Lt Cushing was born in Delafield, Wisconsin in 1841; he died a hero, at Gettysburg, in 1863.
Wisconsin soldiers were renowned for their bravery, and formed what has been enviously called the "Iron Brigade." Even alongside this august cadre of courageous soldiers, Cushing stood out.
Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott called him, "The bravest man I ever saw."
On the final day of Gettysburg, it was Cushing's Battery that defended the Union troops against Pickett's Charge of 13,000 infantry. Cushing commanded 110 men and six cannons. Pickett's Charge was among the most gallant and disciplined marches the world has witnessed. Pickett's men marched across an open field facing withering bullet and canister attack. Lesser infantry would have turned tail and run. Pickett's men are famous for the bravery they displayed that day. It was a young Lieutenant from Wisconsin who faced the steel of Pickett's Charge.
Within a few hours of commencement of battle, all of Cushing's officers were dead. According to an account by Theron W. Haight, "All but one of Lieut. Cushing's guns were disabled and he himself was shot through both thighs and the lower part of his abdomen was torn by a fragment of shell. But, holding his intestines back with one hand, he directed his cannon with the other and sent its load of canister into the faces of the gallant Confederates who were swarming up to the front. As he thus encountered the topmost wave of the southern tide of war, he was struck by a bullet through his mouth and brain."
Just 22 years old, Cushing died a few feet from Confederate General Armistead, at the site known as the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. In 2010, Cushing was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery.