About Lieutenant Clifford West Henry
As Margaret Mitchell (author of "Gone with the Wind") was about to graduate from the Washington Seminary in 1918, she met and fell in love with another Harvard student, a young army lieutenant, Clifford West Henry, who was chief bayonet instructor at Camp Gordon from May 10 until the time he set sail for France on July 17. On September 14, while she was enrolled at Smith College, Henry was mortally wounded in action in France and died on October 17. As Henry waited in the Verdun trenches, shortly before being wounded, he composed a poem on a leaf torn from his field notebook, found later among his effects. The last stanza of Lieutenant Clifford W. Henry's poem follows:
If "out of luck" at duty's call
In glorious action I should fall
At God's behest,
May those I hold most dear and best
Know I have stood the acid test
Should I "go West."
Henry repeatedly advanced in front of the platoon he commanded, drawing machine-gun fire so that the German nests could be located and wiped out by his men. Although wounded in the leg in this effort, his death was the result of shrapnel wounds from an air bomb dropped by a German plane. He was awarded the French Croix de guerre avec palme for his acts of heroism, and from the President of the United States, the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Cross and an Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Cross.