Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Local Civil War Hero Honored

Waukesha County played an important role during the Civil Era along with the rest of the State of Wisconsin. The City of Waukesha was one of many stops of the "underground" railroad that hid runaway slaves who were escaping to Canada. Also, the City of Delafield was home to one of many heroes in the Civil War and featured in a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article written by Meg Jones. The article is about First Lt. Alonzo Cushing, finally receiving the Medal of Honor posthumously for his brave actions at the Battle of Gettysburg, that took place on July 1,2, 3, 1863. The battle was one of the bloodiest battles in Civil War history and a turning point for the Union Army. After the victory, President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.

So, what makes Cushing's story so heroic? During Pickett's charge at Cemetery Ridge on the last day of battle, Alonzo and his men of Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery were placed in a confined spot, the so-called "the Angle" because of a stone fence used by the Union troops to protect themselves from the Confederates. Suddenly, a shell fragment pierced Cushing's shoulder and shrapnel tore through his abdomen. Ignoring his superiors recommendation to seek medical treatment, Cushing, who knew that his company had few men left and only two working cannons yelled "I will give them [The Confederate Army] one more shot" and was shot in the mouth that killed him instantly. It shows how Alonzo Cushing became one of the many heroes at the Battle of Gettysburg, fighting to the end and deserving the Medal of Honor.

It is important to remember the life of Alonzo Cushing for his courage. The Waukesha County Historical Society has numerous documents on his life and military career. In 1915, a white monument was dedicated in a park located in Delafield, later name the Cushing Memorial Park. I recently visited the park and you can listen to my brief audio report describing it. Also, there is not a whole lot written about Cushing and his heroic efforts at the Battle of Gettysburg. However, I was able to find one book at the Waukesha County Library called "Cushing of Gettysburg: The Story of a Union Artillery Commander" by Kent Masterson Brown. Finally, let us never forget the brave men, especially from Wisconsin, who gave their lives in the Civil War to fulfill President Abraham Lincoln's goal of preserving the Union. Please take the time to visit Cushing Memorial Park if you are in the Waukesha County area.

Thank you for reading my blog and you can comment below or email me at

The link to my audio report

The link to the article

Friday, March 12, 2010

Letters to Jackie and the debut of Dapper Dan Cast

I have debut my first podcast in conjunction with this blog. The show opens up with an introduction, describing the show and also it's first topic, a recently released book about the millions of letters that Mrs. Kennedy received in the aftermath of her husband's death. Since the podcast is going to be on a part time basis, I will let everybody know when new shows are posted or you can check back periodically. Finally, thanks for reading my blog and listening to the Dapper Dan Cast.

Here is the link