U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.), leaders of the Congressional effort to award Lt. Alonzo Cushing with a posthumous Medal of Honor, will attend a White House ceremony on November 6 to pay tribute to this Wisconsin-born Civil War hero. Lt. Cushing played a key role in securing a victory for the Union in the Battle of Gettysburg.
 
Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Before going off to fight, Lt. Cushing reportedly told a cousin that, while he knew he was unlikely to return, he would make a name for himself in the war. One-hundred and fifty-one years after he stared down General Pickett’s charge, I am thrilled to join Lt. Cushing’s family and esteemed guests at the White House to honor the sacrifice that secured his place in history. This award culminates tireless efforts by constituents who recognized Lt. Cushing’s bravery and more than two decades of bipartisan work in Congress.”

Congressman Kind: “It’s been a long and challenging journey to get Lt. Cushing the recognition he deserves, but as I always say, it’s never too late to do the right thing for our war heroes. It will be a tremendous honor to join with the President, military leaders, and some of Lt. Cushing’s descendants to witness this occasion 151 years after Lt. Cushing bravely gave his life at the Battle of Gettysburg.”
 
A native of Delafield, WI, Alonzo Cushing’s actions on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg helped turn the tide during Pickett’s Charge. Three days into the battle on July 3, 1863, Cushing and the 110 men under his command received the full force of Confederate artillery and Pickett’s Charge of 13,000 infantry. Over the course of just a few hours, all of his officers had been killed and Cushing himself was badly injured. Continuing to fight, he sustained two more wounds before succumbing to his wounds on the field of battle.

The legislation passed by Congress made it possible to waive the requirement that recommendations for the Medal of Honor be made within two years of the heroic action, and awarded within three years.  Lt. Cushing’s medal can now be awarded, having received the recommendation of the Department of Defense and the approval of the President. Earlier this year, Reps. Sensenbrenner and Kind sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel requesting his prompt attention to Lt. Cushing’s record.