Centennial aged valor: First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing


The Medal of Honor was awarded today to a soldier for actions that took place more than a century ago. The average Civil War Medal of Honor recipient was 24.53 years old and waited an average of 20.56 years to be awarded the Medal of Honor from the time of their battle action.  First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing was 22 years old and has waited the longest in history to receive the Medal of Honor.

1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing

1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing

Cushing was a Union officer that rallied the men in his charge to battle during the desperate campaign offensives for the North and the South. The Battle of Gettysburg had tipping point implications for both sides. Had the Confederate forces prevailed, they would have threatened Washington, D.C. located 85 miles to the south.

His citation reads:

First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac. Cushing distinguished himself during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863.

Cushing’s actions alone did not defeat Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s advance on the Union line, as no battle is ever won by a single man. His action did however inspire the men around him and the Medal of Honor serves as a tribute to their collective courage and sacrifice.

Members of First Lieutenant Cushing’s family joined the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service and sacrifice. Helen Ensign, Cushing’s cousin twice removed, accepted the Medal on behalf of the family.Medal of Honor


Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.


  1. Shannon Weckman    

    This new Veterans Choice Program SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS!
    and BTW, did I say it SUCKS!

    The one area where I could really use some help is with the Bi-PAP machine that I have to use and I was being given the run around! This program adds another layer to a system that is already in deep (redacted). I was never able to get an appointment with the VA in Durango, CO. They don’t answer their phones and when they do, there are no appts available and when they say they will call back, they don’t!

    It was a nightmare trying to get enrolled with the VA when I moved to Colorado from California where I was already enrolled. To begin with I was naive enough to think that the VA was the VA but NO, there is one VA that takes care of California and another VA that takes care of Colorado, YEH! And as usual, people like to to answer phones or call you back or provide followup appts.


Comments are closed.