On the front flyleaf, written in an eloquent handwriting, is his signature and "March 12th, 1919, Charlotte, N.C."
In a different, less flowery handwriting is written, in red:
Pro-MasonicApparently at some point the book may have also been owned by a library. The Dewey Decimal System code "366.1 PikCil" is penciled onto the upper right corner of the title page. Curiously, atop this same page is a rubberstamped rectangle containing the words:
NOT for students!
If only this book could talk. I wonder who Liles was. Was he a Mason? Who decided the contents were heretical, and why? Who read this book before me?
WARNING This book has heretical tendencies.
Google offers one reference to Francis E. Liles, and he is probably the one we're looking for. The page I found was compiled by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Francis E. Liles who signed the book was apparently from Charlotte, N.C. The university's page is a long document about troop movements of soldiers from North Carolina, during World War I. The page is from the book History of the 113th Field Artillery, 30th Division, published by The History Committee of 113th F. A., Raleigh, N. C., edited by A. L. Fletcher of Raleigh, N.C., and is copyright 1920.
Liles is mentioned twice. Sometime prior to March 1918, he was promoted from sergeant to first lieutenant:
Practically all of the transfers in February were made in one order, R. S. O. No. 21, dated February 1, 1918. Officers and men will long remember this particular order, for it came without warning and completely upset the old and established order of things.In August of 1918, Lt. Liles returned to the United States (from France), where he was promoted again and became an artillery instructor.
In March there were also many changes, though not so many as in February. Battery A reported no changes. In Battery B, Leroy C. Hand, Battery C, promoted from second lieutenant to first, was in command of the outfit in the absence of Captain McLendon, who was at Fort Sill. Second Lieutenant Russel N. Boswell, commissioned from sergeant and transferred from Battery C, and Second Lieutenant Henry A. McKinnon, transferred to Battery B from Headquarters Company, were the other new officers in Battery B. First Lieutenant John W. Moore and First Lieutenant Frank B. Ashcraft were transferred, the first to Battery E and the latter to Headquarters Company. Lieutenant Ashcraft resigned during the month. First Lieutenants Frank L. Fuller and Enoch S. Simmons were transferred from Battery F to Battery C and Second Lieutenant Francis E. Liles, newly commissioned from sergeant, was assigned to Battery C. First Lieutenant William B. R. Guion was transferred from Battery C to Battery A and First Lieutenant William P. Whittaker to Battery F.
In August the regiment suffered the loss of eleven of its officers in one detachment, who were returned to the United States to instruct other artillery units, and two others were assigned to the U. S. Artillery School at Bordeaux, France. Those returned to the United States were: Capt. William T. Joyner, adjutant of the Second Battalion. 1st Lieut. Frank L. Fuller, of Battery C. 1st Lieut. William B. R. Guion, of Headquarters Company. 1st Lieut. John W. Moore, of Headquarters Company. 2d Lieut. Herman H. Hardison, of Battery D. 2d Lieut. Lemuel R. Johnston, of Headquarters Company. 2d Lieut. Henry A. McKinnon, of Battery A. 2d Lieut. Frank B. Davis, of Battery D. 2d Lieut. Zack D. Harden, of Headquarters Company. 2d Lieut. Francis E. Liles, of Battery C. 2d Lieut. Kip I. Chace, of Battery E.A list of hometowns of all the soldiers mentioned in this document indicates Lt. Liles was originally from Lilesville, North Carolina, which is about 60 miles from Charlotte.
All of these officers received promotion to their next highest grade and the regiment saw them no more. Men and officers heard with deep regret of the death in the United States of Lieutenant Harden, who fell a victim to “flu” soon after his arrival in the United States.
If you're interested in learning more about or owning interesting and/or antique Masonic books, aprons, jewels, etc., you should check out Bro. Dean's blog Freemason's Corner. Bro. Dean, of Nova Scotia, Canada, scours eBay everyday looking for Masonic items, and then posts the links, pictures and descriptions for you on his blog. It's a great service he's providing for Masons and those interested in things Masonic.
Images: Scans of pages from my copy of "Morals and Dogma." Click on images to enlarge the views.
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