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John Joseph Pershing

John Joseph Pershing

Male 1860 -

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  • Name John Joseph Pershing  [1
    Born 13 Sep 1860  Linn County, Mo Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Person ID I3292  Dessert Family Tree
    Last Modified 16 Apr 2006 

    Father John Fletcher Pershing,   b. 13 Mar 1834,   d. 16 Mar 1906  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Ann Elizabeth Thompson,   b. 15 Feb 1835, Blount Co., near Maryville, Tn Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Nov 1902  (Age 67 years) 
    Married 22 Mar 1859 
    • [rob-3-2491.ged]

    Family ID F1036  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • [rob-3-2491.ged]

      This individual was found on GenCircles at:
      REFN: WYAr924

      S.A.W. W.W.R.

      General "Blackjack" Pershing Graduated USMA 1886

      the following is from the internet at http://www ml

      Pershing 's father, John Fletcher Pershing, was a boss tracklayer for the North Missouri Railroad at Warrenton, Missouri, where he met Ann Elizabeth Thompson. On 22 Ma rch 1859, they were married. Soon after, they moved to a shanty on the farm of Judge Meredith Brown near Laclede. John Joseph was born there on 13 September 1 860.

      When the Civil War began, John Fletcher moved to Laclede and bought Lom ax's General Store. He bought two farms, one 80 acres, the other 160 acres, and a lumberyard. He also became the sutler for the 18th Missouri Volunteer Infant ry, then quartered at Laclede.

      In 1865, a "select school for small children" was opened in Laclede. John and his brother, James attended this school. Betwe en 1870 and 1873, John Fletcher lost the greater part of his land holdings in s peculation, and in 1876 became a traveling salesman. During this time, John Jos eph worked on his father's farm and attended school, and later taught the Negro school at Laclede. Throughout this sometimes difficult period, the future Gene ral Pershing demonstrated the qualities which would always be paramount in his life: self-possession, competence, level-headedness, dependability, and the abi lity to see things through.

      In October 1879, Pershing became the teacher of the school at Prairie Mound, nine miles from Laclede. During the
      summers of 18 80, 1881, and 1882, he went to the State Normal School at Kirksville, Missouri. In the spring of 1882, Pershing saw an announcement for a competitive examinat ion for an appointment to West Point. He had no desire to become a soldier but he saw an opportunity for an excellent education. On the advice of his sister, he took the examination and won the appointment.

      Pershing was not a brillian t scholar. He graduated 30th in a class of 77. But the officers and his classma tes at West Point recognized that he had a rare quality of leadership. General Merritt, then Superintendent of West Point, said that Pershing showed early pr omise of becoming a superb officer. He was elected president of the class of 18 86. Each year he held the highest possible rank in the Cadet Battalion. Thirtee n years before the Spanish-American War began, Cadet Captain Pershing commanded the Corps of Cadets when it crossed the Hudson from West Point to Garrison to stand at present arms while the funeral train of Ulysses S. Grant rolled slowly by.

      Pershing did not think much of army life in peacetime and during his fu rlough he expressed a desire to take up the study of law. During his last year at the Point, he and four classmates formed a scheme for an irrigation project in Oregon, but nothing ever came of it.

      After his graduation from West Point , Pershing was assigned to Troop L, 6th Cavalry, Fort Bayard, New Mexico. He re ported for duty on 30 September 1886. He scouted hostile Indians and commanded a detachment which set up a heliograph line 160 miles through the mountains. Th is latter accomplishment was no small feat. The detachment was out about a mont h and lived off the country, which was inhabited by hostile Indians.

      A group photograph of the 6th United States Cavalry, taken on the club steps at Fort B ayard, New Mexico, show among them the very junior Second Lieutenant Pershing, blue kepi cocked on his light blond head and a kid's grin on his face. For four years in the desert Southwest, he was on active service against the last of th e Apaches. He served throughout the Santiago Campaign fighting at San Juan Hill , where he was cited for gallantry 1 July 1898, and for which he was subsequent ly awarded the Silver Star Medal. In the words of his commanding general, S. M. B. Young, he was "the coolest man under fire that I ever saw."

      In 1887, Per shing was transferred to Fort Stanton, where he t

  • Sources 
    1. [S02591] The Pershing Family in America, Edgar J. Pershing, (George S. Ferguson Co., Philadelphia, PA 1924), 404.