Saturday, February 16, 2019

Cushing's Battery A, 4th U.S Artillery Position at Gettysburg

Location: Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg

Features: Monuments and cannon.

History:  The Union artillery played a vital role in the repulse of the Confederate attack known as Pickett's Charge on the third day of the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, commanded by 22 year old Alonzo Cushing, took up position along Cemetery Ridge in the area that would come to be known as "The Angle." Cushing's guns supported infantry from the 71st and 69th Pennsylvania regiments behind a low stone wall.  This location would be the only position the Southern attack would reach that day, culminating in fierce hand-to-hand fighting.  Though severely wounded several times, Cushing remained with his guns, pouring fire into the advancing Virginians. Cushing's heroic stand finally came to an end when he was mortally shot in the head. Due to his and many other Union soldier's sacrifices that day, the Confederate charge was broken and R.E. Lee's invasion of the North was finished.

Battery A Position, Cemetery Ridge

The Angle - Cushing's Battery at left
Heroic exploits were not uncommon in the Cushing family of Delafield, Wisconsin. Both of Alonzo's brothers served with distinction during the Civil War. Brother William Cushing served in the Navy and is best known for a daring night commando raid that sank the Confederate ironclad Albemarle. Howard, the oldest of the brothers, also served in the artillery and fought the Apaches in the post war period, meeting an untimely fate in the West which earned him the unfortunate title "The Custer of Arizona."

Battery A Position looking west toward the Confederate attack.
In the foreground is the marker noting where Cushing fell.
Note: This is a repost of an article originally published on August 26, 2014.  It was on that date that President Obama announced Alonzo Cushing would finally receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, 151 years after the battle.


Cushing's Battery - MMP Last Chance For Victory

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