Pierson, John Frederick Papers, 1864-1925

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Summary Information

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Pierson, John Frederick, 1839-1932
John Frederick Pierson Papers
Collection No.:
SC 0015
2 legal folders, .16 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
Collection of James Frederick Pierson's personal copies of Civil War and post-Civil War literature including enlistment parameters and several invitations, dinner menus, programs, and other memorabilia from various veteran associations to which Mr. Pierson belonged.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], John Frederick Pierson Papers, 1864-1925, SC 0015, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

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Bio/Historical Note

John Frederick Pierson was born February 25, 1839 in New York, New York. He enlisted in the Union Army on May 27, 1861 in Washington, DC and was commissioned the same day into Company H, New York 1st Infantry division as a captain. Pierson earned a promotion to a major on July 20, 1861 and to a lieutenant colonel on September 10, 1861. He became a prisoner of war in Chantilly and was held at Libby Prison in 1862, being exchanged on September 21, 1862 in Aiken's Landing, Virginia. Pierson would later be promoted a final time to a brigadier general on March 13, 1865, just two months before the end of the Civil War. Pierson continued an active involvement in veterans' affairs in various ways in the post-war period, attending reunions of fellow soldiers and being involved in veterans' societies, often holding positions of administration. He continued this active involvement until his death on December 20, 1932 in New York, New York.

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Scope and Content

The James Frederick Pierson Papers, 1864-1925, contain materials documenting his time during the American Civil War and afterwards. The collection includes assorted programs, ephemera, and correspondence.

Included in the collection are two identical petit handbills signed in type by James Frederick Pierson outlining his terms of service in the army. At the end of his term of service he would receive a $100 bounty which the handbill states is equal to $19.25 per month. Also included are Pierson's personal copies of post-Civil War veterans' literature. Some documents contain Pierson's handwritten annotations.

Other items of note include, but are not limited to, a Military Order of the Loyal Legion Circular, N.Y, 1883; a certificate from the 7th Annual Convention and Dinner of the Navy League of the United States stating Pierson has been chosen as a delegate to their convention; a letter to the Army and Navy Club of America electing Pierson as an honorary member; a reminder of a meeting of the First Regiment of the N.Y Volunteer Veteran Association signed by the Mr. Pierson while he was President; a list of Regular Nominations of the United Service Club of the City of New York with Pierson's name as a nominee; a letter from the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States inviting Pierson to the Annual Church Service of the Sons of the Revolution; a letter from the East River Savings Institution informing Pierson he had been elected a member of the board of trustees; a list of representatives of the New York Society of the Cincinnati listing Pierson as a representative; a menu from the same event of the Society of the Cincinnati; four pamphlets of meetings from the Military Order of Loyal Legion of the United States and one nomination ticket with Pierson running for the council; and a letter from the associates of the Engineer Corp and Company of the 7th regiment inviting Pierson to attend the annual meeting and dinner of the association and one pamphlet for the same dinner.

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Arranged topically into two folders.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

James Madison University Special Collections acquired these materials collection at auction from Cohasco, Inc. on February 10, 2015.


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Menus
  • Programs (documents)
  • Certificates
  • Pamphlets
  • Handbills


  • Soldiers -- New York (State) -- Correspondence
  • Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Correspondence
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Correspondence
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Pamphlets
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Literature and the war
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Veterans

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Correspondence, 1864-1922 box 1 folder 1
Programs and Assorted Ephemera, 1895-1925 box 1 folder 2