|Alonzo H. Cushing|
January 19, 1841|
|Died||July 3, 1863
Cemetery Ridge, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
|Place of burial||West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1861–1863|
|Rank||Brevet Lieutenant colonel|
|Commands held||Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery|
|Relations||Brother William B. Cushing|
Alonzo Hersford Cushing (January 19, 1841 – July 3, 1863) was an artillery officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He died at the Battle of Gettysburg while defending the Union position on Cemetery Ridge against Pickett's Charge. Congressional action has been undertaken to award him the Medal of Honor 147 years after his death.
Civil War service
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 who eventually served in the Union forces (Their brother Howard was also killed while fighting the Chiricahua in 1871).
He graduated from the United States Military Academy in the class of June 1861, and received commissions as second and first lieutenant on the same day. He was brevetted major following the Battle of Chancellorsville. Cushing 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, a shell fragment went straight through his shoulder. He was then grievously 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 number 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.
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 unto Death."
Cushing received a belated award of the Medal of Honor. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin nominated him for the medal in 2002 and, following a lengthy investigation, the U.S. Army approved the nomination in February 2010. In order for the medal to be awarded, it had to be approved by the U.S. Congress. It was announced on May 20, 2010 that Cushing would receive the Medal of Honor, 147 years after his death.
Alonzo H. Cushing Camp #5 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War serves the Ozaukee County region of Wisconsin. A small state park in Delafield was dedicated to the memory of Cushing and two of his brothers, William and Howard. While the park remains dedicated to the memory of the Cushing brothers, it is now the property of the City of Delafield. Cushing Elementary School in Delafield (part of the Kettle Moraine School District) is also named after the brothers.
- SUVCW Camp #5 website
- Service Profile
- Brown, Cushing of Gettysburg.
- West Point Cemetery tourbook
- Hesselberg, George (March 9, 2010). "Wisconsin soldier who died in the Civil War gets Medal of Honor recommendation". Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin). Archived from the original on March 12, 2010.
- Brown, Kent Masterson. Cushing of Gettysburg. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993. ISBN 0-8131-1837-9.
- Brown, K. M., Cushing of Gettysburg, Lexington, KY: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1993.
- Haight, Theron Wilber. Three Wisconsin Cushings: A Sketch of the Lives of Howard B., Alonzo H. and William B. Cushing, Children of a Pioneer Family of Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Madison: Wisconsin History Commission, 1910. OCLC 632733137.
- "Winning a Battle to Honor a Civil War Hero." New York Times, June 11, 2010
- Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery – The Civil War Artillery Compendium
- "Alonzo Cushing". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
- Gettysburg National Military Park – The Death of Lt. Cushing