151st Machine Gun Battalion Commander's Uniform Group
"Cooper D. Winn Jr."
Above: First of three of Cooper D. Winn Jr's uniforms. Notice the "151st MG" with Infantry crossed rifles on the collar and the 42nd "Rainbow Division" Patch. The "US" insignia has "NG" superimposed for National Guard Service. The rank insignia are for lieutenant colonel. Cooper D. Winn Jr. was promoted from major to lieutenant colonel near the end of the war.
Major Cooper D. Winn was named as commander of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion, Georgia Army National Guard (Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1918, Volume 2, page 1234) This 42nd Infantry Division "Rainbow Division" unit was drawn from elements of B,C and F Companies of the 2nd Georgia Infantry plus others from the Macon Hussars, Macon Volunteers and Macon Floyd Rifles. Like the rest of Rainbow Division, the best National Guard troops were selected for the 151st MG. After the war, Cooper David Winn contributed to Macon's War Work and described the activities of his unit and its service in France. To read this book click here (Macon's War Work) or click here to jump to the 151st MG Chapter. The 151st Machine Gun Battalion also put out another short book describing their experience in WW1. To read this book click onto The 151st Machine Gun Battalion, Rainbow (42D) Division
Above: (First Tunic) Notice the two overseas stripes indicating one year of combat service in France
The 151st Machine Gun Battalion was in service with the American Expeditionary Forces nearly eighteen months. The battalion was within range of German Artillery for 194 days and actively fought for 167 days in contact with the enemy. Following the 11 November Armistice, the 151st MG BN served 140 additional days with the American Army of Occupation. From 1 March to 11 November 1918, the unit lost 47 men killed in action, 10 later died of wounds and 385 wounded in action. Nine men died of disease and one was missing in action, making an overall total of 452 casualties
Above: Detail for first Uniform Tunic
Above: First Tunic with C.D. Winn's sam brown belt with the saber hanger
Above: First Tunic with C.D. Winn's sam brown belt and map case
Above: Close up of C.D. Winn's sam brown belt with the saber hanger
Macon, Georgia was very supportive of all their units but in particular the 151st MG. Many citizens of Macon contributed in any way they could think of, including MAJ Winn's wife who was in charge of the "Shipping & Packing Committee" apparently for the 151st Machine Gun Auxiliary
Above: Second Tunic with similar details as the first tunic but missing pocket buttons
Above: Second Tunic
Above: Second Tunic. Notice, the "US" insignia do not have the "NG" National Guard insets on this example
Above: Third TunicAgain, with similar details as the first and second tunics. This example has the "NG" insets in the "US" insignia
Above: "C.D.W." initials for Cooper David Winn embroidered into the liner of the third tunic
Above: Uniform Long Coat
The 151st Machine Gun Battalion was significant on several different levels. Locally (Macon, Georgia and the surrounding small towns like Forsyth, Griffin, Wrightsville, etc.) this was a unit largely made up for local men, who were well trained and quickly sent to the trenches of France to represent Georgia Army National Guard. Nationally, the Rainbow Division, made up of the best Army National Guard units available from around the country. This division was one of the first within the American Expeditionary Forces to serve in the trenches of France. In the greater scope of history, Major Cooper D. Winn and his 151st Machine Gun BN answered directly to BG Douglas MacArthur as commander of the 84th Brigade, 42nd ID
Above: Cooper D. Winn Jr's long coat with the "Austrian Knot" Major rank insignia on the sleeve. Notice the Infantry Branch Insignia within the knot. With today's field grade dress uniform, the regular rank insignia is set within the sleeve knot, differing from this WW1 example. It is also interesting that the Overseas Strips are inset onto the Austrian Knot rank insignia
Above: Child's M1910 Tunic with Georgia buttons, 42nd Rainbow Division Patch and Officer's Sleeve Braid
Above: Tunic for the M1910 Child's Uniform complete with 42nd "Rainbow Division" Patch and Georgia buttons.
