Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor On Nov. 6, President Obama will award a long-delayed Medal of Honor to Army 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who fought in the Civil War. Advocates have lobbied for years on his behalf.
NPR logo

Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/359512095/359512096" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor

Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor

Officer Killed In Civil War To Receive Medal Of Honor

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/359512095/359512096" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

On Nov. 6, President Obama will award a long-delayed Medal of Honor to Army 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who fought in the Civil War. Advocates have lobbied for years on his behalf.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now this - President Obama will award a long delayed Medal of Honor to a soldier next month. He'll honor Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who fought in the Civil War. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Cushing was 22 years old when he fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. He was fighting for the Union, helping hold back Pickett's Charge. Kent Masterson Brown wrote a book about Cushing. He says the first lieutenant had been shot badly in his right shoulder and his groin, but he fought on.

KENT MASTERSON BROWN: He was asked to go to the rear many times and refused, saying to his men he'll stay here and fight it out or die in the attempt.

SANDERS: And die he did. Federal law says a Medal of Honor must be given within three years of the event that merits the honor. After some years of controversy, Congress extended that time limit for Cushing. Margaret Zerwekh is in large part responsible for this. She lobbied for decades on Cushing's behalf. In 2010, she told NPR it was all worth it.

MARGARET ZERWEKH: I could see that young guy just out of school - out of West Point - standing by his gun and not backing down. And I thought if he can do that, I can keep after an honor for him.

SANDERS: Kent Brown says Cushing's medal is about more than just one man.

BROWN: I'd like to think that this award to Cushing is an award to all of those we don't know.

SANDERS: President Obama will award Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing the Medal of Honor on November 6. Sam Sanders, NPR News.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.