Speed Reads

Better late than never

After 40 years of trying, a family will finally receive Medal of Honor for Civil War ancestor

More than 150 years after he was killed during the Civil War, Union Army 1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing is being honored with the Medal of Honor.

"Apparently he is the longest-delayed Congressional Medal of Honor," Brooks Ensign, a relative of Cushing, told NBC Los Angeles. Following the Civil War, the Medal of Honor was rarely given out posthumously, and it took 40 years of petitioning from Cushing's ancestors and various historians to make it finally happen.

Documents say Cushing fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. After being injured twice, he was told to move to the back, but was killed after refusing to leave the front lines. His bravery became family lore, and many relatives today give their children the middle name "Cushing."

Ensign's mother, Helen, will travel from San Diego to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 6 to accept the medal from President Obama, and she's proud to represent Cushing. "We've all treasured memories of what a great person he was," she told NBC Los Angeles. "So it's really our way of saluting his great valor under fire."