The "Friend to
Masonic Civil War Monument"
This statue has sold out and is no longer for sale! They are thinking
about reissuing again at a later date! We will keep you posted!
The two pictures above are of a pink granite
model of the Friend to Friend Monument that Sculptor Ron Tunison created in the planning
stages of the full scale production. It is located in the Museum and Library of the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
The Friend to Friend
By Sheldon A. Munn
The memorial 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
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 positions.
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:
Brigadier General Lewis
Commander of Armistead's Brigade, Pickett's
Division, Longstreet's Corp.
Born: February 18, 1817, New Bern, North Carolina.
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
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 Norfilk, Virginia, in the
War of 1812 and led its gallant defense, crushing a formidable British force, on June 1,
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 Bingham
Captain, Judge-Advocate of Hancock's Second Corps
Born: December 4, 1841, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Died: March 23, 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
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 re-commissioned 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. Louis.
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.
To get books related to Freemasonry and the Ancient Mysteries.