Unfortunately, the first name is not legible but this is likely the uniform for Cooper D. Winn III
Above: Pants for the M1910 Child's Uniform
Above: R.H. Macy & Company label for the M1910 child's uniform
Above: Cooper D. Winn Jr's hats
Above: The manufacture's label and hand written "C.D. Winn" in the visor cap
Above: French Style Hat with 151st Insignia
Above: "Cooper D. Winn" marked liner for the French style cap
Above: Champain Hat with the officer's braid
Above: "COOPER" marked on the upper visor and "WINN" marked on the lower visor of the US steel helmet
Above: Cooper D. Winn Jr's helmet seen from the front. The black circle maybe a Lieutenant Colonel rank insignia
Above: Close-up of the Hotchkiss Machine Gun Quadrant and its case
Above:(From Top Left to Bottom Right) A set of puttees, a set of leggings, 45 cal. leather ammunition pouch, French Hotchkiss
Machine Gun Quadrant and case, US 45 cal holster and the saber hanger for the M1902 Officer's Saber
Above: Cooper D. Winn Jr's "Mill's" map case with a 22 December 1918 Operations Order for 151st Machine Gun Battalion still inside
Above: Close up of the 22 December 1918 Operations Order (Click onto this text or the photograph to see this Operations Order)
Above: Boxes from the Cooper D. Winn Jr. group marked to General Walter A. Harris
Above: Boxes from the Cooper D. Winn Jr. group marked to General Walter A. Harris
Insignia include those for US and US/National Guard service, Georgia State service, Ordnance Branch (bursting bomb device), Infantry Branch (crossed rifles), Adjutant General & the Military Secretary's Department (shield with stars & stripes). Notice the large Adjutant General device is for affixing to the horse saddle cloth/blanket
Above: Boxes from the Cooper D. Winn Jr. group marked to General Walter A. Harris
The buttons are for US Army service (with US Eagle) and Georgia Militia service (with GA crest)
Above: Ammunition marked to Frankford Arsenal 1898, 60 Ball Model, Cal. 30 for the Krag Rifle
Above: Hotchkiss Machine Gun Gunnery instruments
Above: Hotchkiss Machine Gun Gunnery instruments seen from the underside and top
Above: Hotchkiss Machine Gun paper fire-fan
Click onto this text or photograph above to view the complete 151st Machine Gun BN Prison Guard Detachment Record Book
Above: A yard long photo from the C.D. Winn Jr. group marked "Headquarters Company No. 1 E&T DEPT SPECIALIST SCHOOL - Camp Hancock, GA.- July 26-1918", " LIEUT. L.R. FAGAN, COMMANDING." My guess is that this photograph is a gift form a friend. This was not one of the 151st MG Companies
Above & Below: This truck was shipped to Port Chester, N.Y. This is the same city associated with Cooper D. Winn III
while he was a student at Princeton University. He was an Engineering major (Graduated with Honors in 1933)
Above: Many of the items from the Major Cooper David Winn Jr. trunk group
Above,Left to Right: Baxter Jones, Robert C. Hazlehurst, Cooper D. Winn Jr. All are officers in Macon Volunteers. The photograph was taken around 1904 ( (From the Middle Ga. Archives, Washington Memorial Library, Macon, GA)
Above: Cooper D. Winn Jr
(From the Middle Ga. Archives, Washington Memorial Library, Macon, GA)
Above: Macon Volunteers photographed in downtown Macon in front of the armory about 1904. Officers are in front of the enlistedmen with sabers. On the far left end is Baxter Jones, middle is Robert C. Hazlehurst and nearest the camera is Cooper D. Winn Jr. (From the Middle Ga. Archives, Washington Memorial Library, Macon, GA)
Below: Cooper David Winn Jr. later in life, wearing one of his 151st Machine Gun Battalion uniforms. It appears to be the first uniform at the top of the page. (From the Stratford Hall Archives)
Summary of Cooper D. Winn's Background and Experiences
Cooper David Winn Junior's
connection to the military goes back several generations. His great, great,
great grandfather was Colonel John Winn who served both in the Revolutionary
War as a regimental commander and as a member of South Carolina's Provincial
Congress. Cooper David Winn Junior's Grandfather was Lieutenant
Colonel David Read Evans Winn (born
1831) of Sumter County in South Georgia. He was killed on the first day of action
in the battle of Gettysburg commanding the 4th Georgia Infantry Regiment under Dole's
Brigade. Cooper D. Winn Jr.'s Father was born about 1857. Around 1874 after
the death of his mother, Cooper D. Winn Sr. went to live with his maternal aunt
and her husband. This uncle was brevet General Oscar Hugh LaGrange. While Cooper
D. Winn Sr. lived in his household, General LaGrange was in charge of the US
Mint in San Francisco but as a younger man, he served as an officer in the Federal
Army during the march through Georgia. Cooper D. Winn Sr. moved to Macon, Georgia
around 1879 and later became head of Macon's "Winn-Johnson Company"
which manufactured candy. He apparently had no military service but was a prosperous
businessman by the time of his death in 1913. Cooper David Winn Jr. was born
March 4th, 1880. He graduated from the Macon Public School system (Gresham High
School) in 1897. He later attended Mercer, joined the Kappa Alfa Fraternity
and became friends with Eugene Stetson. This lifelong friendship greatly influenced
his life. Cooper D. Winn Jr. served as an officer in the Macon Volunteers while
Eugene Stetson served in the Macon Hussars "2nd Georgia Infantry".
