Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.258 W 077° 13.906
18S E 308991 N 4410269
Quick Description: Not the typical Civil War General statue one would expect to see. This Confederate Gen. has fallen to the ground, wounded, & is being tended to by a Union officer. The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial is truly unique. Read on to find out why....
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 10/23/2011 7:49:58 PM
Waymark Code: WMCXR8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member dh2000dh
Views: 5

Long Description:
** The complete 18-picture gallery for this monument can be found HERE. **

Speaking as a Freemason and from personal experience, Freemasons have a long and rich association within the fraternity, especially within wartime. There are many accounts of men on opposite sides of the battle lines, rendering aid and protecting fellow Masons, putting the fraternity before country. It is a strong brotherhood. Although the monument represents a story of a fallen Confederate General, a helpful Union officer and the Confederate General's friend, a Union general, the monument speaks more symbolically of the unbreakable ties within the fraternity. Today, although one of the newest sculptures on the battlefield, the monument is a centerpiece, a jewel of Gettysburg. It is a very touching statue and I felt proud and honored as I viewed the memorial. I even bragged to some visitors next to me, telling them the story about how the monument was made and paid for and that I was part of it. To think, I am in some small way, partly responsible for a monument at Gettysburg.

From Wikipedia (Citation below): The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial is a Gettysburg Battlefield monument depicting the "Armistead-Bingham incident after Pickett's Charge in which Union Army Captain Henry H. Bingham assisted mortally-wounded Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead, both Freemasons. Although Armistead's sword was captured and later returned in 1906, Armistead entrusted other personal effects (e.g., a pocket watch) with Bingham after Armistead was shot twice ("as he went down he gave a Masonic sign asking for assistance"). En route to the Spangler Farm field hospital where he died 2 days later, Armistead briefly met Winfield Scott Hancock, a Freemason brother and close Federal colleague from before the war.

The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial is located at the Auxiliary section of the National Cemetery. It is the center of attention, so to speak, and is surrounded by interment markers in a semicircular fashion. Draw the Sword, with descriptive help from the NPS site, offers the following description: Kneeling Union officer is tending to a wounded Confederate officer. The wounded figure is reclining against a knapsack. The sculpture stands on a rectangular base, which in turn, stands on a circular base. There are benches around the monument and steps on each side leading to a walkway which surrounds the piece of three sides. The whole is surrounded by a semi-circular wall with the names of 29 states incised on each panel. The memorial depicts a kneeling Union officer — Henry Bingham of Hancock’s staff — tending to wounded Confederate General Lewis Armistead.

The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial was dedicated August 23, 1993 by The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The monument’s sculptor was Ron Tunison of Cairo, New York, who is himself a Freemason; Tallix casted the giant sculpture at their foundry. The SIRIS site only uses half of their business name. Their site lists the company name as Polich Tallix. The monument is composed of polychrome bronze with a granite base with the following dimensions: Sculpture: approx. 4 x 8 x 5 ft.; Base: approx. Diam. 15 ft.

There is a plaque on right which contains an inscription describing the presentation and dedication and a list of officers at the time of the dedication. Also, there is a plaque on left which contains a description of the Union and Confederate officers depicted in the sculpture. To the rear, the names of 29 states are incised in semi-circular wall surrounding sculpture. The sculpture is also signed and the founder's mark appears as well.

The two plaques read:

(Left Plaque):
Friend to Friend
Masonic Memorial

This monument is presented by the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania and dedicated as a memorial to the Freemasons of the Union and Confederacy. Their unique bonds of friendship enabled them to remain a brotherhood undivided, even as they fought in a divided nation, faithfully supporting the respective governments under which they lived.
Dedicated August 21, 1993
The right Worshipful Grand Lodge
Of The Most Ancient And Honorable Fraternity
Of Free And Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania
And Masonic Jursidiction Thereunto Belonging.

Edward H. Fowler, Jr., Right Worshipful Grand Master
George H. Hohenshildt, R.W. Deputy Grand Master, Chairman
Edward O. Weisser, R.W. Senior Grand Warden
James L. Ernette, R.W. Junior Grand Warden
Marvin G. Speicher, R.W. Grand Treasurer
Thomas W. Jackson, R.W. Grand Secretary

(Right Plaque):
Friend to Friend

Union General Winfield Scott Hancock and Confederate General Lewis Addison Armistead were personal friends and members of the Masonic Fraternity.

Although they had served and fought side by side in the United States Army prior to the Civil War, Armistead refused to raise his sword against his fellow Southerners and joined the Confederate Army in 1861.

Both Hancock and Armistead fought heroically in the previous twenty-seven months of the war. They were destined to meet at Gettysburg.

During Pickett's Charge, Armistead led his men gallantly, penetrating Hancock's line. Ironically, when Armistead was mortally wounded, Hancock was also wounded.

Depicted in this sculpture is Union Captain Henry Bingham, a Mason and staff assistant to General Hancock, himself wounded, rendering aid to the fallen Confederate General. Armistead is shown handing his watch and personal effects to be taken to his friend, Union General Hancock.

Hancock survived the war and died in 1886. Armistead died at Gettysburg July 3, 1863. Captain Bingham attained the rank of General and later served 32 yeas in the United States House of Representatives. He was known as the "Father of the House".

Shown on the wall surrounding this monument are the names of the States whose soldiers fought at the Battle of Gettysburg.

The monument is identified as structure number MN829.

From the Nomination Form:

Short Physical Description:

16'D. base, 3 part shaft, 7'Hx11'Lx9'W, w/ bronze inscribed plaques SW & NE elev, Incised inscriptions w/ masonic emblems NW & SE elev. Apex of 2 officers (Armistead & Bingham), 3'6"Hx4'L. 3/4 circle, 24'D. w/ state names circle Mn. Loc. in Cemetery Annex.

Long Physical Description:

Depicts wounded CSA General Armistead entrusting personal effects to USA Captain Bingham to give to USA General Hancock, CSA's General's friend & fellow Mason.

My Sources
1. NRHP Narrative
3. Stone Sentinels
4. Virtual Gettysburg
5. Draw the Sword
6. Historical Marker Database
7. Wikipedia

Union or Confederacy: Confederacy - South

General's Name: Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead

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