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MS21-01 Cunningham, Henry Hebron Collection

Address Information

Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071

Phone & Fax Numbers

(270) 809-6152
(270) 809-4295
FAX (270) 809-6153

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Henry Hebron Cunningham Collection

Collection Title: Henry Hebron Cunningham Collection

Series Number: MS21-01

Processed and Cataloged by: Sarah Hardaway

Date Listed: January 29, 2021

Date Span: 1917-1945

Size of Collection: 13.75 linear feet

Number of Boxes: 13

Type of Material: United States military uniforms, other textiles and accoutrements, mementos, books, correspondence, and maps.

Condition of Material: Good to fair.

Arrangement: Physical size.

Biographical / Historical Information: Henry Hebron Cunningham was born in Graves County, Kentucky on January 15, 1894. When he was drafted to military service in the United States Army to fight in World War I, his mother Sarah A. (nee Seay) Cunningham was a widow. Her husband and Henry's father, William Henry Cunningham, died in October 1893. At the time that he was drafted, Henry Cunningham was working as a farmer in the Swann area of Calloway County, KY. He was killed in action by German machine guns during the first day of the Battle of St. Mihiel (12-18 September 1918), and he was posthumously awarded the St. Mihiel Victory Medal for his service. Henry H. Cunningham is buried at Seay Cemetery in Lynnville, Graves County, Kentucky.

Scope and Content: This collection includes correspondence between Sarah A. Cunningham and her son, Henry Hebron Cunningham and her nephew, Freeman Seay between 1917 and 1919. Various World War I items in the collection include a 1917 Army Manual for enlisted men, a St. Mihiel Victory Medal, handkerchiefs, a knitted helmet (normally made by the Ladies Aid Society volunteers), a uniform belt, tunic, and pants as well as a large, memorial photo of Henry Cunningham in uniform; personal items like hand razors for shaving, bills, insurance papers, and Woodmen of the World membership cards and dues receipts are also available. There are papers and letters with information about the circumstances and location of the death of Henry Cunningham in France during the Battle of St. Mihiel. A small collection of circa-1930s maps of Tennessee, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Missouri are included. Also found in the collection is a green, wool World War II Army Air Corps uniform jacket and trench coat representing a service member who served in the Far East Air Forces with the 7th Air Force in the Pacific Theater and subsequently, received an honorable discharge. 

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

World War I

World War II

Battle of St. Mihiel

Woodmen of the World