Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cushing's Union Battery

July 3, 1863 - Third Day

 
 
Cushing's Union Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
1. Cushing's Union Battery Marker
Inscription. "No, I stay right here and fight it out, or die in the attempt."
Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, U.S.A.
4th U.S. Artillery, Battery A

Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, commanded by Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, held this key position on the afternoon of July 3. The cannon and associated limbers and caissons in front of you mark the general location of Cushing's Battery.

At 1:00 p.m., as a prelude to Pickett's Charge, about 130 Confederate cannon along Seminary Ridge, 3/4 mile to your left, opened a 1-1/2-hour artillery duel with Union cannon here on Cemetery Ridge. It was the heaviest cannonade the continent had seen. Confederate shells took a toll on Cushing's battery, exploding ammunition chests, knocking wheels off cannon, and killing many horses.

By the time enemy infantry reached the stone wall to your left, only one of Cushing's six guns remained in service. Wounded in the shoulder and groin, and held upright by a fellow officer, Cushing fired his last round of canister into the onrushing Confederates, then fell dead when a bullet entered his mouth. Moments later, Confederate Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead led his men over the wall and overran the battery.

Artillery Projectiles
Solid Shot

Solid iron. Used at longer ranges against massed troops, fortifications, and other batteries. Also
Waysides between the Copse of Trees and the Angle image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
2. Waysides between the Copse of Trees and the Angle
From left to right - Battlefield Landmarks-South and West, Pickett's Charge, The High Water Mark, and Cushing's Union Battery.
to fell timber on enemy soldiers in the woods.

Case Shot
Iron shell filled with musket balls sealed in rosin or molten sulphur. Powder charge in core ignited by fuse. Designed to explode before impact. Also called "shrapnel."

Shell
Cast-iron shell filled with black powder. Time fuse ignited by cannon's discharge. Shell exploded into fragments that could kill or maim.

Canister
Tin can filled with iron balls packed in sawdust. Used at close range - 400 yards or less - against infantry. Double or triple canister could be used in a crisis.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 48.774′ N, 77° 14.134′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Hancock Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Located near the "Copse of Trees" on Cemetery Ridge in Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The High Water Mark (here, next to this marker); Pickett's Charge (here, next to this marker); Battlefield Landmarks - South and West (a few steps from this marker); 72nd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers
Cushing's Battery Position image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
3. Cushing's Battery Position
Four 3-inch Ordnance Rifles represent Cushing's Battery. The four guns are, from left to right, registry numbers 583, 512, 674, and 176.
(a few steps from this marker); First Pennsylvania Cavalry (a few steps from this marker); Major General Alexander Webb (a few steps from this marker); Second Brigade (a few steps from this marker); Artillery Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. In the upper center is a photograph showing A Federal gun crew drilling with a 20-pounder Parrott rifle. Cushing's battery used lighter 3-inch ordnance rifles.

In the lower center is a portrait of Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing who graduated from West Point in 1861, a classmate of George Armstrong Custer. At age 22, he died beside his cannon here. According to Cpl. Thomas Moon who served under him, he "looked more like a school girl than a warrior; but he was the best fighting man I ever saw."

At the bottom center is a silhouette display of an artillery section showing the gun and crew, six-horse team, limber with ammunition chest, another six-horse team pulling a limber with ammunition chest, and finally a caisson with two ammunition cases and a spare wheel. To the rear of each
Battery Caissons image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
4. Battery Caissons
Reproduction caissons representing those which supported Cushing's Battery stand on the east side of Hancock Avenue.
gun stood two teams of horses hitched to limbers. The first team pulled the gun. The second team pulled a caisson with additional ammunition.


Drawings of the projectiles illustrate the sidebar on the right.
 
Also see . . .  High Water Mark. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on February 14, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Grave of Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
5. Grave of Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing
Alonzo Cushing is buried in West Point Cemetery at the U.S. Military Academy, next to Maj. Gen. John Buford. The grave of Maj. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick can also be seen in the background. All three played prominent roles in the Battle of Gettysburg.
Cushing's Medal of Honor image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 6, 2015
6. Cushing's Medal of Honor
On November 6, 2014, more than 150 years after being killed at Gettysburg, Lt. Alonzo Cushing was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during Pickett's Charge. The medal is seen here at West Point Military Academy. Cushing was a member of the Class of June 1861.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,585 times since then and 150 times this year. Last updated on , by Sherri Watts of Lexington, Kentucky. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement