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John J. Pershing: Born into War

Born into War. In 1863, a 3 yr old John J. Pershing was pinned to the floor by his mother to protect him from confederate raiders. In 1886, he left West Point for the western frontier, having been elected class president four years in a row. In 1890 he was present at the Wounded Knee Massacre. In 1898 he fought with Buffalo Soldiers in Cuba, commanding a black cavalry regiment at San Juan Hill. From 1898 to 1901 he was fighting Philippine insurgents. In 1905 he served as an observer in the Russo-Japanese War, arguably the first "modern" war. In 1906 Teddy Roosevelt promoted him to Brigadier General, skipping over 862 senior officers. In 1916 he was hunting Poncho Villa in Mexico. In 1917, Pershing was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Entire American Expeditionary Force of WW1, in which he built an army almost from scratch, organizing, training, and supplying an inexperienced force that eventually numbered two million. 1919 saw Pershing promoted to the highest U.S. Army rank in history, "General of the Armies", a position held previously by George Washington. Pershing lived to see Allied Victory before his death in 1948.
posted by thisisdrew on May 19, 2011 - 41 comments

The Pershing Chinese

After a fruitless hunt for Pancho Villa, General Pershing and his forces withdrew from northern Mexico in early 1917. But, "[w]hat to do with 300 Chinese who have associated themselves with the punitive expedition?" [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Jan 31, 2010 - 18 comments

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