The granite monument is four and a half feet tall and is carved to depict an opened scroll. It was dedicated on July 12, 1887.
Text from the monument:
Lewis A. Armistead, C.S.A.
July 3, 1863
Lewis Armistead has become one of the best known Confederate officers, thanks to the book The Killer Angels and the movie Gettysburg.
Armistead was born in New Bern, North Carolina, on February 18, 1817. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point but did not graduate. Helped by his influential family, Armistead was appointed Second Lieutenant in 1839.
During the Mexican War he was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec and was brevetted twice for gallantry.
While serving as quartermaster in Los Angeles after the Mexican War he became good friends with both John Reynolds and Winfield Hancock. After the secession of the slave states he resigned on May 26, 1861, and in a farewell party is reported to have told Hancock “May God strike me dead” if he ever raised a hand against him in battle.
Civil War years
Armistead made his was east to Texas, then to Virginia, where he was given a Confederate commission as a major. He quickly became colonel of the 57th Virginia Infantry Regiment in September of 1861. In April of 1862 He was promoted to brigadier general. Armistead served well in a number of battles, including leading the Confederate assault at Malvern Hill.
The image of Armistead at Gettysburg, hat on his sword as he led his brigade in Pickett’s Charge, is one of the icons of the Civil War. He and a small group of survivors crossed the stone wall that was the objective of the attack. It became known as the “High Water Mark of the Confederacy.” Armistead was mortally wounded in the fierce fighting.
The Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial at the northwest corner of the National Cemetery depicts Union Captain Henry Bingham, a fellow Mason, aiding the wounded Armistead. Armistead died two days later in a Union hospital, and is buried next to his uncle at Old St. Paul’s Cemetery in Baltimore.