Alonzo Cushing


220px-Alonzo_CushingIn 1863, on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg a seminal event in US history that was Pickett’s Charge was stopped by the US Army at Cemetery Ridge. So many moments at that battle have gone done in our lore and history, but it was the moment of Pickett’s Charge that sticks in our corporate memory, although few people really know why. As the Confederate troops of General Pickett reached the low stone wall that marked the center of the Union line, the tired and thinly stretched Union troops rallied around several figures, including Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, and a young Union Artillery Lt. Col (Brevet) named Alonzo Cushing.

Lt. Col Cushing was hit by shrapnel as he directed his guns and then he was hit again, this time in the stomach, spilling his intestines and as Shelby Foote once described Civil War soldiers who had been hit there, he was “gut shot” – a guaranteed slow and painful death. Major Cushing held his guts in with his hand, was raised up on the shoulders of one of his Sergeants and continued to direct his guns until he was instantly killed by a bullet to his head almost at the moment that the Confederates reached and came over the wall.

He never saw the Union troops repel the charge and win the day and turn the tide of the war.

Why does it matter today? Because today, more than 150 years after his death at the Bate of Gettysburg, Lt. Col (Bvt) Alonzo Cushing will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – President Abraham Lincoln, dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery

The City of Manteca has decided to ban all homeless “encampments.” The ordinance also bans public urination and defecation and bans the homeless camps on public as well as private property. In effect, the ordinance allows Manteca Police to “move quickly” to have any such encampments removed. Meanwhile in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the news is making the rounds that the City has banned all feeding of the homeless and HAS ARRESTED A MAN FOR FEEDING THE HOMELESS. The left and the do-gooders are incensed, others are happy. The truth is twofold: first, there is NO solution for the homeless problem in ToTaL. All solutions are at best, “band-aid” approaches, and despite the myth of the “Ten Year Plan (now in it’s 12th year), there is no permanent solution that will pass Constitutional muster. secondly, any partial solution must be limited to an achievable goal, such as getting homeless people off the street and nothing more. These attempts at “transitional housing” and “Job Training” are pointless money wasting programs that do more to employ social workers than achieve any actual reduction in the homeless problem.

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Posted on November 6, 2014, in News & Notes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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