In the 1908, Annual Report of the Secretary of War, Captain Cooper D. Winn Jr.
was listed as the commander of the Macon Volunteers.
His civilian career was with the Atlantic National Fire Insurance company. In 1916, he left this civilian job with orders from Georgia National Guard to participate in the Punitive Expedition against Mexico. Cooper D. Winn Jr. rose to the rank of major and served as Adjutant of the 2nd Georgia Infantry Brigade during this operation.
In terms of the family's history, it is important to mention that his brother Dean Flewellyn Winn also held a commission in the Georgia National Guard from 1914 through 1916. During this same period he volunteered for service with the American-Russian Red Cross and was made an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Imperial Russian Army. From 1914-15 he served as a surgeon in Kiev's Red Cross Hospital. He retuned to the US by October 1916 and was commissioned in the US Army Medical Reserve Corps. He went on to a stellar career in the US Regular Army Medical Services. He retired as a Brigadier General and today the main hospital at Fort Stewart, Georgia is named for him.
Major Cooper D. Winn Jr was named as commander of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion when it was organized on August 1917 in Macon. From the beginning it was formed to go to the composite division of the National Guard for service in Europe. Because of the composition of National Guard Soldiers stretching from all over the United States this division acquired the nick name "Rainbow Division". With it is numbers filled out by men of the Georgia National Guard, the 21 officers and 560 enlisted men of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion moved from Camp Harris located near Macon, Georgia to the Division's training area at Camp Albert L. Mills in Long Island, New York. The designations for the battalion's companies changed from B, C and F Companies to A, B, and C with F becoming A Company. At this camp, the battalion was introduced to new equipment and physical training.
The 151st Machine Gun Battalion went through two months of training before embarking on the US Transport Agamemnon for deployment to France. The unit's personnel strength was 25 officers and 545 enlisted men. The additional three officers came from the Reserve Corps and another was a dental surgeon. The loss of fifteen enlisted men were due to health issues.
There was little excitement onboard the Agamemnon as the unit was transported to France. Only one episode stands out where the ship stuck the Von Stuben (one other US ship of her convoy) with only minor damage. The Agamemnon anchored in harbor November 12, 1917 at Brest France, which is one of the western most points in France. Due to lack of accommodations and transport issues the battalion was not off loaded until November 17. Once on French soil, they were quickly put onboard a French freight train with horse/cattle cars. This was almost a universal experience for the US soldier in WW1, which is always described with great discomfort and lack of rations. These cattle cars were typically marked "40/8" for 40 men/8 horses, which is where the American Legion's separate organization "La Societe des Quarante Hommes at Huit Chevaux" gets its name.
