History

Battery A, 4th US Artillery was originally created by an Act of Congress on March 2, 1821. Before the Civil War, Battery A, 4th US Artillery participated in the following:

“Nullification” crisis in Charleston, SC, 1832
Creek Indian War in Alabama, 1833
Seminole War in Florida, 1835-1836
US – Mexican War, 1846-1848
Seminole Indian uprising, 1856

In 1857, Batteries A and I of the 4th US Artillery were sent to Fort Laramie and by 1861, Batteries A and C of the 4th US Artillery were assigned to Fort Crittenden in Utah territory to protect settlers from Indians. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Battery A was assigned to return to Washington D.C. to help defend the Capitol. It would take a few months before the battery would arrive.

During the outbreak of war, Alonzo Cushing graduated from West Point Military Academy with other cadets such as George Custer, Patrick O’Rourke, and Edmund Kirby. Some of the notable cadets who left the Academy to enlist with the Confederacy were Thomas Rosser, John Pelham, and Fitzhugh Lee. There were to be no graduation exercises for the Class of 61′. The Cadets were simply relieved of duty at West Point and assigned to posts. On June 24th, 1861, Alonzo Cushing was given the rank of a Second lieutenant and First lieutenant in the 4th United States Artillery.

Nearly all of the 82 enlisted men who accompanied Battery’s A and C to Washington D.C. had served with the two units in Utah. From September, 1861 through the winter of 1862 Battery A brought men into the ranks from volunteers from the following; 5th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, 53rd and 81st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, 52nd, 57th, 61st, 63rd, 66th, 69th, 88th New York Volunteer Infantries as well as men from the 14th New York Independent Battery. In all, 51 infantry men were added to the roll of Battery A.

Alonzo Cushing participated in the Battle of First Bull Run while temporarily assigned to Lt. Oliver D. Greene’s Battery G, 2nd US Artillery. However, Cushing was back with Battery A and C for the Battle of Antietam. During the of 1862, Battery’s A and C were split apart and 39 more men were brought from the 4th Ohio Infantry bringing the total roll of Battery A to 147 men to man the Battery’s 6 – 3inch ordinance rifles.

After the death of Lt. Alonzo Cushing, Battery A would go on to participate in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. It is at Gettysburg where Battery A, 4th US Artillery would be recorded into the history books. On the 3rd day of battle, General Robert E. Lee would order General Pickett to lead an assault against the center of the Union lines. 15,000 Confederates would march over a mile of open field towards the Union lines while Union artillery was blasting holes in their ranks. The Confederates did succeed in reaching the Union lines, right at the point where Battery A was positioned. Lt. Alonzo Cushing gave his life while manning his gun when it was being overrun. The confederates would advance no further as Union reserves began pouring fire into the already depleted ranks. The Battle of Gettysburg was over.

Battery A, 4th US Artillery participated in most campaigns and battles involving the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

 

 

Engagements

 Engagements and Campaigns of Cushings Battery.

 

Assigned to Defenses of Washington, D.C. March, 1862
Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4, 1862
Battle of Seven Pines, Fair Oaks May 31-June 1, 1862
Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1, 1862
Peach Orchard and Savage Station June 29, 1862
White Oak Swamp and Glendale June 30, 1862
Malvern Hill July 1, 1862
Harrison’s Landing until August 16, 1862
Movement to Alexandria and Centreville August 16-28, 1862
Cover Pope’s retreat August 28-September 2, 1862
Maryland Campaign September 6-22, 1862
Battle of Antietam, MD September 16-17, 1862
At Harper’s Ferry September 22-October 30, 1862
Movement to Falmouth, VA October 30-November 19, 1862
Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15, 1862
At Falmouth, VA until April, 1863
Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6, 1863
Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5, 1863
Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 16, 1863
Battle of Gettysburg, PA July 1-3, 1863
Made a Horse Battery 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac July 15, 1863
Advance to the Rapidan September 13-17, 1863
Culpeper Court House September 13, 1863
Bristoe Campaign October 9-22, 1863
White Sulphur Springs October 12, 1863
Bristoe Station October 14, 1863
St. Stephen’s Church October 14, 1863
Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8, 1863
Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2, 1863
Parker’s Store November 29, 1863
Wilderness May 5-7, 1864
Sheridan’s Raid to the James River May 9-24, 1864
North Anna River May 9, 1864
Ground Squirrel Church and Yellow Tavern May 11, 1864
Brook Church, Fortifications of Richmond May 12, 1864
On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28, 1864
Totopotomoy May 28-31, 1864
Cold Harbor May 31-June 1, 1864
Dismounted and sent to Washington, D.C June 4, 1864
Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C until August, 1865

 

 

 

 

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