147 years later, soldier receives award
From the Associated Press:
A Wisconsin soldier who died at Gettysburg seven score and seven years ago is finally in line to receive the nation’s highest military decoration.
First Lt. Alonzo Cushing of Delafield died 147 years ago at age 22. Even though he was wounded he led his men to a valiant last stand, one that repelled a Confederate thrust.
Descendants and Civil War buffs took up Cushing’s cause. They’ve been trying to get the Army to take the rare step of bestowing the medal upon him after all these years. It last happened for a Civil War soldier nine years ago.
The secretary of the Army approved Cushing’s medal earlier this year, leaving a few formal steps before the award is expected to become official this summer.
When Richard Blumenthal, Democratic candidate to replace Senator Chris Dodd in Connecticut, heard about the award, he said, “I remember when I fought in the Civil War hearing about Cushing.” When it was pointed out to Blumenthal that he couldn’t possibly have fought in the Civil War, he said, “I’m sorry. I misspoke. I meant to say that when I served in the army during the Civil War…”