Monday, May 30, 2016

Meet Pvt. Cornelius Quinn – Part 1

A few weeks ago, I received an excellent suggestion for a Memorial Day post from regular contributor Rick Kurish.

Rick wrote, "As a Vietnam veteran myself, I have a special affinity for military veterans and all the virtually anonymous persons who have served. Since Memorial Day is fast approaching, I thought I would share the service of one such individual.
"His name was Cornelius D. Quinn, and as it turns out he was the last surviving Civil War veteran in Lorain County. He passed away on April 8, 1940 at age 96, and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. I have attached the brief notice of his passing (at right) which appeared in the Chronicle Telegram of April 9, 1940.”
"Cornelius was originally from the Cincinnati area and enlisted in Company D, 48th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry on October 30 1862, at the tender age of 16. On January 17, 1865 he was transferred to Company F, 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. A few months later on July 24, 1865 the 48th, 83rd, and 114th Ohio Infantry Regiments were consolidated to form the 48th Ohio Battalion.

"Since Cornelius reenlisted after his first 3 year enlistment ended, he attained Veteran status and was sent to Galveston and Houston, Texas until May 1866. The unit was finally mustered out of service in 1866.
Rick found an online link to the history of the 48th Ohio Infantry and the battles in which Cornelius was involved. Rick observed, "As you can see from reading the history of movements and battles his unit participated in, he had his share of military service. Previous to his enlistment, his world probably consisted of a few square miles around his home in Cincinnati, but he answered the call to serve.

"For most of the men who served, the Civil War was the defining event of their lives, and in later years they were proud of their service, and greatly enjoyed the company of other surviving veterans at unit reunions, and in larger organizations like the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.).
"According to the Chronicle Telegram article, Cornelius lived in Lorain for 60 years before his death. In the 1930s he was living at 114 East 20th Street in Lorain. Thank You, Cornelius!”

And thank you, Rick, for your excellent suggestion, as well as your service.

Next: There’s much more to the story of Cornelius Quinn and his fellow local soldiers. Stop back here tomorrow to watch it play out against the backdrop of a grateful Lorain in the 1930s. 

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