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Henry Eugene Quinn

Submitted by: Diana Quinn Cotton {Granddaughter}

Henry Eugene Quinn

Henry Eugene Quinn born around 1899. Henry Quinn served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service

 

PFC Henry E. Quinn served as a company runner in Co. F 28th Infantry 1st Division, American Expeditionary Forces, United States Army, during World War I and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Croix de Guerre, and Victory Medal with Five Battle Clasps.

My grandfather, Henry Eugene Quinn, was born in Anniston, Alabama, on January 31, 1899. He was the fourth of eleven children of William Eugene Quinn (1865-1945) and Emma Langdon (Fowler) Quinn (1873-1963). He stood 5’ 8” tall, had red hair, blue eyes, a fair complexion, and was covered in freckles. His nicknames were “Bud” (at home) and “Red” (in the Army).

In his World War I memoirs, written many years after the war, Henry wrote:

“March 1917—Applied for enlistment at Monroe (LA), was examined by a colonel Dr. who was rather rough in criticizing my physical condition, stated that I looked like a picked chicken, etc., account of being so skinny. I was not use to such criticism & talked rather rough to him in return. Sgt. was in the background motioning me to hush, etc., but I said my say. Col. flared up & stated, ‘He will do Sgt—I will get a waver on his weight tonight.’ I was 11 lbs. under weight.”

Henry briefly returned to Swartz, LA, to inform his family he had joined the Army and to tell them goodbye. His father “shook hands & told me that I had been my own boss for some time, but now I had a real boss.”

April 2, 1917, Henry E. Quinn #57664 enlisted into the Army and stationed at Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City, Texas where “we were given cots, etc., then stationed in tents (squad) & quarantined for mumps, measles & meningitis, were drilled every day—burnt up in day time & slept under blankets at night”.

From Ft. Ringgold, Henry joined Co. F 28th Infantry; traveled by train for seven days to New York; “got on the transport USS Pastores & waited a day or so until the convoy formed—Saw the Statue of Liberty for the last time (for some time to come)”; and left the United States on June 14, 1917.

“Landed St. Naziare June 28th then hiked to Billets out of town several miles. Was there several weeks… Drilled & hiked every day… Left there one day on train, our first ride in the 40 + 8 cars (Note: car held 40 men or 8 mules), rode several days & finally detrained at Demange--& hiked to Treveray, was stationed there some weeks & later went to Naix Aux Forges—drilled, hiked & maneuvered all the time. Went to the front in November, rode in buses & almost froze stiff—Passed thru Nancy, saw where several bombs had hit houses. Spent the night a few miles from Nancy in a small town—Fritz bombed Nancy that night & we all came out in the street to watch the A.A. shells explode. Marched to a town named Seares or close to it, met French troops there—Later went into the trenches at night on trench digging detail—Stacked arms at the 3rd line & went on in unarmed & dug a trench in connection with No Mans’ Land—Dug for several hours—We were all scared—at least I was—wondering what chance we would have if Fritz came over & us with no arms—Finished before daylight & back to Billets, day or so later we took over a sector between the French—1st night up my squad was on outpost & listening post—Came very near getting shot up account of lighting cigarettes under a blanket. Some of the fellows back of us didn’t know we were out & saw the lights. Just before daylight Lt. Johnson came by with some men & took us out on a patrol in No Mans’ Land—got lost & a Frenchman came out & guided us back after daylight—Found out that the tails of the G/O issue overcoat were too long & collected mud.”

“One night while in the trenches—Fritz put down a box barrage some distance to our right & took his first American prisoners also inflicted some casualties. Back in Naix same old thing, drill, hike, etc.”

Henry’s World War I Memoirs continue with descriptions of death and injury of men he served with, but it ends abruptly. I do not know if he did not finish his memoirs, or if the remaining pages were lost. He also does not put these tragedies into context with which battle they occurred.

