First Sergeant Frederick Fuger, First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, and the Medal of Honor

???His noble death . . . should present an example for emulation to patriotic defenders of the country through all time to come???: First Sergeant Frederick Fuger, a native of Germany, arrived on the field at Gettysburg with Battery A of the 4th U.S. …

By Mary Roll

His noble death . . . should present an example for emulation to patriotic defenders of the country through all time to come.

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First Sergeant Frederick Fuger, a native of Germany, arrived on the field at Gettysburg with Battery A of the 4th U.S. Artillery early on the morning of July 2, 1863. This battery was attached to General Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac.  Fuger spent most of that day in command of a section of the battery, which volleyed with Confederate guns on and off throughout the afternoon. Despite the steady exchange of fire, Battery A reported minimal losses on the 2nd. However, July 3rd would prove to be the true test of the battery’s might and the loyal Sergeant Fuger’s leadership qualities.

On the afternoon of July 3rd, from their position near the Angle behind the now-famous stone wall that lines Cemetery Ridge, members of Battery A readily awaited the onslaught of southern troops charging across the open field before them. As Pickett’s Charge reached its climax and the great wave of grey swept up the ridge, the twenty-seven year old Fuger found himself in charge of the battery’s guns. Battery commander First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, 22, had fallen dead in the melee, and all of Fuger’s superior officers were killed or severely wounded. Continue reading “First Sergeant Frederick Fuger, First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, and the Medal of Honor”