By November 21, the battalion had traveled almost the full length of France from west to east when they arrived at Vaucouleurs France. Vaucouleurs is fairly near Nancy, Metz and the front trench line with Germany. Once at Vaucouleurs, Headquarters, A and B Companies marched to Uruffe and C Company to Vaux La Petite. After the very long and difficult railway transport these marches with heavy packs in pouring rain were a significant hardship. The battalion trained in the Vaucouleurs area until December 12, 1917 when the 42nd Division Commander ordered the battalion's movement to the Rolampont Area. This was a 110 kilometer (69 mile) march, again with heavy packs but on this occasion a snow storm was ongoing. The battalion assembled at Manois (50 km North of Rolampont) and remained in this area through Christmas of 1917. Following Christmas, the battalion marched to several small towns spread out over about 30 km between Blancheville and Chaumont. While the unit was training in this area their organization was altered by the addition of one company. Surprisingly, this addition came from Pennsylvania National Guard and was originally raised as the 4th Pennsylvania Infantry and later transformed into the 149th Machine Gun Battalion Company B (It initially retained this designation even after the re-organization). The odd combination of Southerners lead by a battalion commander, whose grandfather was killed at Gettysburg commanding 4th Georgia Infantry, now with a company of Pennsylvania Infantrymen, no doubt lead to some interesting comments. (See Sergeant John C. Kiehl's Diary) Despite the differences, these units at least had the experience of service on the Mexican Border in 1916 in common. By January 4, 1918 the full battalion with four companies went into more or less permanent billets at Villers sur Suize (Haute Marne). During their five weeks at this location the battalion finally received French Hotchkiss Machine Guns, steel helmets and gas mask plus final training to prepare the men for entering the trench line.
Between February 18 and 22,
1918 the companies of the battalion moved by rail to the area of Givrillers.
The 167th Infantry (Alabama National Guard) was augmented by 151st Machine Gun
Battalion's A and B Companies. The 168 Infantry (Iowa National Guard) was augmented
by C Company and B Company of 149th MG. Major Cooper D. Winn Jr. moved up to
Brigade level and served as the 84th Brigade's Machine Gun Officer.
On March 8, companies of 151st Machine Gun Battalion began entering first line trenches in the vicinity of Badonvilliers and Ancervillier, working with a combination of US and French Infantry units. Each company of the battalion made one tour of the front line during this time that 42nd Division occupied the sector (under the command of the French 128th Infantry Division and French 6th Corps). It was noted that in this time frame Company C conducted indirect (barrage fire) in support of a raid by 168th Infantry. The 151st Machine Gun Battalion only suffered three casualties during this first experience in the trenches. Two of these men were only slightly wounded and the third severely. This man later died of wounds. By March 23, the entire division's tour ended along the front line. Units marched to small towns like Rambervillers to the rear of their former positions. From this point the battalion entered the Rolampont Area for additional equipment and further training before moving a more active sector. On March 28 Company B, 149th Machine Gun BN was re-designated as D Company, 151st Machine Gun Battalion.
The battalion received orders to again move to the front line of the Baccarat Sector and again, A and B Companies were attached to 167th Infantry and C and D Companies were attached to 168th Infantry. The trenches and dugouts for the machine gun units had been previously occupied by French units. They had not been well maintained and the Americans were unable to gain permission to make improvements until much later in their tour. On May 27- 28, C Company along with 168th Infantry sustained a prolonged German chemical gas projector attack. Company C performed particularly well, assisting to repulse a German Infantry raid coordinated with the gas attack. Company C's gas warfare training was seen to pay off too. They only took three casualties verses 200 sustained by the 168th Infantry Battalion located in the same area. Later one single platoon of C Company took over machine gun positions in the area of C.R. Chamois which were previously occupied by a full Machine Gun Company of 165th Infantry. In June, with their tour nearing an end, the 151st Machine Gun Battalion sustained the most harsh gas projector attack in their experience to that point. This attack resulted in 24 casualties in Company D (old CO. B, 149th MG).
