- (As of March 2014, the nomination awaits review by the Defense Department before being approved by President Barack Obama)
Margaret Zerwekh thought Alonzo Cushing deserved the Medal of Honor. So she wrote a letter to her congressman to correct what she thought was an injustice. That was more than three decades ago. Zerwekh is now 93, and Cushing appears to be on the verge of receiving the nation’s highest honor for valor. Tucked deep in the defense bill passed is a provision to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Cushing, an artillery officer from Delafield killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. Zerwekh can’t remember when she wrote her first letter on behalf of Cushing to then-Sen. William Proxmire, but it was sometime in the 1980s.
Among the many men who died in the nation’s bloodiest battle was Cushing, a first lieutenant in charge of an artillery battery of six cannons and 110 men. On July 3, 1863, the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Cushing and his soldiers in Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, were stationed near a small grove of trees in a spot known as “the Angle” because of a nearby stone fence.
The Angle bore the brunt of the tragic and misguided gamble known as Pickett’s Charge. Before Confederate soldiers were sent to their deaths in the charge, Confederate artillery launched a ferocious bombardment that decimated Cushing’s unit. When it stopped, Cushing had only two working cannons and a few soldiers still standing. In the cannonade, a shell fragment pierced Cushing’s shoulder and shrapnel tore through his abdomen and groin. Holding his intestines with one hand, Cushing refused to leave his cannons and his men.
Battery A moved the two remaining guns to a stone wall and blasted away at the charging Confederates. A few seconds after he yelled “I will give them one more shot,” Cushing was struck in the mouth by a bullet that killed him instantly.
He was 22.
Cushing’s body was returned to his family in Delafield, and they buried him at West Point beneath a tombstone inscribed “Faithful until death.”
Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/decades-long-quest-to-honor-civil-war-hero-alonzo-cushing-nears-success-b99170796z1-237192961.html#ixzz2wYdXhX2q WIKI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alonzo_Cushing
From The Civil War Parlor in Tumblr