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  1. General John J. Pershing and Colonel George C. Marshall, Pershing's aide-de-camp, in France, sometime in 1919. In September 1919, in recognition of his distinguished service during World War I, the U.S. Congress authorized the President to promote Pershing to General of the Armies of the United States , the highest rank possible for any member ...

  2. Sep 09, 2021 · U.S. Army general John J. Pershing (1860-1948) commanded the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe during World War I. The president and first captain of the West Point class of 1886, he ...

    • Synopsis
    • Early Life
    • Buffalo Soldier
    • Family Tragedy
    • Leading The AEF in Europe
    • Later Life

    John J. Pershing was born in Laclede, Missouri, on September 13, 1860. He graduated from West Point Academy and went on to fight in the Indian wars as well as the Spanish-American War and the Philippines insurrection. In World War I, he commanded the American Expeditionary Force in Europe, helping bring an end to the war. He quietly retired after the war and was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

    John Joseph Pershing was the first of eight children born to John F. Pershing and Anne Elizabeth Thompson Pershing of Laclede, Missouri. John’s father was a prosperous businessman, working as a merchant during the Civil War and later owning a general store in Laclede and serving as postmaster. The family lost most of its assets during the panic of 1873, and John’s father was forced to take a job as a traveling salesman while John worked on the family farm. After high school graduation, John J. Pershing took a job teaching African American students at Prairie Mound School. He saved his money and then went to North Missouri normal school (now Truman State University) for two years. Though he grew up in an era of Civil War heroes, young John had no desire for a military career. But when an invitation to take the exam for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point came his way, he applied and received the top grade. Though not a great student (he would place 30th in a class of 77) he was e...

    After graduation, John J. Pershing served in the 6th Cavalry in a number of military engagements against the Sioux and Apache tribes. In the Spanish-American War he commanded the all-Black 10th Cavalry and was later awarded the Silver Citation Star (later upgraded to the Silver Star) for his valor. After the defeat of Spain, Pershing was stationed in the Philippines from 1899 to 1903 and during his tour led American forces against the Philippine resistance. By this time, Pershing had earned the sobriquet “Black Jack” Pershing for his service with the African American 10th Cavalry, but the moniker also came to signify his stern demeanor and rigorous discipline. By 1905, John J. Pershing’s stellar military record had caught the eye of President Theodore Roosevelt, who petitioned Congress to give Pershing a diplomatic post as a military attaché in Tokyo to observe the Sino-Russian War. That same year, Pershing met and married Helen Frances Warren, daughter of Wyoming Senator Francis E....

    After serving another tour in the Philippines, in late 1913, the Pershing family moved to San Francisco, California. Two years later, while on assignment in Texas, Pershing received devastating news that his wife and three daughters had been killed in a fire. Only six-year-old son, Warren, survived. Pershing was distraught and, according to friends, never fully recovered from the tragedy. He plunged himself into his work to blunt the sorrow while his sister, Mary, cared for young Warren. But John J. Pershing was soon called to duty closer to home. On March 9, 1916, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa’s guerrilla band raided the U.S. border town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 American soldiers and civilians and wounding nearly 20 others. President Woodrow Wilson, ignoring international protocol, ordered Pershing to capture Villa. For nearly two years, Pershing’s army tracked the elusive desperado throughout northern Mexico and clashed in several skirmishes but was unsuccessful in...

    In 1917, as America entered World War I, General John J. Pershing was appointed commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to assist the Allied powers against German forces. At the time, the U.S. Army was composed of 130,000 men and no reserves. In just 18 months, Pershing accomplished the near impossible by transforming the ill-prepared American military into a disciplined fighting machine of more than 2 million men. When John J. Pershing and his men arrived in Europe, Allied military officials expected the Americans to “fill in” the depleted European divisions. Pershing disagreed, citing the different training of the U.S. military and asserting that a fresh, united American force would be more effective against the Germans. Pershing won the argument and led his forces in numerous battles, including the Battle of St. Mihiel and the Battle of Cantigny. In October 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, Pershing’s army helped destroy German resistance, which led to th...

    For his service during the war, in 1919 President Woodrow Wilson, with Congress's approval, promoted Pershing to General of the Armies, a post previously held only by George Washington. Then, in 1921, he became the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, a position he held until his retirement in 1924, at age 64. In his civilian life, Pershing resisted the temptation to enter politics and declined to make public strategy suggestions about the uneasy world of 1930s and '40s not wishing to upstage the nation's active military leaders. In the final decade of his life, Pershing’s health began to decline due to heart problems. On July 15, 1948, while recovering from a stroke, Pershing died in his sleep. His body lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol as an estimated 300,000 people came to pay their respects. He was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.

  3. John J. Pershing, in full John Joseph Pershing, byname Black Jack, (born September 13, 1860, Laclede, Missouri, U.S.—died July 15, 1948, Washington, D.C.), U.S. Army general who commanded the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe during World War I. Pershing graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in ...

  4. John J. Pershing was one of America’s most accomplished generals. He is most famous for serving as commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. These troops from America bolstered the spirits of European allies and helped defeat the Central Powers in 1918.

    • Overview
    • Early life
    • West Point years

    John J. Pershing Birth name John Joseph Pershing Nickname "Black Jack" Born (1860-09-13)September 13, 1860 Died July 15, 1948(1948-07-15) (aged 87) Place of birth Laclede, Missouri, U.S. Place of death Walter Reed General Hospital Washington, D.C., U.S. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery Allegiance United States of America Service/branch United States Army Years of service 1886–1924 Rank General of the Armies Service number O-1 Commands held 8th Brigade American Expeditionary Force...

    John Joseph Pershing was born on a farm near Laclede, Missouri, to businessman John Fletcher Pershing and homemaker Ann Elizabeth Thompson. His paternal side ancestors, whose name originally was Persching, immigrated from Germany in the late 18th century. Pershing's mother was of English descent. He also had five siblings: brothers James (b. 1862) and Ward (b. 1874), and sisters Mary Elizabeth (b. 1864), Anna May (b. 1867) and Grace (b. 1869); three other children died in infancy. When the Civil...

    Cadet Pershing in 1886 Pershing was sworn in as a West Point cadet in the fall of 1882. He was selected early for leadership and became successively First Corporal, First Sergeant, First Lieutenant, and First Captain, the highest possible cadet rank. Pershing commanded ex officio the West Point Honor Guard that escorted the funeral of President Ulysses S. Grant. Pershing graduated from West Point in the summer of 1886 and was commended by the Superintendent of West Point, General Wesley Merritt,...

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