In late June 1918, the 151st Machine Gun Battalion conducted training in rear areas away from the trench line. Unexpectedly, a change in conditions at the front lead to orders for the 42nd Division to prepare for a minor offensive action. This was along with two French Divisions in the vicinity of Champagne front lines. In this action, 42nd Division served as a subordinate of the French 4th Army commanded by General Gouraud. July 4, 1918 the 151st Machine Gun Battalion arrived in Suipes and was again broken up to support the infantry battalions. Companies A and B took up positions in the Esperance-Souain Sector with 167th Infantry Battalion. Company D moved to the same sector and was held in reserve supporting the 168th Infantry Battalion. After two false warnings of an enemy attack late on the night of July 14, the French Headquarters reported intelligence predicting a German offensive would begin at midnight. American and French Artillery commenced preparatory fires on the German lines just as this warning went out. The men of the 42nd Division barely had time to get to the limited dugouts before the German Artillery HE and chemical gas barrage began. Because of the limited room in the dugouts, many of the men stayed in wooden frame barracks or stayed on duty manning their gun positions. This barrage resulted in considerable casualties in the battalion. Certainly this must have been deeply frustrating to the men of 151st Battalion especially considering they had no weapon available to them that could counter-fire onto the enemy artillery positions. During the barrage, Company C took particularly heavy casualties and had no cover for their mule carts, consequently all were destroyed. During the barrage from the night of the 14th to the 16th of July the men of the battalion had no food available to them except their reserve rations. On the late night and morning of the 18th and 19th the battalion received orders to move fifteen kilometers distant to Camp Noblotte. This move was accomplished by foot march under heavy enemy artillery fire. From there, the battalion made their way by a combination of marching and buses to Bois de Fere, north of Courpoil. They relived elements of the US 28th Division. As the battalion entered the front line they were parceled out in the same manner as before to the infantry. Company B and C fought in the vicinity of Croix Rouge Farm, making their way through thick woods along with the infantry they supported. Both met their objectives for the day but it was felt that the machine gun units added little value to the infantry in this type of fight. It is important to understand that the 151st MG Battalion's Hotchkiss Machine Guns were very heavy and preformed best when they were emplaced in over-watching positions. They were not well suited to quick movement in rough terrain.
The 151st Machine Gun Battalion was a part of the 84th Brigade. On August 6, 1918 Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur took command of the 84th Brigade. He immediately reorganized the machine gun battalions to fight under their own command as separate units no longer parceled out to the infantry battalions. Major Cooper D. Winn Jr. then moved from serving as the brigade level machine gun officer to direct command of his own battalion. It is obvious that both Brigadier General MacArthur and Major Winn expected better results from the heavy machine gun units if they were employed in concentrated over-watching or indirect fire positions. This usage of the machine gun is somewhat peculiar to the WW1 Era.
September 8, 1918 the 151st Machine
Gun Battalion moved to conealed positions within the forest in the vicinity
of Siechprey. Here Major Cooper D. Winn Jr. received orders for the St. Mihiel
Offensive . The 151st Machine Gun Battalion would fight as a separate command
under the 84th Brigade on the right flank of the 42nd Division. On the 10th
of September Major Winn and his four company commanders reconnoitered the
planned assembly area for the assault. While there, these officers located
existing emplacements and prepared their machine gun fire plan. The following
day the battalion moved in heavy rain to the jump-off point along the front
trench line. The combat trains remained in covered positions near Mandres
while the battalion command post was set up just behind the jump-off trench
line. At 1:00 PM a preparatory Field Artillery barrage began. Four hours later
the infantry advanced with tank support. The 151st Machine Gun BN provided
an indirect fire barrage coordinated with this assault. The 151st MG BN bounded
forward once the first wave of infantry reached the objective. The combat
trains having provided good supplies of food and ammunition during the assault
now moved forward and supported the battalion from Essey.
Cooper D. Winn Jr's wife, Claudia received a letter from her husband dated September 15, 1918. He summarized the extraordinary difficulties his men overcame daily and expressed the enormous stress of leadership in such conditions. He mentions the 200 replacement troops dumped on his command plus issues of getting food to the battalion from field kitchens over miles of roads made almost impassable by mud. In another paragraph, he describes nursing his horse back to good health only to have it killed by shell fire. Throughout it all, he kept his sense of humor and compassion. He recounts in somewhat comic terms shell fragments striking his head. He joked to his wife that "At least I am still lucky they just picked hard spots on me". He mentioned that French children reminded him of their own son (Cooper D. Winn III). He also expressed great pride in the 151st.