But I do know, while serving as a company runner, Pfc. Henry E. Quinn became a seasoned soldier and participated in the following fierce and bloody battles: Montdider Nazaire, May 28, 1918; Aisne Marne, July 18, 1918 - August 6, 1918; St. Mihiel, September 12 - 16, 1918; and Meuse Argonne – September 16, 1918 - November 11, 1918.

Henry was awarded:

Distinguished Service Cross (#149) - Cantigny, May 29, 1918. His citation reads “On May 29, 1918, at Cantigny, France, in response to a call for volunteers to penetrate a heavy enemy barrage and obtain definite information concerning tanks and conditions of enemy front line, he accomplished his mission to the imminent peril of his own life."

Silver Star – Cantigny, May 27-31, 1918. General Order No. 26 states “the youngest soldier of his company, displayed great bravery time and again; he voluntarily carried messages under heavy fire, captured a German officer and three men and showed good judgement in taking precautionary measures which prevented their escape.”

Purple Heart – Soissons, July 18, 1918, shell fragment in left shoulder, which was never removed.

Purple Heart – Muese Argonne, October 5, 1918; gassed.

Victory Medal with Five Battle Clasps - Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Defensive Sector.

Henry wrote in a letter to his sister: “There was a bunch picked out of each company to parade in Paris and I was one of the lucky ones. We paraded on the 14th, had a good time on the 15th, left on the 16th on a freight train, rode all that day and night, caught a truck next morning, the 17th, and rejoined our company that night. Went over the top next morning, the 18th, and here I am in a hospital with a slight wound in my arm pit, back in Paris. It strikes me that this is what one would call ‘active service.’”

The details of the events leading up to Henry’s injury were described in a letter dated April 7, 1919, from Bannberschied, Germany, to his father, William E. Quinn, Motor Route #3 North, Monroe, LA.

“Here is an account of the Soissons affair as far as I was concerned in it. When I left F Co. to go to Paris on July 13/18, they were located in a town named Bretenel not far from Beauvais where I joined them on the night of July 17th they were back of the lines from Soissons. All the men were in a large Valley loafing around & when the bunch I was with came up the Valley everyone began to shout that they were sorry for us. We didn’t know what it meant at first but soon found out. We moved out that night at 8:45 & hiked into the jumping off trenches. We arrived there about 1:30 wet & tired (of course it rained to beat the dickens). We were in a pine woods just on top of a large hill & the Germans were not very far away in front of us. They shelled the wood so we were getting in position & several men were hit. We were shelled off & on during the night but had very few casualties. About 4:30 the Germans got wise to something & put a barrage down on us & in front of us. We moved out at 4:35 & started through the German Barrage. I saw men falling on all sides of me. A Capt out of E Co. was about a yard in front of me to my right & a bullet hit him in the left hand & his automatic fell in front of me. We were just getting up to the German barb wire when I was hit. I went back to the Aid station & was sent to a French Hosp in Creehy from there to Paris there to Bordeaux & you know the rest. The Division continued driving until July 22nd & were relieved by the English & Scotch.”

After 27 months overseas, Henry returned to the United States September 13, 1919, and was honorably discharged from the Army September 27, 1919. He attended and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in architecture. Henry married Elsie Violet “Jessie” Burkett (1903-1980) July 3, 1923, in Monroe, LA. They had three children: Emma Violet “Tiny” Pappas (1925-2003), William Eugene “Dean” Quinn (1926-2007), and Elsie Elizabeth “Betty” Mercer (1930- ).

Henry was a construction engineer who supervised the construction of post offices in Columbia, MS (1933); McAllen, TX (1935); Kingsville, TX (1936); Wharton, TX (1936); La Grange, TX (1937); Caldwell, TX (1937); Giddings, TX (1937); Elgin, TX (1939); Union, MO (1939); Starke, FL (1941); and Jasper, FL (1941).

