Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial at Gettysburg

Pictures and text by Chad Holm

The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial is located adjacent to the Gettysburg National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I participated in a staff ride of the battlefield and took the photos on October 18, 2009. This poignant memorial rests on a large, rectangular granite base and is topped by a bronze statue representation of the verified encounter between wounded Confederate Brigadier General Lewis Armistead and Union Captain Henry Bingham following the Confederate attack on Cemetery Hill. The attack would eventually become known as "Pickett's charge." Set in a peaceful courtyard in the shape of an unfinished circle, the memorial depicts the mortally wounded General Armistead trusting his personal Masonic items to Captain Bingham (a fellow mason) to give to General Armistead's old friend and fellow mason, Union General Winfield Hancock. The project was sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the capstone was laid in 1993. The memorial is intended to convey to the viewer the sacred bonds of fraternity, mercy and brotherly love that transcended man's folly of war.

Front view of the Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial at Gettysburg National Cemetery. I am standing at the left for size perspective.
This aspect was taken from the front left of the memorial. It is perhaps the best at presenting the whole of the historical scene as well as some detail of the bronze statues. In the background one can see the old stone wall of the cemetery as well as some of the site's mature evergreen trees.
This view from the back left corner of the memorial provides detail of Captain Bingham's uniform and dressing of his head wound. Also noticeable is a rip in General Armistead's left arm sleeve.
Front left view shows another bullet hole in General Armistead's sleeve as well as the monument sculptor's signature.
This close up view of Captain Bingham's face reveals a somber expression, displaying no malice towards the wounded General Armistead.
Another detailed photograph showing the boot heal of Captain Bingham. In this view, the hobnails in his boot are clearly visible as well as details of his sword belt.
A close-up of the exchange of Masonic items. Visible are the classic Masonic square and compass watch fob as well as Captain Bingham's eye classes peaking out of his breast pocket.
Capstone laid by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

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