DELAFIELD, WIS – A soldier receives an award years after his heroics!
Alonzo Cushing, a 1st Lieutenant, stood his ground on the Gettysburg battlefield valiantly as he fought off Confederates while wounded. He was eventually felled by Confederate bullets, but his heroics have never been forgotten by his modern-day supports. 147 years later, those same supporters have gotten their wish and Cushing will be awarded the Medal of Honor. It’s the nation’s highest military decoration.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh approved the request and the award will become official this summer. Cushing will become one of 3,447 recipients of the award.
It’s an honor that’s 147 years overdue, said Margaret Zerwekh. The 90-year-old woman lives on the land in Delafield where Cushing was born, and jokes that she’s been adopted by the Cushing family for her efforts to see their family member honored.
“I was jumping up and down when I heard it was approved,” said Zerwekh. “I was terribly excited.”
Cushing died on July 3, 1863, the last day of the three-day battle of Gettysburg. He was 22.
Cushing and his men of the Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery were defending the Union position on Cemetery Ridge against Pickett’s Charge, a major Confederate thrust that could have turned the tide in the war. He commanded about 110 men and six cannons. His small force stood their ground until artillery bombardment and nearly 13,000 Confederate infantrymen left his unit with two guns and Cushing. The assault lasted nearly two hours before Cushing was killed.
The Cushing name is prominent in the southeastern Wisconsin town of Delafield. A monument to Cushing and two of his brothers stands at Cushing Memorial Park.