Sigma Chi and the Civil War

sigma-chi-and-the-civil-warDuring the Civil War, Harry St. John Dixon and a small band of Sigma Chi Soldiers formed a small chapter that has come to be known as the Constantine Chapter of Sigma Chi. The chapter, named after Constantine because of the Founders’ inspiration of the story of Emperor Constantine, was organized on September 17 during the Atlanta campaign of the war.

Keeping informed of Sigma Chi’s in the vicinity, Dixon and another Sigma Chi, Harry Yerger, contacted all brothers who were able to attend the first meeting. During the first meeting, Dixon was elected as “Sigma,” or president, and Yerger as “Chi,” or vice president. Other brothers known to have attended include Rueben T. Pollard, Evan J. Shelby, and William H. Bolton. The chapter also initiated two men, Thomas N. Fowler and A. B. Raffington.

All of the members had lost their badges, but Dixon managed to make a substitute out of a silver half-dollar using only a pocket knife and file. He even went so far as to set the Greek letters Sigma Chi in the temporary badge with bits of gold.

On New Year’s Day, 1865, the chapter held its final meeting paying respect to the four Constantine Chapter Sigs who had perished in battle. The upcoming and abrupt end of the war resulted in the end of the wartime chapter.

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