In a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, President Obama posthumously awarded a veteran of the Civil War the Congressional Medal of Honor. Union Army 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. During his speech, Obama noted that Cushing famously declared that he would “fight it out or die in the attack” as Confederates advanced on him and his men. Normally, recommendations of the medal must be made within two years of an act of heroism, but in Cushing’s case Congress granted an exemption. Cushing was wounded in the stomach, right shoulder, and burned his fingers to the bone using his gun before being shot and killed. His small unit held its ground under heavy artillery fire and in the face of 13,000 advancing Confederate infantrymen.