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Student Success - Cody Turnbaugh


  • How a trip to Gettysburg turned into a lifelong passion

    Meet Cody Turnbaugh, a history major at Saint Francis University.

    Cody Turnbaugh(1)How do you single out history’s heroes?  How do you ensure that one soldier’s story doesn’t fade into the mist of memory but receives the recognition it deserves? Cody Turnbaugh was determined to find out. 

    The Sophomore History/Public Administration Major at Saint Francis University, developed an interest in History after reading a book on the Battle of Gettysburg.  Several trips to the Civil War battlefield cemented his passion for the subject.

    Cody became particularly interested in the life and legacy of Alonzo H. Cushing, a young artillery officer in the Union army.  During the last day of the battle, the Confederate army attempted to break through the Union’s defenses. The wounded Cushing refused to leave his post. He fired his cannons into the charging enemy, holding them off until he died on the battlefield. Cushing’s heroic action however, disappeared from history. Cody became convinced that historians needed to acknowledge Alonzo H. Cushing for helping turn the tide of the battle, and the war. Alonzo Cushing

    In December 2016, Cody received a grant from the School of Arts and Letters. He used the grant to fund a research trip to the National Archives in Washington D.C. to examine documents regarding Cushing and his bravery in battle. Some of the primary sources he reviewed included letters between generals on the behalf of Cushing’s actions, and others from the Commission Branch, which issued citations to soldiers for their actions in combat. Encouraged by these discoveries, Cody is now looking to continue his work on Alonzo H. Cushing and dig deeper into this remarkable story. He is currently developing his research into a scholarly article.