To make the advance though the Argonne, 42nd Division was placed under the command of Fifth Corps. The 151st Machine Gun BN received orders to move to positions near Exermont. It was expected that the battalion would simply occupy positions previously used by machine gun troops of 1st Division's, 2nd Infantry Brigade. Because these units fought with their companies parceled out to the infantry, the positions were not suitable for 151st MG BN, now serving as a separate unit. The 151st Machine Gun BN instead choose their own firing positions. Companies B and D occupied an area near Hill 263 under heavy shell fire and Companies A and C remaining in the reserve. Combat trains held at Eclis Fontaine. Once emplaced, the battalion received orders to deliver a protective barrage in support of 84th Brigade's Infantry assault on the German defense position "Kriemhilde Stellung". All the 151st Machine Gun BN officers participated in a reconnaissance of Hill 263. Locations were selected for all the Hotchkiss machine guns. Each had an excellent over watching view of the terrain to be covered by the infantry with clear fields of fire over the trenches as far back as St. Georges. Artillery preparatory fire began after 5:00 PM on October 13, 1918. That same evening the 151st Machine Gun BN occupied Hill 263 and dug in the machine guns. Just enough men to serve as crew stayed with the guns. The remaining men took cover behind the hill. In that way, as casualties were taken these men under cover could be called on as replacements.
On October 14, 1918, just before the infantry assault on the Cote de Chatillon defensive works, 151st Machine Gun BN began their preparatory barrage. The infantry assault started at 0800 A.M. and the 151st Machine Gun BN's supporting fires continued. With a tremendous volume of enemy machine gun fire directed at the attacking infantry, this assault faltered. The American artillery and machine gun predatory fires had failed to break the German defense. A second attack on the same position pushed forward. This time there was evidently no artillery preparatory fire but only the fires from all the Hotchkiss machine guns of the 151st. From the description in the battalion history, it sounds like the 151st Machine Gun BN changed their technique a bit. "Moving Barrage" fires over the heads of the advancing infantry suppressed the enemy riflemen and machine gunners until the friendly infantry was on top of the enemy defensive positions. This time the assault on Cote de Chatillon was successful. Once the former enemy defensive works were occupied the troops of the machine gun battalion assisted the infantry in rebuilding the Cote de Chatillon defenses for their own use.
The use of massed "Moving Barrage" machine gun fires as a technique proved itself in the attack on Cote de Chatillon. As a result, the Fifth Corps commander called for a conference of all his machine gun battalion commanders to better educate them in this technique.
The battalion expected to push forward from their positions at Cote de Chatillon but orders which likely came from Corps level changed this. The 42nd and the 2nd Divisions were ordered to take the enemy line running north of Landres St. Georges. The effects of both divisions' machine gun troops were massed for the attack. The same techniques employed by 151st Machine Gun BN against Cote de Chatillon were used on a larger scale against this new objective. The 151st along with the other machine gun battalions fired a continuous predatory barrage before the infantry attack. As the attack pushed forward these fires shifted, firing over the heads of the advancing infantry then moving with the rounds impacting just ahead of these troops until the objective was taken. When the 2nd Division's troops advanced beyond the range of the 151st Machine Gun BN's guns, the battalion was free to move to a quiet bivouac area in Exermount.
On November 9 the battalion was relived
from the line and assembled at Granges Armoises. The Armistice on November
11 brought an end to active fighting along the Western Front and the battalion
reassembled at Brandeville. By the 20th of November, 1918 the battalion was
re-equipped and given new uniforms and draft animals for their move into Germany.
Also on the 20th a recommendation for the Distinguished Service Cross was
submitted by Brigadier Douglas MacArthur as commander of the 84th Brigade.
The recommendation read:
"Major Winn, commanding the 151st Machine Gun Battalion, personally made the dispositions of his command in advanced positions, commanding his battalion from the very front line. For three days and nights he overcame the difficulties of mud and rain and very arduous terrain through the thick of enemy fire, always in great force. With great courage he in person assigned each of his forty-eight guns their individual mission at all stages of the operation and directed the close and successful liaison between his command and the infantry battalions, as well as arranging for the supply of ammunition and food to his troops, in a manner which despite the fact that he had no roads and only newly broken paths to follow and that all supplies had to be man-handled, was conspicuously successful. In the assault upon the Cote de Chatillon, he personally devised and ordered a machine gun support which was the most brilliant and able that has yet been accorded this brigade, during all of which operation he himself, and from the most advanced position, controlled the fire of his command when personally exposed to the greatest peril. The brilliance and resourcefulness of this officer and the daring manner in which he employed his battalion and determined endurance and courage throughout four days and nights of sustained attacks, have entirely won for him the distinguished service cross."
