving forward on the double quick, when they opened a withering fire of grape and canister …. The assaulting party (was) checked, and the men laid down.” Many men from the 40th went down in this artillery hell storm, among them was Captain Kirkpatrick, who was killed instantly by cannon fire. The attack would fail, not for the lack of bravery, the Confederate position was just too strong .

Absalom B. Kirkpatrick was a Master Mason, belonging to the Pleasant Hill Lodge No. 63 F.&A.M. After the news reached Montgomery County, the Pleasant Hill Lodge passed the above Resolutions. This was a common Masonic practice for the rememberance of a brother in the 19th Century lodge. Captain Kirkpatrick was laid to rest in the New Richmond Cemetery, New Richmond, Indiana.

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One Response to “Masonic Resolution for Capt. Kirkpatrick”

  1. I am a Freemason living in Atlanta, GA and recently visited Cheatham’s hill at the Battle of Kennesaw Mtn. where the 40th made their assault. I’m researching a specific event that happened after their retreat – that of a supposed Masonic truce – given after Union troops were stuck in a burning woods in front of Confederate Lt. Colonel William H. Martin’s 15th Arkansas entrenchments. If you have any information on this and could also put me in touch with the Pleasant Hill Lodge No. 63 (as I could not find them), I would be very appreciative.

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