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Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial, Gettysburg, PA

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posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 04:29 PM
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I was doing some reading today and came across this memorial; I had not heard of it before. I think this is a shining example of the kind of bond that Freemasons share. Certainly officers back then were expected to conduct themselves as gentlemen, and there was indeed a mutual respect between them, however something like this really speaks to me in terms of the strength of that bond of brotherhood. I know, I know, it’s an isolated incident, but one I thought was worthy of comment. Even in the midst of battle, the tie between two Masons can not be broken. It’s quite amazing, if you ask me.

I’m kind of a sucker for military history anyways, so this was a double whammy for me. I’m sure there were many other instances like this, considering the sheer number of soldiers, and the percentage of those that surely were Freemasons, but to happen at Gettysburg, at one of the hardest fought, bloodiest battles of the Civil War, when emotions must have been soaring... The Union was trying to keep the Confederates from reaching Washington and Baltimore, and the Confederates knew that if they could just push through the war might be won... Man. Gives me chills. Then you’ve got these two guys in the heat of battle, one falls, gives the sign, and one of the enemy comes to his aid. All I can say is wow.


I’m almost sure there will be flak and noise in this thread, maybe there won’t, but nevertheless I wanted to share it.

This is a really good article on the battle and the Freemasons who fought in it on both sides:


from: www.bessel.org...

The climax of the battle took place on July 3. After a quiet morning, in early afternoon General Lee ordered the most massive cannon attack ever on the North American continent. Then, he ordered about 12,000 men to attack the center of the Union position, across about a mile of open country. Both the Southerners and Northerners generally showed great courage in facing each other, realizing that this might be the event that would decide the war and the fate of our country. Among the leaders of this event, known as Pickett's Charge, was Confederate Brigadier General, and Brother, Lewis Addison Armistead. The leader of the Union force being attacked was the Union Major General, and Brother, Winfield Scott Hancock.
Armistead and Hancock were both career soldiers, and before the Civil War they were friends when both were U.S. Army officers in California. Both were also Freemasons.

When the Confederate attack reached the Union line at Gettysburg, there was fierce fighting. General Armistead was shot twice, and as he went down he gave a Masonic sign asking for assistance. A fellow Mason, a Union officer named Henry H. Bingham, then a Captain, later a higher officer and then a very influential Congressman, came to Armistead's assistance and offered to help. Armistead reportedly asked to see and talk with his friend General Hancock, but he was told that Hancock had been very badly wounded just a few minutes earlier. Union Brother Bingham then helped Confederate Brother Armistead off the field and to a hospital, but Armistead died two days later. General Hancock, to the surprise of many, recovered and resumed his command later in the Civil War.

This incident, of a Freemason who was a Union officer helping a Freemason who was a wounded Confederate officer, is one of the greatest examples of the ideals of Freemasonry in action. In 1993, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania completed and dedicated a monument on the Gettysburg National Cemetery, with the cooperation and support of the United States government, that shows Brother Bingham, a Union officer, assisting Brother Armistead. This statue is extremely dramatic, and it is called the "Masonic Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial."


harmony18.org..." target='_new' class='postlink' style='color: #ff0000; font-size: 14px;'>external image

[edit on 8/22/05 by The Axeman]




posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 04:49 PM
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Really beautiful and what a fitting monument.

It shows us even in the horrors of war humanity prevailed as one man helps another regardless of their differences. Ok they were friends and brothers but me personally I would like to believe that even if they weren't that same humanity would of been shown.

It reminds me of when the British and German troops laying down their arms on Christmas day in WW1 taking a drink and sharing a laugh.

Hopefully in these troubled times we may find such fine conduct on todays battlefields.

Nice post Axeman



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 04:52 PM
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I have voted for you for way above because you have shown to people that humanity even in war is still there.



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 04:55 PM
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Hey Axeman, You should read a book called "A House Undivide" its about Masons helping each other during the Civil War. I can't remember who wrote it, but it was a good read.

lost in the midwest



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 05:02 PM
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Originally posted by lost in the midwest
Hey Axeman, You should read a book called "A House Undivide" its about Masons helping each other during the Civil War. I can't remember who wrote it, but it was a good read.


Why Brother Allen E. Roberts wrote that fine tome.

www.phoenixmasonry.org...

A more indepth look:

www.freemason.org...

Blue Gray Monkeys, not just for post bowl season games anymore...



