Column: Soldier is at last honoredHere in Wisconsin we have a proud tradition of serving our country.
By: Russ Feingold, The Republican Eagle
Here in Wisconsin we have a proud tradition of serving our country.
Recently, the U.S. Army announced its recommendation that Delafield, Wis., native and Civil War hero Alonzo Cushing be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for making this ultimate sacrifice. I was pleased to help a group of citizen petition the Army to recommend the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to Cushing, who died at the Battle of Gettysburg July 3, 1863.
Cushing was a distinguished graduate of West Point Academy in 1861. After graduation, he fought in several Civil War battles, including the Battle of Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Antietam and earned the rank of first lieutenant. At Antietam, he personally saved his battery from capture.
Cushing is probably best remembered for his action at Gettysburg. At the height of “Pickett’s Charge,” Cushing’s battery was at the center of the Confederates’ objective.
While defending Cemetery Ridge from the oncoming Confederate Army, Cushing was seriously wounded. Despite his grave injuries and limited manpower, Cushing remained on the battlefield, staying to fight until he was struck down by enemy fire. Cushing was buried with full honors at West Point.
Numerous individuals wrote on behalf of Cushing, including the historian of Delafield, Cushing’s biographer, and Gov. Jim Doyle. Many Wisconsinites pulled together to help honor Cushing, a true Civil War hero.
This is a tremendous honor made possible by a group of devoted citizens with immense pride in Cushing’s actions and Wisconsin history.
We take pride in Cushing’s valor, just as we take pride in the countless other men and women who have served our country with such bravery, and such honor. For his courage and commitment, Cushing has truly earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, just as the service of all Wisconsin veterans has earned the unending respect and gratitude of the American people.
Russ Feingold serves in the U.S. Senate.