Washington – President Obama posthumously presented the Medal of Honor today to Army 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for the soldier’s conspicuous gallantry during the Civil War.
The Union Army lieutenant was commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac, during combat operations near Cemetery Ridge in Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.
During Longstreet’s Assault, also known as Pickett’s Charge, Cushing’s battery took a severe pounding by Confederate artillery. As the Confederate forces advanced, he manned the only remaining serviceable field piece in his battery.
During the advance, Cushing was wounded in the abdomen and 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.
With the Confederate forces within 100 yards of his position, Cushing was shot and killed. His actions made it possible for the Union Army to successfully repel the assault.
Cushing’s cousins, Frederic Stevens Sater and Frederic Cushing Stevens III, will attend the ceremony with their families.