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
General Armistead was shot twice, and as he went down he gave a Masonic sign asking for assistance.

I dunno, that seems strange. I mean, wouldn't you ask for other sorts of help before performign some series of hand signals to get another mason to help ya??? I mean if I was shot I'd think I'd be calling for a medic rather than signaling masons, no????


MrDog
It reminds me of when the British and German troops laying down their arms on Christmas day in WW1 taking a drink and sharing a laugh.

During the Boer War in South Africa, while the Khakis were laying seige to a boer position, the fired a shell around christmas time that was full of christmas pudding, the boers retrieved it and were able to crack open the shell and enjoy it. Pretty whacky. (or perhaps it was boers firing on the brits with their long toms, I forget precisely).



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
I dunno, that seems strange. I mean, wouldn't you ask for other sorts of help before performign some series of hand signals to get another mason to help ya??? I mean if I was shot I'd think I'd be calling for a medic rather than signaling masons, no????



Apologies for the long quote, but this goes a long way to explaining why it's not strange:


www.freemason.org
Perhaps the best example of these ties of brotherhood occurred on the battlefield at Gettysburg. [4] This battle, the turning point of the War, saw 93,000 Federal troops doing battle with 71,000 Confederates. Of those numbers, more than 35,000 were killed or wounded in the three days of fighting from 1 July to 3 July, 1863. Of the men who fought, 17,930 were Freemasons, including the roughly 5,600 who became casualties. [5] One of the most famous events that occurred at Gettysburg was the huge Confederate infantry push known as Pickett's Charge. On 3 July, Pickett (a member of Dove Lodge No. 51, Richmond, Va) led nearly 12,000 men on a long rush across open fields towards the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. It has been called the last and greatest infantry charge in military history.

One of the men leading that charge was Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead, CSA. He was a member of Alexandria-Washington Masonic Lodge No. 22 in Alexandria. Originally from North Carolina, he had attended West Point, and fought with the US Army for a number of years before resigning his commission to fight for the Confederacy. During that time, he had occasion to serve with now Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, USA (Charity Lodge No. 190, Norristown, Pa.) while both men were in the west. The two had become good friends. However, with Armistead's resignation, it had been nearly two and a half years since the two men had had any contact. Until Gettysburg, that is.

It was Hancock who had taken command of the fragmented Union troops on Cemetery Ridge on 1 July, and organized them into a strong front that had withstood three days of pounding from the Confederate guns. And it was his position, in the center of the Union line, that was the focus of Pickett's Charge. During the action, both men were wounded. Armistead was shot from his horse, mortally wounded. Hancock's saddle took a hit, driving nails and pieces of wood into his thigh.

As the battle waned, it became clear that Armistead's injuries were fatal. Knowing that his old friend was somewhere behind the Union lines, Armistead exhibited the Masonic sign of distress. [6] This was seen by Captain Henry Harrison Bingham, the Judge-Advocate of Hancock's Second Corps (Chartiers Lodge #297, Canonsburg, Pa.). He came to the fallen Armistead, and declared that he was a fellow Mason.

The two men spoke for a time, and when Armistead realized that Bingham had direct access to Hancock, he entrusted some of his personal effects to him. Among them were his Masonic watch, the Bible upon which he had taken his obligations, [7] and a number of other items. Bingham said his farewells, and then returned to the Union camp to deliver the items.

Armistead died two days later.


www.freemason.org...

It makes perfect sense for him to use the Grand Hailing Sign Of Distress in order to gain access to his old friend behind opposition ("enemy" is inappropriate for the Civil War) lines. As for signalling a medic in that era, it was not uncommon for the wounded to hide from the surgeon's saw.


Gettysburg Monkeys, not just for famous speeches anymore...



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
I dunno, that seems strange. I mean, wouldn't you ask for other sorts of help before performign some series of hand signals to get another mason to help ya??? I mean if I was shot I'd think I'd be calling for a medic rather than signaling masons, no????


Mirth did a good job explaining the situation. While the general's situation was unique, other masonic soldiers might have given the sign simply because there were LOTS of Freemasons at that time, and they would have known that the sign would give them help without risk of being further injured. There were probably more masons on that field than there were medics.



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 02:48 PM
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Originally posted by Mirthful Me
in order to gain access to his old friend behind opposition ("enemy" is inappropriate for the Civil War) lines

I suppose that it would make sense to get to someone specific, but still, seems odd no? Not in a conspiratorial sort of way. I suppose we don't know what else he did to try to help himself either, maybe this was just one that worked out.