Henry Eugene Quinn died from lung cancer January 16, 1957, and is buried at the Masonic Cemetery in Caldwell, TX. At the time of his death, Henry was employed by the U.S. Treasury Department as Chief of Construction and Supervision of Federal Buildings in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. He was survived by his wife, children, five grandsons (Tevis Eugene, James Peter, Jon Cody, and Dr. Paul Henry Pappas; Henry Gregory Quinn) and one granddaughter (Diana Marie Quinn Cotton).

All of PFC Henry E. Quinn’s World War I memorabilia has been donated to the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL, including his medals, citations, WWI memoirs, dog tags, compass, photos, military documents, “Big Red 1” patch, scrapbook contents, letters to and from Henry, souvenirs, and more. Among the 100-plus items donated is a photo in the June 13, 1926, edition of the Chicago Tribune of the annual outing of members of the 1st Division at Cantigny farm, now the location of the museum. Henry stands in the front on the left side of the group.

A brick placed in front of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO, honors the memory of Pfc Henry E. Quinn.

An article titled “Private Henry Quinn’s Distinguished Service Cross from the Battle of Cantigny” by John Maniatis, Registrar, First Division Museum at Cantigny, was published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Bridgehead Sentinel, a publication of the Society of the First Infantry Division, Wheaton, IL.

Henry served under Capt. C.R. Huebner during the war, and they remained pen pals until Henry’s death in 1957. In a letter dated July 15, 1936, Major Huebner wrote: “Was certainly glad to hear from you as I always considered you one of my closest and truest friends of the entire war. You were just a boy but a very gallant one.”

Diana Quinn Cotton
September 18, 2018

Addendum

Henry Eugene QuinnPFC Henry E. Quinn served as a company runner in Co. F 28th Infantry 1st Division, American Expeditionary Forces, United States Army, during World War I and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Victory Medal with Five Battle Clasps, Croix de Guerre, and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.

My paternal grandfather, Henry Eugene Quinn, was born in Anniston, Alabama, on January 31, 1899. He was the fourth of eleven children of William Eugene Quinn (1865-1945) and Emma Langdon (Fowler) Quinn (1873-1963). He stood 5’ 8” tall, had red hair, blue eyes, a fair complexion, and was covered in freckles. His nicknames were “Bud” (at home) and “Red” (in the Army).

In his World War I memoirs, written many years after the war, Henry wrote:

“Rather hard to commence this so many years later, but I will try to get some lined up so as to sound halfway like it happened, of course dates, etc. will be vague.

“March 1917—Applied for enlistment at Monroe (LA), was examined by a colonel Dr. who was rather rough in criticizing my physical condition, stated that I looked like a picked chicken, etc., account of being so skinny. I was not use to such criticism & talked rather rough to him in return. Sgt. was in the background motioning me to hush, etc., but I said my say. Col. flared up & stated, ‘He will do Sgt—I will get a waver on his weight tonight.’ I was 11 lbs. under weight. Sgt gave me meal tickets & lodging requests for several days. Hung around Monroe until waver on weight was received. Sgt told me one morning that I would leave that night for N. O., so I borrowed 50 cents from Uncle Taylor Furgerson & bought a roundtrip to Swartz—went there at 10:35 & walked home. Told Mumsie goodbye & waited for Dad to come in from work—told him goodbye—He was peeved at first & threatened to go to Monroe & get me out. I lied & told him I was sworn in—which was not true. He & I had been cross to each other for some time. He shook hands & told me that I had been my own boss for some time; but now I had a real boss. Went by school & told DD, Met & Kat goodbye—don’t seem to remember the other children (his siblings). Caught noon train to Monroe. Left that night for N.O., got there next morning 7:00 & told recruiting Sgt at station who I was. He took me up town, gave me breakfast, then up to recruiting station, bunch there like me, hung around awhile, was then sent to “Country Hotel”—stayed there 2 days, reporting to station each day—was finally examined one morning. Were sent to Jackson barracks, about March 30th, hung around until April 2nd & was sworn in on that day & issued uniforms. Sold our clothes (civies) & had a few nickels to spend ($2.50 is mine). Was at the barracks several weeks, drilling, etc., went to N.O. now and then at night.

