Medal of Honor for a Civil War Hero 150 Years in the Grave

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tags: Civil War, Alonzo H. Cushing



He went off to fight, telling a cousin that “I may never return” but “I will gain a name in this war.” First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing proved right on both counts. He did not return, and now, after an epic delay notable even in a town famed for taking its time, his name will at long last be honored at the White House.

More than 150 years after standing his ground against Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg, Lieutenant Cushing will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama — a result both of his heroism in those dark days and of the persistence of a 94-year-old Wisconsin woman who lobbied on his behalf for more than a quarter-century.

Lieutenant Cushing was at the center of the most pivotal day of arguably the most pivotal battle of the Civil War. An artillery commander at age 22, he refused to retreat in the face of the Confederate infantry assault ordered by Gen. Robert E. Lee on Cemetery Ridge and kept firing his cannon even after being wounded.




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