Events Calendar

Day the War Stopped

Saturday 15 June 2019 09:00am - 05:00pm
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Day the War Stopped

June 15, 2019                     

 Grace Episcopal Church


This event commemorates the brief

moment of brotherhood given for

the burial of a Union officer,

Lt. Commander John E. Hart, by his brother Masons

that stopped a bloody war, if only for a few

mournful moments.

1863, starting with the bloody siege of Port Hudson and ending with the fall of Vicksburg fighting over the all-important control of traffic on the Mississippi River was raging. The USS Albatross was patrolling the Mississippi River off the port city of Bayou Sara just below St. Francisville. On June 11, its commander, Lt. Commander John Elliot Hart of Schenectady, New York, lay mortally wounded aboard ship. Unable to obtain a suitable coffin for transport, an ensign was sent ashore in hopes of making burial arrangements, preferably for a Masonic burial, as both Commander Hart and the executive officer now in charge, Theodore DuBois, were Masons. Once ashore DuBois contacted Masons in nearby St. Francisville to request a Masonic service. Word reached Captain William W. Leake, an officer in the Confederacy and the Senior Warden of the Feliciana Lodge, who happened to be on furlough in the vicinity at the time. Leake found it his duty to afford a decent burial for his fellow Masonic Brother, (providing his own burial plot where Commander Hart remains to this day) and so, animosities were put aside and the war stopped for a day.