CHAPLAIN STEPHEN A. PILLEY
MILITARY ORDER OF THE STARS & BARS
The Military Order of t he Stars and Bars is an organization comprised of descendants of the Confederate Officer Corps, and governmental officials. The MOSB is a heritage, non-political organization open to all males who can prove a blood relationship to a Confederate officer or governmental official, regardless of their race or ethnic origin. The MOSB is dedicated to telling the true history of the War Between the States. The MOSB presents literary awards, erects monuments, sponsors historical symposiums, and other avenues of teaching history. It is an international organization that is further broken down into Departments, comprised of several states, Societies in individual states, and local Chapters. The Chaplain Stephen A. Pilley Chapter is located in Troy, Pike County, Alabama, and serves several counties in Southeast Alabama.
Stephen A. Pilley
Preacher – Soldier – Chaplain – Freemason – Postmaster
Stephen A. Pilley was born in Monroe County, Alabama on October 5, 1837, the son of Stephen Fatherly Pilley, a Methodist Minister who came to Alabama from North Carolina, and is buried near Georgiana, Alabama.
He joined the Methodist church, then the Methodist-Episcopal church, in 1850, and became a minister in 1859, although he had been preaching since the age of 16. Stephen A. Pilley actively served the Methodist Church until 1882, including serving as Pastor of the First Methodist Church in Troy in 1878. Two of his brothers, and his father, were also Methodist ministers.
When the War Between the States broke out, he enlisted in Co. K, 22nd Alabama Infantry, comprised of soldiers from South Montgomery County and Pike County. He was selected as 2nd Sergeant. At the Battle of Shiloh, the 22nd took heavy casualties, and Sgt. Pilley suddenly found himself in the position of acting orderly sergeant, and then in command of his company, before being captured.
After he was exchanged on October 30, 1862, he was appointed on December 17, 1862 as Chaplain of the 53rd Regiment Alabama Cavalry. Holding the rank of Captain, he was well-respected by his fellow soldiers.
Lt. Colonel John F. Gaines said of Pilley, “My experience has been and I believe it will hold good but with a few exceptions, that the courage of all troops on the battlefield comes up to the measure of the officers by whom they are commanded, and it is equally true that their moral status is attained in a great degree by the same means. It affords me much pleasure to state, so far as the moral standing of the 53rd is concerned, it has been everywhere highly complimented for its civil deportment and exemplary conduct. For this our very worthy and efficient Chaplain, Capt. S. A. Pilley, is entitled to much credit. He is justly held in high esteem by the officers and men of the command, and has all the while imparted a salutary moral influence, calculated to make better men and better soldiers. A number of conversions have resulted from his ministrations. A Christian Association has been formed and nightly prayer meetings are held in the different companies when in camp, and thus is kept alive and perpetuated the refining influences of Christianity…”
He received his Masonic Degrees at Manning Lodge in Montgomery County, Alabama in 1856. After moving to Troy in the 1870s, he served several terms as Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 56 in Troy. He also served the Lodge in other positions, and was well-known within Masonry throughout the state. He also was active in the Confederate veterans reunions in Troy.
On October 11, 1885, he was appointed as Postmaster of Troy, Alabama and served eight years in that position. Under President William McKinley, he was again appointed as Postmaster. Once, he also served as his party’s nominee for Congress.
Rev. Stephen A. Pilley died in Troy on November 15, 1909, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery with Masonic honors. In part, his obituary read, “Mr. Pilley was a splendid man and was held in the high esteem of the people. He was an able minister, a consecrated man who filled every duty well. He was noted for his consideration of the sick and unfortunate. His death will bring sorrow to countless friends.”
Bible Concordance used by Stephen A. Pilley. On right is Dr. John Brinsfield, Director of the U. S. Army Chaplain’s Museum at Ft. Jackson, SC. Dr. Brinsfield is a great nephew of Stephen A. Pilley, and currently serves as Chaplain General of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars.
(Photo taken at 2009 General Convention of the MOSB in Columbia, SC)
2011-2012 Officers of the
Chaplain Stephen A. Pilley Chapter are:
Commander: Joe Clark
Lt. Commander – Vacant
Adjutant: Bob McLendon
For further information, contact Bob McLendon
Also, check Military Order of the Stars and Bars for information on the national organization. Then check out the State Society where you live.
Thank you for visiting our site,
Adjutant, Chapter 302