Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alonzo Cushing has a date with President Obama.

 Alonzo Cushing as a West Point cadet, Class of  June 1861
On Tuesday the White House announced that President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Alonzo Cushing on September 15 of this year, which will be 151 years, two  months, and twelve days after Cushing was shot through the mouth standing at what would become known as the Bloody Angle as the Confederates of Pickett's Charge charged right at him.

From the White House press release:
First Lieutenant 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, First Lieutenant Cushing's battery took a severe pounding by Confederate artillery.  As the rebel infantry advanced, he 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's headstone at West Point.