“Two boys from Sport enlisted same time I did, Kid Edwards & Johnson—knew them as a boy in Sport. Left N.O. for Texas latter part of April or 1st of May—Left one night & two days later landed in Sam Fordyce (end of RR). Trucks met the train & took us to Ft. Ringgold (about 40 or 50 of us) our truck broke down & we thought we would croak from thirst before it started—finally got to the Ft. & got something to eat—then looked over by a very nice old Major named Broomfield-were given cots, etc., then stationed in tents (squad) & quarantined for mumps, measles & meningitis, were drilled every day—burnt up in day time & slept under blankets at night.

“We left the Ft. some time in May; I went to “F” Co. 28th Inf. With 14 or 15 others—left one morning in a truck, got to Mission & stopped for an hour. Then to McAllen (Texas). Lt. W.J. Tack in charge of “F” Co. The Co. only had about 18 men to it before we come—regular HurlyBurly next few days until we entrained for France, June 3, 1917. Went thru Monroe the 5th, stopped an hour or so, but I didn’t get to see any of the folks. On the train about 7 days. Got on the transport USS Pastores & waited a day or so until the convoy formed—Saw the Statue of Liberty for the last time (for some time to come) on the 14th. Second day out we all got well cleaned out on some doped slum or hash—made me sick—too strong a purgative. My first guard duty was on board—later got on in the officer’s mess as dish wiper—fared alright there & had all the grub I wanted.

“Landed St. Naziare June 28th then hiked to Billets out of town several miles. Was there several weeks—went swimming in the bay, first time I was ever in ocean water. Drilled & hiked every day—Days seemed unusually long—gang would be playing ball after taps blew.

“Left there one day on train, our first ride in the 40 + 8 cars (Note: car held 40 men or 8 mules), rode several days & finally detrained at Demange--& hiked to Treveray, was stationed there some weeks & later went to Naix Aux Forges—drilled, hiked & maneuvered all the time. Went to the front in November, rode in buses & almost froze stiff— Passed thru Nancy, saw where several bombs had hit houses. Spent the night a few miles from Nancy in a small town—Fritz bombed Nancy that night & we all came out in the street to watch the A.A. shells explode. Marched to a town named Seares or close to it, met French troops there—Later went into the trenches at night on trench digging detail—Stacked arms at the 3rd line & went on in unarmed & dug a trench in connection with No Mans’ Land—Dug for several hours—We were all scared—at least I was—wondering what chance we would have if Fritz came over & us with no arms—Finished before daylight & back to Billets, day or so later we took over a sector between the French—1st night up my squad was on outpost & listening post—Came very near getting shot up account of lighting cigarettes under a blanket. Some of the fellows back of us didn’t know we were out & saw the lights. Just before daylight Lt. Johnson came by with some men & took us out on a patrol in No Mans’ Land—got lost & a Frenchman came out & guided us back after daylight—Found out that the tails of the G/O issue overcoat were too long & collected mud.

“Damn tooth started bothering me & by night my jaw was a sight—Kept my head wrapped in a scarf Mumsie gave me—Went to the Dr. & was sent back with a handful of aspirin. Capt. Anderson saw me later & gave me a note to the Dr. saying he wanted me to have medical attention—Dr. marked me mumps & sent me back to Serres-Spent the night in an aid station & next morning tooth was down—Started to join the Co. but met them coming out. We were relieved & went back to Naix-got back late at night.

“One night while in the trenches—Fritz put down a box barrage some distance to our right & took his first American prisoners also inflicted some casualties. Back in Naix same old thing, drill, hike, etc.”

“Stepped aside to keep from shooting Dutchman who ran up to me, tears running down his face, dirty hands up, & crying Komerad. Sgt. Ralston shot him 4 or 5 times through chest with 45, saw bullets knock dust out of his coat as they passed through. Lt. Cox later told me that he was saying Don’t Shoot. I’m blind—Capt. Anderson running here & there yelling Don’t shoot those men—take them prisoner.

