BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D. The 4th Cavalry Regiment is one of the most famous and most decorated regiments in the United States Army. Since its activation in 1855, twenty-nine of the regiment’s soldiers have been awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, Indian Wars, the Philippine Insurrection, and Vietnam.
This article is written to honor not only Quinn, but also the other 135 Californians who showed their Californian grit and received this nation’s highest award for bravery, the Medal of Honor.
Peter H. Quinn was born in May, 1873 in San Francisco. Quinn joined the Army when he was 18. Quinn’s Medal of Honor was awarded for his actions during the Philippine Insurrection
The highest honor American soldiers can receive, and one which has only been bestowed upon almost 3,400, is the Medal of Honor. These articles are written to recognize, honor and thank those who have earned the Medal of Honor. It is also to honor and thank every soldier who has ever served in the U.S. Military.
With 11 other Scouts, without waiting for the supporting battalion to aid them or to get into a position to do so, Quinn charged over a distance of about 150 yards and completely routed about 300 of the enemy who were in line and in a position that could only be carried by a frontal attack.
Private Quinn was one of a hand-picked group of soldiers known as “Young’s Scouts,” tasked with being at the forefront of movement in rebel-controlled areas. On May 13, 1899, eleven of these Scouts under Captain William Birkhimer encountered 300 enemy near San Miguel. Without waiting for reinforcements, the Scouts broke from the bushes which concealed them, and charged across 150 yards of open ground into the center of the enemy line which wavered, and then broke, the rebels fleeing their positions. The Scouts then routed the Filipinos at the bridge spanning the river, but the civilian Scout commander William Young was mortally wounded. Corporal Frank Anders rallied the Scouts and led them into the town where they fought at close quarters for four hours, taking and holding a church bell tower until additional reinforcements arrived. Six of Young’s Scouts earned the Medal of Honor for this action, and three days later seven additional Scouts earned the Medal of Honor at a bridge over the river at nearby San Isidro. In all, Private Quinn and twelve of his fellow Scouts earned Medals of Honor in the three-day period.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At San Miguel de Mayumo, Luzon, Philippine Islands, May 13, 1899. Entered service at: San Francisco, California. Birth: San Francisco, California. Date of issue: June 6, 1906.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Peter H. Quinn, United States Army, for most distinguished gallantry on 13 May 1899, while serving with Company L, 4th Cavalry, in action at San Miguel de Mayumo, Luzon, Philippine Islands. With 11 other scouts, without waiting for the supporting battalion to aid them or to get into a position to do so, Private Quinn charged over a distance of about 150 yards and completely routed about 300 of the enemy who were in line and in a position that could only be carried by a frontal attack.
General Orders: Date of Issue: June 14, 1906
Action Date: May 13, 1899
Company: Company L
Private Peter H. Quinn died on April 19, 1934. He is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery, section 6-9749-SH. Should your travels take you to Washington D.C, try and visit Arlington and visit Quinn’s final resting place, keep his memory alive.
The information in this article was sourced from a variety of sources both internal and external. Every effort was made to ensure that the information is current and correct. These articles are presented to honor the heroes they are written about.
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.