Replica of the
Masonic Civil War Memorial
This is a cast replica of the
famous Gettysburg Masonic Memorial Monument titled "Friend to
Friend". The artist is Ron Tunison. It is cast in
pewter with very fine detail. It depicts a mortally wounded Confederate
Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead handing Captain Henry Harrison
Bingham his personal and Masonic effects. Both men were Masons. It
illustrates a very tender moment in Civil War history. The statue is very
heavy, weighing 10 lbs. and is mounted on a mahogany base. The measurements
are 9 1/2 inches high on a base that measures 8 1/2 inches by 6 inches.
This is a limited edition, signed and numbered 1723 of 5000.
Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial
By Sheldon A. Munn
conceived and sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of
Pennsylvania, centers on a monument of two sculpted bronze figures atop a
large granite base. The figures portray the historically verified
encounter between Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead and
Captain Henry Harrison Bingham. Bingham was an aide to Union Major
General Winfield Scott Hancock on Cemetery Ridge during Pickett's charge of
July 3rd, 1863. This attack became known throughout the world as the
"High Tide of the Confederacy."
Although Armistead and Hancock had been friends and
fellow officers for many years, their political differences came between them
at the outbreak of the Civil War. Armistead joined the newly formed
Confederacy while Hancock chose to stay by the flag of the United States.
Both officers served their countries well and were promoted into leadership
After the two men went their separate ways, it was
twenty-seven months before they were to meet again. This meeting finally
took place on the battlefield remembered forever as "Gettysburg."
During Pickett's charge, both officers were wounded. Armistead was
mortally wounded and Hancock received a wound from which he would be in
hospital care for many months. Armistead's cries for help were heard by
several officers nearby, and it was a fellow fraternity brother, Captain
Bingham, who arrived and offered aid to his fallen comrade-in-arms.
Armistead spoke of his close relationship with
Hancock and he asked Captain Bingham to relay a message to his old friend.
He entrusted his personal effects to the captain. Armistead died two
days later at the George Spangler farm hospital site.
The Confederate officer on the memorial:
Lewis Addison Armistead
Commander of Armistead's Brigade,
Pickett's Division, Longstreet's Corp.
Born: February 18, 1817, New Bern, North
Died: July 5th, 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, age 46.
Buried: St. Paul's Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.
West Point: Attended (1833; 1834-36). Resigned.
Mason: He was a member of Alexandria-Washington Masonic Lodge #22,
Alexandria, Virginia. Charter member of Union Lodge, #7, Fort Riley, Kansas.
Probably no officer in the
army was more spirited, and certainly none possesses a more military family
background than did Lewis Addison Armistead. In an army of extraordinary
brigade commanders, Armistead, by his courage, experience and judgement would
have ranked among the highest of his contemporaries.
Armistead's family has left its name on some of the
peaks of American history. His uncle, Major George Armistead, commanded
Fort McHenry and kept the flag flying during the attack by the British fleet
September 13-14, 1814, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The
Star Spangled Banner."
Although it has never been confirmed, it is possible
that his grandfather served with General George Washington during the
Revolutionary War. His father, Captain Walker Keith Armistead, laid out
the defenses of Norfolk, Virginia, in the War of 1812 and led its gallant
defense, crushing a formidable British force, on June 1, 1813.
Lewis Armistead was appointed to the regular United
States army and was twice brevetted for gallantry during the War with Mexico.
He was on duty in California when he resigned his commission, May 26, 1861, to
join the Confederate Army in its pursuit of its independence. He was
commissioned a colonel in 1861 and he participated in the campaigns of Western
Virginia and North Carolina. He was promoted to brigadier general on
April 1, 1862, and fought with conspicuous bravery in numerous battles from
the Peninsular Campaign to Gettysburg.
On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, in the
final Confederate assault on the Union center, Armistead's brigade formed the
second rank of the attacking division. Leading his Virginians through
the center of the Union line, Armistead was mortally wounded. He was
taken to the 11th Corps field hospital site at the George Spangler farm, and
he died of exhaustion on July 5, 1863.
The Union officer on the memorial:
Captain Henry Harrison
Judge-Advocate of Hancock's Second Corps at Gettysburg.
Born: December 4, 1841, Philadelphia,
Died: March 24, 1912. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, age 70.
Buried: North Laurel Hills Cemetery, Philadelphia.
Graduated: Jefferson College, Washington, Pa.
Mason: Chartiers Lodge, #297, Canonsburg, Pa. He later transferred
his membership to Union Lake Lodge, #121, in the Masonic Temple, in
Philadelphia on September 10, 1868. He was a Life Member of the Lodge.
Henry Harrison Bingham
graduated from Jefferson College in Washington, Pa. In 1862, he was made
a Lieutenant of the 40th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment. He was elected
captain on September 9, 1862, and served on the staff of General Winfield
Hancock where he fought in many major battles. These battles
included the Wilderness, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania, where he won brevets
for bravery and war service. During his service, he was wounded at
Gettysburg in July 1863; at the Battle of Boydon Plank Road, February 7, 1865,
but managed to escape the following night.
At the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3r, 1863, he
observed General Pickett's Charge. He was within yards of the
"Angle" when Brigadier General Lewis Armistead led his Confederates
to the infamous "High Tide of the Confederacy."
Bingham's war record was brilliant! In April
1863, he was promoted and upgraded to Judge-Advocate of the First Division,
Second Corps. Three months later, he was again upgraded to the position
of the entire Corps Judge-Advocacy. He was then promoted to the
rank of Major. Subsequently, he was promoted Judge-Advocate General of
Volunteers and brevet brigadier general.
General Bingham was awarded the Medal of Honor by his
countrymen for gallantry. Less than a year after retirement from the
army, in 1867, he was appointed postmaster in Philadelphia. He was
awarded this position after being chosen by President Andrew Johnson on the
joint recommendations of Generals Meade and Hancock. In 1871, after
being recommissioned by President Johnson and President Grant, Bingham later
relinquished the office to accept a position with the federal courts.
Bingham was a stalwart leader to the Republican
Party. He was a delegate from the First Congressional District to the
National Convention in Cincinnati in 1876. In 1884 and 1888 he was a
delegate in Chicago, and he also served as a delegate in Minneapolis and St.
General Bingham won election to the United States
Congress in 1878 and he served his district for seventeen consecutive terms.
Armistead, Bingham and Hancock were opponents, in
this, their first and last contest, but they were brothers--joined in
brotherhood that transcended mere political difference.
The War between the States was a tragedy felt hard
within the Masonic fraternity. It brought Masonic Brothers,
Fathers & Sons into battle against each other. Many fraternal Civil
War stories abound in books like "Befriend and
Relieve Every Brother" Freemasonry during Wartime by Richard
Eugene Shields, Jr.; "House Undivided"
by Allen E. Roberts; "Freemasons at
Gettysburg" by Sheldon A. Munn; "Confederate
Veteran" by Samuel Roberts, Sr.; "The
Mystic Sign" Masonic Sketches, by F. P. Strickland; "Friend
to Friend" The Scottish Rite Journal, by M.W. Samuel E.
Cowan and "Masonry Under Two Flags" Masonic
Service Assoc. 1983 by Allen E. Roberts.