Update: The ceremony was delayed while relatives of Alonzo Cushing were located who could accept the medal on his behalf. Two cousins of Cushing will be presented with his Medal of Honor on November 6th, 2014, at the White House.
The years long wait for the awarding of the Medal of Honor to Lt. Alonzo Cushing for his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg is coming to an end. The final hurdles have been cleared and the White House announced that Cushing, along with Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins and Army Specialist Donald P. Sloat both of whom fought in the Vietnam War, will receive their Medals of Honor from President Obama on September 15th.
Cushing, who was killed while manning his artillery battery during Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd, 1863, was born in Wisconsin and a graduate of West Point. He continued to direct artillery fire despite being seriously wounded, refusing to withdraw, until he was finally killed. Over the years, admirers and Civil War buffs have tried to get Cushing the award, but various roadblocks, such as the length of time since the Civil War, have always slowed or stopped the process. But there isn’t–or shouldn’t–be a statute of limitations on bravery in combat, and Cushing’s actions have been well documented. Cushing, who was just 22 years old when he was killed, should have won the award in the 1800’s but somehow he slipped though the cracks. Now he’ll finally get the Medal of Honor that he earned 151 years ago.