At an upcoming ceremony, the Medal of Honor will be awarded to 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, for conspicuous gallantry his actions on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.

Alonzo Cushing, formerly an active duty Army officer and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac. Cushing distinguished himself during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863.

Cushing will be the 64th Soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Gettysburg.

The White House will release the date for the ceremony in a future announcement.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing

Alonzo H. Cushing graduated, and was commissioned, from the United States Military Academy at West Point in the class of June 1861. Born in what is now Delafield, Wisconsin, he was raised in Fredonia, New York. Cushing was the commander of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg.

Cushing was killed in action on July 3, 1863, at the age of 22. On that day, the third day of the battle, in the face of Longstreet's Assault, also known as Pickett's Charge, Cushing's battery took a severe pounding by Confederate artillery. As the rebel infantry advanced, Cushing manned the only remaining, and serviceable, field piece in his battery. During the advance, he was wounded in the stomach as well as in the right shoulder. Refusing to evacuate to the rear despite his severe wounds, he directed the operation of his lone field piece continuing to fire in the face of the enemy. With the rebels within 100 yards of his position, Cushing was shot and killed during this heroic stand. His actions made it possible for the Union Army to successfully repulse the Confederate assault. Cushing is buried with full honors at his alma mater, West Point.

Page last updated Mon August 25th, 2014 at 00:00