“Advanced back of tanks, bunch of us, machine gun bullets drumming hell out of it. We thought it safe back of tanks. What nuts.

“Dutchmen jump up out of wheat often & wave hands & run around waving their hands wanting to surrender, clean shot man in 1st wave turns & downs both of them ( often wondered if anyone on our side stopped any of those bullets)—First hedge, bullets making leaves & twigs fly like bees. A sound like some are hitting a box with a stick, sgt out of E Co. on my right stopped one in chest, wilted to ground—read his lips—“IT HURTS”. Pass thru hedge, bullet hits at Capt. Anderson’s feet & breaks dust in his eyes; hit Capt? C said no—but twas close. All the fellows down on ground except officers; was sent down to left of line with message. Lts. Brown & Davenfort & French officer standing up, Brown points with cane as a Dutchman jumps & runs, saying, Let him; Polk & Drake both yelling at me, I got one, I got one. Dutchmen jumping & leaving like rabbits. Plane came down close & scared hell out of us. Thought it a big G.I. can—he was trying to stop us from advancing too far. Threw a loaded chamber clip to Kirby in a shell hole—hit him & he thought he was wounded.

“Poor little Jeff Clarke hit in the guts, telling me he had to crap—squatting in shell hole trying to do so—he died from wound a few days later—Sgt Gindra hit in shoulder. Capt. Anderson giving him a shot of cognac while in shell hole—Corp. Aly wounded by one of our shells—Sent to oft of line to find out who we connect with. Talked to Uray: Tack. 3rd Br. Stopped to loaf a few minutes with my old 4th platoon, one of our shells hit in the trench wounded Malone badly & hit some dirt in Shild’s eyes. I saw the shell in the air before it hit—left there & went back to right of line. Capt. Anderson sent me back to Br. Hqtrs as runner (never saw him again). Clearing debris away from stop to Br. Dugout—shell hitting all around—Bunch prisoners brought by (20-30) started to rear there brought back then sent on—Med. Corpsman (Red) calls me as I have been in wheat—says tell Med. Sgt. Where he is—leg broke by bullet. Runner comes in Br stating (note) Capt. Anderson killed. Lt. Gray in charge.

“That night I was back & forth from Br to Co. Lt. Cox was wounded in left wrist. Carried him an iodine swab & coffee (cold). Many killed, saw his body on back of trench—also Corp. from machine gun co.; our fellows shot accidentally night before. Lewis & Lt Gray killed. Lt. Crool missing (killed). Some one told me Sgt. Toby got one in the throat. Came back from trip Br. Dugout empty—started looking around—got in old caved in cellar with a Lt. Cox, Sig Bg & 6 other fellows—Lt. passed around his last pack of Mel cigarettes—saying, might as well smoke now as later. One hell of a barrage thought sure we were gone, but the line held—Removed 45 from Sig corp man laying dead on his wire—Stopped to tie my puttee, few seonds later shell hit just ahead of me—might have connected if I hadn’t stopped to tie the puttee.

“Someone brought up a few canteens of cider, sure tasted good. Guided a platoon in to F. Co from 18th Inf., didn’t lose a man, but heard later that several got hit after I left. Stopped at H Co.; Capts. Harrison & Lt. Flannigan together, had lunch, box tack (?), 2 boiled eggs, cake chocolate, divided 4 ways. Stopped by E. Co. Capt Johnson had my canteen filled with water from some canteen someone had just brought up. Found a straggler from H Co. lost; started across field with him, sniper took a crack at us, got down, then jumped up & ran like hell for the trench. Fellow brought in Br. Dugout, clothes holding his feet on. Capt. Baily M.C. gave him 3 shots dope & had him taken up on top to die. Litter bearers brought in little Roundtree, shot bad through the diaphragm; Don’t you know me, Red? Sure! How bad are you hit kid—Don’t know, but it feels bad; got him down in dugout. Capt. Bailey examined him & had him evacuated; said there wasn’t a chance for him. Lt. Owens came up & took charge of F. Co.

