Henry Joseph Reilly – Captain, United States Army Artillery

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Henry Joseph Reilly of Ireland.
Private, Corporal and Sergeant, Battery B, 5th U. S. Artillery, 22 September 1864 to 30 December 1866
Second Lieutenant, 5th U. S. Artillery, 1 December 1866
FIrst Lieutenant, 18 September 1869
Captain, 3 January 1894
Killed In Action at Peking, China, 14 August 1900

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Captain Reilly, United States Army Artillery, took part in quelling the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900. He commanded a battery of the 5th United States Artillery which blasted open the gates of Peking, China and he was killed by hostile enemy fire on August 15, 1900 during that engagement.

On his tomb in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery is the phrase from 2nd Timothy:

“I have fought the good fight.
I have finished my course.
I have kept the faith.”

His wife, Frances M. Reilly (1859-1947) is buried with him.

REILLY, HENRY J
CAPT 5TH US ART USA

  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/17/1900
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
  • BURIED AT: SECTION E DIV  SITE 844
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

REILLY, FRANCES MARY W/O HENRY J

  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/05/1947
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 01/09/1947
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 2  SITE 844
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
  • WIFE OF HJ REILLY – CAPT 5TH US ARTY USA

Henry Joseph Reilly of Ireland
Private, Corporal and Sergeant, Battery B, 5th United States Artillery, 22 to 30 December 1866
Second Lieutenant, 5th United States Artillery, 1 December 1866
First Lieutenant, 18 Sept 1868
Captain 3 January 1894
Killed in action at Peking, China 15 August 1900.


The road to the forbidden City was attacked by this column, four large and strong fortified gates having to be assailed and captured, before reach­ing the final obstacle, the Wu Gate. While engaging in this attack on August 15th, the battery’s gallant commander, Captain Henry J. Reilly, was killed. The following day he was buried with military honors in the United States Legation Compound. Lieutenant Summerall was recommended for brevet Captain by the Expedition Commander for distinguished service here. The character of the battery may best be known by quoting the fol­lowing cablegram from the Expeditionary Commander.

“Adjutant General, Washington. Reply to your cablegram, our battery better than battery any other army in campaign. German battery recently arrived; some features superior to ours, powder charges in case, caliber gun not quite so large. Our battery highly praised. Battery seen by Gen­eral Linivitch, who said he felt like taking off his hat whenever he saw it. No battery so active as ours in attack on Pekin.—Chaffee.”

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