FLINT — The Battle of Buzzard Roost and Tunnel Hill. The Battle of Peachtree Creek. The Siege of Atlanta. Civil War historians know these campaigns well and their impact in ending the war that divided the country.
Today, more than 150 years later, a relic from General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea is being protected from disappearing forever.
This relic is the battle flag of the 10th Michigan Infantry, a proud yet somber reminder of the sacrifices made by boys and men from Genesee County and other communities throughout the state.
At 11 a.m. Aug. 19, Fellowship Lodge #236 will adopt the battle flag through a donation to the Save the Flags initiative to adopt and save the battle flag.
The ceremony will take place in the Michigan Capitol Rotunda in Lansing. Members of Fellowship Lodge, the Masonic Grand Lodge of Michigan and other guests will use the event to showcase the historic flag and detail efforts to preserve and honor its legacy and the legacy of over 240 battle flags in the care of Save The Flags.
A light lunch will follow the event.
The 10th Michigan Infantry was formed in Flint during 1862 by Gov. Austin Blair. While men from throughout the state mustered into the unit, most hailed from Genesee, Lapeer and Saginaw counties. Soldiers in the 10th participated in numerous battles from their first blood in Tennessee and the siege of Corinth, to holding firm against a Confederate attack at Peachtree Creek, to charging the enemy and taking 400 prisoners in Jonesboro.
For three years, the infantry fought valiantly with other Union forces to suppress and demoralize the Confederacy. To learn more about Flint’s famed 10th Michigan Infantry, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10th_ Michigan_ Infantry_ Regiment.
Fellowship Lodge is adopting the battle flag because of the banner’s significance in the Civil War and its link to the 10th’s founding in Flint.
Like many flags from that era, its silk fabric is fragile and frayed, stabilized, but still torn and tattered by Confederate gunfire and age. The lodge’s donation to Save the Flags is part of a larger initiative to protect and preserve Michigan’s flags.
Fellowship Lodge #236 was chartered by Grand Lodge of Michigan and designed as Fellowship Lodge #490. Many of the chartering members of the lodge were leaders and employees of Buick Motor. The lodge later consolidated with Davison Lodge #236 and now goes as Fellowship Lodge #236, taking on the more historic lodge number.
Fellowship Lodge has a long history of philanthropy in Genesee County, including currently sponsoring one of its members to rappel down the Durant Hotel raising funds for the Disability Network on Aug. 28.