“Looking for Co. one afternoon after they had moved back, found where they were supposed to be; but the trench had just been shelled; saw Daniels laying there dead. Took some prisoners back at night. I ran in to F Co. Lt. Browne & Owens wanted to know who I had; Corp. Wall went with me to show the way to Brigade; coming back was almost hit by shell slob (?) that exploded a long ways off.

“Reported to Br with candles requested. Capt.Heuner suggested I guide the Br out; I didn’t know the way, so Lt. Brown took it out. Hike out with Br. Shortly after dawns (2 hrs) found trucks waiting; passed 3 of my prisoners being hiked to rear by some poor devils.”

My grandfather’s World War I Memoirs often read like a stream of consciousness in which descriptions of the death and injuries of his brothers-in-arms are not put into context as far as which battle these incidents occurred. It also ends abruptly.

I do not know if he did not finish writing his memoirs; if he said all he wanted to say; or if the remaining pages were lost. But I do know, while serving as a company runner, Pfc. Henry Eugene Quinn became a seasoned soldier and participated in the following fierce and bloody battles:

  • Montdider Nazaire, May 28, 1918
  • Aisne Marne, July 18, 1918 - August 6, 1918
  • St. Mihiel, September 12 - 16, 1918
  • Meuse Argonne – September 16, 1918 - November 11, 1918.

Pfc. Henry E. Quinn was awarded the following medals:

Distinguished Service Cross (#149) - Cantigny, May 29, 1918.

His citation reads: “On May 29, 1918, at Cantigny, France, in response to a call for volunteers to penetrate a heavy enemy barrage and obtain definite information concerning tanks and conditions of enemy front line, he accomplished his mission to the imminent peril of his own life.”

Silver Star – Cantigny, May 27-31, 1918.

General Order No. 26 states “the youngest soldier of his company, displayed great bravery time and again; he voluntarily carried messages under heavy fire, captured a German officer and three men and showed good judgement in taking precautionary measures which prevented their escape.”

Victory Medal with Five Battle Clasps - Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Defensive Sector.

Croix de Guerre

Purple Hearts with Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Soissons, July 18, 1918, shell fragment in left shoulder, which was never removed.
  • Muese Argonne, October 5, 1918; gassed.

Henry wrote in a letter to his sister:

“There was a bunch picked out of each company to parade in Paris and I was one of the lucky ones. We paraded on the 14th, had a good time on the 15th , left on the 16th on a freight train, rode all that day and night, caught a truck next morning, the 17th, and rejoined our company that night. Went over the top next morning, the 18th, and here I am in a hospital with a slight wound in my arm pit, back in Paris. It strikes me that this is what one would call ‘active service.’”

The details of the events leading up to Henry’s injury were also described in a letter, dated April 7, 1919, from Bannberschied, Germany, to his father, William Eugene Quinn, Motor Route #3 North, Monroe, LA:

“Here is an account of the Soissons affair as far as I was concerned in it. When I left F Co. to go to Paris on July 13/18, they were located in a town named Bretenel not far from Beauvais where I joined them on the night of July 17th they were back of the lines from Soissons. All the men were in a large Valley loafing around & when the bunch I was with came up the Valley everyone began to shout that they were sorry for us. We didn’t know what it meant at first but soon found out. We moved out that night at 8:45 & hiked into the jumping off trenches. We arrived there about 1:30 wet & tired (of course it rained to beat the dickens). We were in a pine woods just on top of a large hill & the Germans were not very far away in front of us. They shelled the wood so we were getting in position & several men were hit. We were shelled off & on during the night but had very few casualties. About 4:30 the Germans got wise to something & put a barrage down on us & in front of us. We moved out at 4:35 & started through the German Barrage. I saw men falling on all sides of me. A Capt out of E Co. was about a yard in front of me to my right & a bullet hit him in the left hand & his automatic fell in front of me. We were just getting up to the German barb wire when I was hit. I went back to the Aid station & was sent to a French Hosp in Creehy from there to Paris there to Bordeaux & you know the rest. The Division continued driving until July 22nd & were relieved by the English & Scotch.”

