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Cushing to be honored with Medal of Honor

March 3, 2010

City of Delafield — Alonzo Cushing - one of four brothers for which an elementary school and city park are named for - will be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Battle of Gettysburg in which he was killed on July 3, 1863, according to U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin).

Secretary of Army John McHugh notified Feingold's office last week that Cushing would receive the country's highest military honor, according to Matt Nikolay, veterans' affairs case worker and regional coordinator in Feingold's La Crosse office.

Nikolay credited local historian Margaret Zerwekh with initiating a campaign seven years ago to have Cushing awarded the medal posthumously. Nikolay said several other constituents had also urged Feingold to recommend Cushing for the award.

"It was a big surprise. It has been a slow process," Nikolay observed.

Zerwekh, who prepared the application submitted by Feingold, said the 22-year-old lieutenant deserved the medal because of his efforts to stall confederate forces during Pickett's Charge, despite being seriously wounded three times during the battle.

She said she decided to seek the award on Cushing's behalf in 2003 after noticing that an organization honoring Civil War veterans was successfully gaining posthumous awards for other civil war heroes.

The Congressional Medal of Honor was established in 1862, a year before Cushing's death. Of the 3,448 awards, 618 have been awarded posthumously.

Nikolay said he is not sure when and to whom the medal will be presented. The Army is seeking the nearest next of kin to Cushing. Zerwekh said there are no living family members.

"I would like to see some kind of ceremony in Delafield," she said.

Cushing was born in Delafield Township on Jan. 19, 1841. He was raised in Fredonia, N.Y., and was a graduate of West Point.

His brother William was a Navy hero in the Civil War. Another brother, Howard, survived the Civil War and became a leading frontiersman. A fourth brother, Milton, served as a Navy paymaster.

Cushing Park and Cushing Elementary School are named after the brothers.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

The Art of the Bicycle: 11 a.m. Nov. 21, 26, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. first and third Saturdays and by appointment, Free www.delafieldartscenter.org.

Organ Concert: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21, St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc Music Club is hosting a concert by renowned organist Dr. Simone Gheller. Refreshments will be served after the concert. Free.

Yuletide Faire: 5-9 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 22, Prairie Hill Waldorf School, N14-W29143 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee. $4 in advance or $5 at the door for adults and $1 in advance or $2 at the door for children under 15. Features strolling minstrels and costumed characters, puppet shows, storytelling, candle dipping, face painting, children’s craft workshops, children’s holiday shopping, live music, silent auction, children’s book sale, natural toys, 35 vendors, warm food, homemade desserts, candies, nuts and other treats. 

Fashionable Tidings Gala Luncheon: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 22, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Holiday fashions of local clothiers Paul Bruce Goodman and Liebling Leather. Music by Brusubardis String Ensemble. Lunch includes shrimp scamp and angel hair pasta with vegetables provencale. Wine tasting  and auction. Benefits Waukesha Choral Union. $35. Call (414) 297-9310 for tickets. www.choralunion.org.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.