Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial
The memorial conceived and sponsored by the Grand
Lodge of Free and accepted Masons of Pennsylvania,
centers on a monument of two sculptured 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 Picket’s charge of July 3 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 counties
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 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 Bigham, who arrived and offered
aid the his fallen comrade-in-arms.
Armistead spoke of his close relationship with Hancock and he asked
Captain Bigham to relay a message to his friend. He entrusted his personal
effects to the captain. Armstead died two days later at the George Spanger
farm hospital site.
(From “Freemasons at Gettysburg” by Sheldon A. Munn)
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