After 27 months overseas, Pfc. Henry E. Quinn returned to the United States September 13, 1919, and was honorably discharged from the Army September 27, 1919. He attended and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in architecture.

Henry married Elsie Violet “Jessie” Burkett (1903-1980) July 3, 1923, in Monroe, LA. They had three children: Emma Violet “Tiny” (Quinn) Pappas (1925-2003), William Eugene “Dean” Quinn (1926-2007), and Elsie Elizabeth “Betty” (Quinn) Mercer (1930- ). Henry was a construction engineer who supervised the construction of post offices in Columbia, MS (1933); McAllen, TX (1935); Kingsville, TX (1936); Wharton, TX (1936); La Grange, TX (1937); Caldwell, TX (1937); Giddings, TX (1937); Elgin, TX (1939); Union, MO (1939); Starke, FL (1941); and Jasper, FL (1941).

Henry Eugene Quinn died from lung cancer January 16, 1957, and is buried at the Masonic Cemetery in Caldwell, TX. At the time of his death, Henry was employed by the U.S. Treasury Department as Chief of Construction and Supervision of Federal Buildings in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. He was survived by his wife, three children, five grandsons (Tevis Eugene, James Peter, Jon Cody, and Dr. Paul Henry Pappas; Henry Gregory Quinn) and one granddaughter (Diana Marie Quinn Cotton).

Henry served under Capt. C.R. Huebner during the war, and they remained pen pals until Henry’s death in 1957. In a letter dated July 15, 1936, Major Huebner wrote: “Was certainly glad to hear from you as I always considered you one of my closest and truest friends of the entire war. You were just a boy but a very gallant one.”

All of Pfc Henry E. Quinn’s World War I memorabilia has been donated to the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL, including his medals, citations, WWI memoirs, dog tags, compass, photos, military documents, “Big Red 1” patch, scrapbook contents, letters to and from Henry, souvenirs, and more. Among the 100-plus items donated is a photo in the June 13, 1926, edition of the Chicago Tribune of the annual outing of members of the 1st Division at Cantigny farm, now the location of the museum. Henry stands in the front on the left side of the group.

A brick placed in front of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO, honors the memory of Pfc Henry E. Quinn.

An article titled “Private Henry Quinn’s Distinguished Service Cross from the Battle of Cantigny” by John Maniatis, Registrar, First Division Museum at Cantigny, was published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Bridgehead Sentinel, a publication of the Society of the First Infantry Division, Wheaton, IL.

Diana Quinn Cotton
September 25, 2020

MEMORIES OF MY PATERNAL GRANDFATHER
PFC HENRY EUGENE QUINN

I was only six years old when my grandfather, Pfc Henry E. Quinn, died.

I have two distinct memories of him.

My first memory was when I was very little. I saw my grandfather sitting with his back to me in a chair in the living room. I was so excited he was there that I started loudly shrieking and running toward him. My grandfather immediately came flying over the arm of his chair charging at me. I came to a screeching halt at his feet and started to cry. My grandfather thought I was hurt; I thought he was mad. Years later I learned that my grandfather was shell shocked from World War I, and he always reacted quickly to loud noises.

My second memory is of me standing at the foot of my grandfather's bed as he battled the lung cancer that ravaged his body as a result of being gassed during the war. I wanted to stand beside him and hold his hand, but I didn’t. I was too quiet of a child to react.

All my life I always heard what a fine man my grandfather was - - an honorable man, loyal friend, dedicated husband, loving father, and yes, a war hero. I wish he had lived longer. I wish I had more memories of him—had known him better.

Whenever I think of my grandfather, look at his picture, or touch one of his possessions, I feel his presence, and my heart fills with love.

Sixty years after his death, I still miss him.

Diana Quinn Cotton
February 1, 2017

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