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150 Years Later...


Subdeacon Joe

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http://abcnews.go.com/US/civil-war-hero-receiving-medal-honor-151-years/story?id=25140113

 

 

More than a century and a half after his death at the Battle of Gettysburg, a Union Army officer is being awarded the nation’s highest military decoration.

President Obama approved the Medal of Honor for First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing, the White House announced Tuesday. Cushing was killed in action on July 3, 1863 -- at age 22 -- during the battle’s third and final day, in the face of Pickett’s Charge, a futile, deadly Confederate advance that threatened to turn the tide of the war.

Cushing served as commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps for the Army of the Potomac.

During the battle, Cushing’s battery took a severe pounding from the Confederate artillery, and Cushing was wounded in the stomach and right shoulder.

Despite his injuries, Cushing refused to leave the battlefield, commanding his men and defending his position on Cemetery Ridge against the charging opposition.

"The Confederate cannon sent volleys over the heads of their advancing troops into the Union lines," the Waukesha Freeman (Wisconsin) wrote in 1911. "Cushing and his neighbors replied with never ceasing spirit, in spite of a constant rain of shot and shell, with horses and men falling all around."

"Cushing was shot several times but kept on firing. He served his last round of canister, was struck in the mouth by a bullet and fell dead."

 

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"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."

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