Hero to get medal - 147 years late

Better late than never!


Hero to get medal - 147 years late

First Lt Alonzo Cushing is expected to get the nation's highest military decoration

Wednesday May 19 2010

A soldier who died at Gettysburg 147 years ago is finally in line to receive the US's highest military decoration.

First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing of Delafield, Wisconsin, died in the American Civil War battle of Gettysburg in 1863 at the age of 22.

Even though he was wounded, he led his men to a valiant last stand, one that repelled a Confederate push.

Descendants and Civil War buffs took up Cushing's cause and have been trying to get the US army to take the rare step of bestowing the medal upon him after all these years.

It last happened for a Civil War soldier nine years ago.

The secretary of the army approved Cushing's medal earlier this year, leaving a few formal steps before the award is expected to become official this summer.

Press Association
From Wiki

Cushing was born in what is now the city of Delafield, Wisconsin, but was raised in Fredonia, New York. His younger brother was future Union Navy officer Lt. William B. Cushing. They were the youngest of four brothers that eventually would serve in the Union Army.[1]

He graduated from the United States Military Academy in the class of 1861. He commanded Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery at Gettysburg, and was hailed by contemporaries as heroic in his actions on the third day of the battle. He was wounded three times. First, he was wounded by a shell fragment that went straight through his shoulder. He was then greviously wounded by a shell fragment which tore into his abdomen and groin. This wound exposed Cushing's intestines which he held in place with his hand as he continued to command his battery. After these injuries a higher ranking officer said, "Cushing, go to the rear." Cushing, due to the limited amount of men left, refused to fall back. The severity of his wounds left him unable to yell his orders above the sounds of battle. Thus, he was held aloft by his 1st Sergeant Frederick Füger, who faithfully passed on Cushing's commands. Cushing was killed when a bullet entered his mouth and exited through the back of his skull. He died on the field at the height of the assault.[2]
Cushing's headstone at West Point

His body was returned to his family and then interred in the West Point Cemetery in Section 26, Row A, Grave 7. His headstone bears, at the behest of his mother, the inscription "Faithful until Death."[3]

Cushing was posthumously cited for gallantry with a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel. Füger received the Medal of Honor.[4]
Another dull day in his coffin just turned interesting...well done Alonzo mate.
My brother-in-law used to be the Rector of his home-town, Fredonia in NY, hence my (extremely tenuous connection) interest in him.

I believe the first part of this scene from the film Gettysburg portrays the final attack on Cushings battery, and the defence of it by 1st Sergeant Frederick Füger.


Emigrating from his native Germany in 1853, Fuger joined the 4th U.S. Artillery in 1856 and was assigned to Battery A. He saw service in Florida in 1856 against the Seminoles, Kansas in 1857, Utah in 1858 against the Mormons, and Nevada in 1860 against the Paiutes.[1]

Fuger’s five-year enlisitment was set to expire in 1861 when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter. He reenlisted as was promoted to First Sergeant of Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery under the command of Lt. Alonzo Cushing. During Pickett's Charge, as the Confederates were about the cross over the stonewall, Sgt. Fuger was aiding his commander in directing the battery's fire when Cushing was killed. Fuger assumed command of the battery and fired the remaining rounds of cannister before fighting hand-to-hand to drive the Confederates off the field. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action. He also received a commission as Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army. By his own account Fuger was present at 63 Civil War battles and minor engagements being slightly wounded twice, once in the head at the Battle of White Oak Swamp, June 30, 1862 and once in the left arm at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.[1]

Fuger was breveted 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army for gallant and meritorious services in the Battle of Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia, March 31, 1865. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant 4th Artillery in December 1865. Promoted to Captain 4th Artillery, March 1887. Promoted to Major 4th Artillery February 13, 1899. Retired for age being 64 years old in June 1900. By an Act of Congress passed in April 1904 Frederick Fuger, being a Civil War veteran, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army.

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