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About John B. Kinne

About the author: John Baxter Kinne December 14, 1877 – July 19, 1954), soldier in the 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry, recipient of the Medal of Honor. Born in Beloit, Wisconsin, died Aberdeen, Grays Harbor County, Washington. His Wikipedia entry provides the most complete information generally available:

During the Philippine-American war, Private Kinne was one of a hand-picked group of soldiers known as “Young’s Scouts,” tasked with being at the forefront of movement in Filipino-controlled areas. On May 13, 1899, five Scouts under Chief Scout William Henry Young earned Medals of Honor for gallantry in a frontal attack on 300 enemy. Kinne and several other Volunteers were assigned to join the depleted Scouts next day. On May 16, the Scouts were ordered to locate the enemy on the approach to San Isidro. As the Scouts approached the Cabon River to the southeast of San Isidro, they encountered a large enemy force entrenched on the opposite side. At the approach of the Americans, the Filipinos set fire to the bridge (called the Tarbon Bridge, for a nearby village of that name). Lt. James Thornton and two other Scouts sprinted across the bridge, firing at the enemy from point-blank range, while the remaining Scouts took cover and returned fire on the enemy trenches on the opposite bank. Private Kinne and the remaining Scouts then braved a hail of fire to rush across the burning bridge, rout the enemy, and extinguish the flames that were consuming the bridge. Private Kinne and five other Scouts earned the Medal of Honor for this action. In all, eleven members of Young’s Scouts earned Medals of Honor in the three-day period.

After his discharge, John Kinne completed his undergraduate degree at Fargo College. In 1906 he completed his medical degree at Rush Medical College in Chicago. On October 14, 1908, he married Gertrude K. Adams (born in Racine, Wisconsin).

With a rank of captain, Kinne commanded an ambulance company in France in World War I.

The actual diary document bears the following introductory information:

John B. Kinne was a member of Young’s Scouts and a Medal of Honor Man.

The Medal of Honor was awarded on May 17, 1906 for his actions “near San Isidro, Philippine Islands, 16 May 1889,” during which “With 21 other scouts charged across a burning bridge, under heavy fire, and completely routed 600 of the enemy who were entrenched in a strongly fortified position.”

About the diary: Typescript, Diary 1898-1899 by John B. Kinne. In the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, University of North Dakota UND Scholarly Commons. The actual document bears the title page, “Diary 1898-1899 by John B. Kinne Company B First North Dakota Volunteer Infantry.” The typescript contains following notation:

This manuscript was copied by Major Dana Wright, St John, North Dakota, in 1939. Copies are in his possession, in the State Historical Library in Bismarck, and one is owned ny Major Frank L. Anders, Fargo, N.D. The original is held by Mr Kinne.

The document itself bears the stamp, “North Dakota Masonic Grand Lodge Library.”

The Philippine Diary Project only includes the portion of the diary devoted to the author’s assignment to the Philippines, shortly before arrival in Manila, July 23, 1898, to shortly after departure from Manila, August 2, 1899.