Brigadier General, General Staff, Commanding.
Although recommended, apparently the distinguished service cross was never awarded to Major Cooper D. Winn Jr.
The 151st Machine Gun Battalion went on to perform fairly un-glamorous Army of Occupation duties in Kripp, Germany consisting of task like prison guard force.
At the port of Brest, France Major Cooper D. Winn Jr. led the advanced party onboard the battleship U.S.S. Minnesota. By April 15, 1918 the entire battalion was onboard and expected to sail to Newport News, Virginia, however, plans changed and Hoboken, New Jersey became the new destination. The battalion arrived on April 26, 1918 and everyone was moved to Camp Gordon, Georgia. This included Pennsylvania National Guard's Company D. Macon, Georgia gave the battalion a tremendous welcome complete with a parade, a dance and finally a luncheon by the ladies of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion Auxiliary. The men were then transported to Atlanta for similar festivities in the state capitol. After the final event the 151st Machine Gun Battalion fell in for their last formation, boarded a train and moved back to Camp Gordon. Within a few hours the battalion passed out of existence. Today their linage is carried by the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade headquartered in Macon.
Cooper D. Winn Jr. was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in his last days as commander of the battalion and served as the President of the National Association of Rainbow Division Veterans in 1931. In that same year, Macon hosted the Rainbow Division Veterans Reunion. The Atlanta Chapter of the Rainbow Division Veterans Society was named in his honor.
After the war he followed his old college friend Eugene Stetson to New York. Stetson was by that time the vice-president of the Guaranty Trust Company. Today this is JP Morgan Chase. Here Cooper D. Winn Jr. pursued his new career. Eugene Stetson was also Treasurer of the Robert E. Lee Foundation and funded the purchase of the Robert E. Lee birth home at Stratford Hall, Virginia. After his retirement from the Guaranty Trust Company in 1945, Cooper D. Winn Jr. was made the resident superintendant of the home and associated farmland until 1959.
He returned to Macon after fourteen years at Stratford Hall. Cooper David Winn Jr. died at 83 years of age in October of 1963. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Macon, Georgia.
Cooper D. Winn Jr. led a very interesting and productive life. Coming from a family of high achieving military officers he joined the local National Guard unit and quickly rose to command the Macon Volunteers. He served as Brigade Adjutant in the Mexican Expedition in 1916. Shortly after his return, he again rose to command Macon's newly formed 151st Machine Gun Battalion and prepared his men for immediate deployment. Once on the front lines, he convinced his next higher headquarters, commanded by Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur, that there was a better way to employ his machine gun battalion than having it parceled out to the infantry battalions. Under his leadership this battalion greatly improved the performance of BG Douglas MacArthur's 84th Brigade, playing a significant role in wearing down German defensive positions as the brigade's infantry assaulted. With this success, his battalion was strengthened with the addition of another company from Pennsylvania National Guard and Cooper D. Winn Jr. trained other machine gun battalions his techniques. Ultimately, Cooper D. Winn Jr. was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. By the end of the war his command was the only Georgia National Guard unit that had retained its original leadership not being broken up for individual replacements.
Above: An example of the Rainbow Division 1931 Reunion medal from Macon, Georgia
Following the war in 1931, the National Association of Rainbow Division Veterans elected Cooper D. Winn Jr. their president and brought the divisional reunion to Macon that same year. The Atlanta chapter of the association was named in his honor and mailed him an after action report after each meeting. In his professional career after the war he again rose. He served in the hierarchy of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York which is JP Morgan Chase today. There he also served as the Chairman of the Port Chester District Boy Scouts. For fourteen years, after his retirement he led an extremely ambitious project to restore Robert E. Lee's birth home named Stratford Hall along with its surrounding farmland. This certainly was the focus of his dreams.
Today his legacy can be seen both in Georgia's 48th Infantry Brigade, which carries his 151st Machine Gun Battalion's linage and the extraordinary restoration of the Stratford Hall mansion in Virginia.
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All images, research, and text are sole property of Ralph Lovett.