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 02:52 PM
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It was not odd to know which groups you were fighting in battle during the Civil War. Most had banners to ID them. Many freinds knew from letters from home which group their freinds had joined. The fact that he knew his freind was out there some where is not that surprising.

one of these days I will learn how to spell.


lost in the midwest

[edit on 23-8-2005 by lost in the midwest]

[edit on 23-8-2005 by lost in the midwest]

[edit on 23-8-2005 by lost in the midwest]



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

Originally posted by Mirthful Me
in order to gain access to his old friend behind opposition ("enemy" is inappropriate for the Civil War) lines

I suppose that it would make sense to get to someone specific, but still, seems odd no? Not in a conspiratorial sort of way. I suppose we don't know what else he did to try to help himself either, maybe this was just one that worked out.


Well, what else would he do?

Forget about the Freemason angle for a moment. How would you get a message to a friend or relative on the opposing side? You probably wouldn't be able to. You'd be more likely to be killed or robbed by an opposing soldier, right? Maybe his Masonic affiliation was the only thing he knew would transcend the division of the battlefield? "Virtus Junxit Mors Non Seperabit" indeed.

[edit on 8/23/05 by The Axeman]



posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 04:33 PM
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Since the GHSOD is not something to be given nor taken lightly, I would suspect that his intentions were beyond the mere request for medical treatment.

Being a General he no doubt knew his injuries were serious and/or fatal. Because of this he sought out a Brother the only way he knew or could. He wanted try and attract the attention of someone he knew he could trust regardless of which side they were on. He (as the article stated) had things he wanted to distribute, and no doubt things he wanted said to his family etc. Finding a Brother he knew, without a doubt, that his last wishes would be carried out and not forgotten when he drew his last breath.

He also knew that a Brother would try to get him the medical attention he needed, but if he didn't make it that far.....he wouldn't die alone.

*shrug* just my two Lincoln's worth



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by The Axeman
 


This is clearly an indication of treason and shows what the brotherhood and now sisterhood of secrets, Freemasonry is capable of. This brotherhood gets put before actual brothers and before country. If they were not masons they would have been looked upon as traitorous soldiers letting the enemy escape. But we must believe that their comradary that is shared every first tuesday of the month at 8pm and the other secret meetings mean more than the average person can understand.

I like reviving four year old threads...



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by AllTiedTogether
 


..It shows that while we may fight over ideologies, ultimately we are all Humans and answer to a higher authority. It is not treason to aid a wounded enemy by showing hospitality and medical care. In fact, it is expected that we do such things.

There are plenty of cases of non-Masons doing such actions throughout the civil war, the revolutionary war, ww1, ww2 etc.. While some might consider that "treason", I would consider it honorable.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 04:04 AM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


I would have to agree with you there Rock. I also believe that it is honorable for them to let their enemy go... In certain instances... But even as your statement shows...




There are plenty of cases of non-Masons .... While some might consider that "treason", I would consider it honorable.


Problem is that those that are non-masons are classified as aiding and abetting the enemy while the mason is looked upon as honorable. I'm sorry but anyone using the signal of distress to the enemy is abusing a power that shouldn't be in the first place. Imagine Charles Manson flashing the mason sign of distress and maybe getting off... It's happened elsewhere in cases... check it out, its on the web...



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by AllTiedTogether
 


There are stories of soldiers from the civil war who attended the same church, or worked the same farm, or any number of different associations meeting up letting the other go, or being lenient on them.
Yes, this is a instance where being a Mason helped the guy, but they were friends regardless.



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 02:26 AM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 


Yes they were friends but they are also brothers... even Saddam Hussien was a brother to you masons. I know many will deny it but the proof has been shown that it is true. That's a bad example anyways because Hussien was given all the weapons to kill his people by the US and it was sanctioned with the knowledge of the US and others. So he was just another pawn in the war caused by secrets... Everything that is bad is covered up by secrets.... It only makes sense...

Rgds



posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 08:03 AM
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reply to post by AllTiedTogether
 


an I thought that it was proven that Sadam was not a freemason. I guess all you have to do is say it for it to be true.

Vladimir Putin is second cousin to Bob Barker. They have reunions once a year and eat fried chicken togeather. Proof, no, but I said it so it must be true.

deny ignorance, don't perpetuate it.



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