New Orleans, Louisiana: Cpl. Pierce

Cpl. John Pierce, 4th Regiment, U. S. Colored Cavalry, Date unknown

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Mr. John Pierce of New Orleans, La., who was 93 years of age, died at his residence, 1658 N. Johnson Street, on March 17. Mr. Pierce was a young man at the time of the war between the states and was very anxious to do his part to help give his people freedom. Having this as the main reason in mind he enlisted in the army of his own accord. He served from 1861 to 1865 as corporal of captain E. W. Bauges camp E Fourth Regiment.

After the war corporal Pierce was very active in politics serving as a ward leader, forever doing all he could to help his people. He was connected with the U. S. Government holding a position at the U. S. Mint. This position he held until the removal of the mint from this city. After the closing of the mint he was connected with a law firm here.

As a citizen Mr. John Pierce was very active in church work being a member of the newly organized Greater Tulane B. C. He was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic serving as a Commander of The Department of La., and Miss., in the year 1920. At the time of his death he was assistant Adgt. Gen. and Quarter Master Gen., of G. A. R. Department of La., and Miss.

The funeral services were held at the Greater Tulane B. C. March 20th at 10 o’clock. Interment at Chalmet cemetery.

Mr. Pierce was the husband of Mrs. J. Pierce, the father of Mrs. Jane P. Richards, and Mr. Oscar C. Pierce, Sr. Grandfather of Mr. Fred Harris, Mr. Silvester Harris, Oscar C. Pierce, Jr., John Pierce 3rd and Mrs. W. L. Gibson. 1


According to military records, John Pierce of Company E, 4th Regiment, U. S. Colored Cavalry, was born about 1843 in Louisiana. He enlisted on November 12, 1863, at New Orleans, Louisiana. He mustered into service on December 21, 1863, New Orleans. John Pierce was promoted to Corporal on October 1, 1864, and soon after suffered two bouts of illness in the post hospital at Port Hudson, Louisiana. He mustered out of service on March 20, 1866, at New Orleans.

Cpl. John Pierce was not easy to track records-wise. He was a member of J. H. Crowder Post No. 12, Grand Army of the Republic, named after Lt. John H. Crowder, Company K, 1st Louisiana Native Guard Infantry (73rd U. S. Colored Infantry). In 1904, John was elected Chaplain of the Department of Louisiana and Mississippi, Grand Army of the Republic, as a member and representative of J. H. Crowder Post No. 12, as reported by the National Tribune. 2

The National Tribune, May 12, 1904

John Pierce appears in the 1920 U. S. Census, documented in New Orleans’ 7th Ward on North Johnson Street. By occupation, he was identified as a clerk. His household included his wife, Lucinda Harris (40) a dressmaker, son Oscar Charles (26), a longshoreman, a step-daughter, Modeste (23), 3also a dressmaker, and grandchildren Oscar Jr. (8), and John (6). 4

In the 1930 Census, John is documented at the same residence in New Orleans, with no occupation, likely on account of his advanced age. His wife, Lucinda (49), is noted as seamstress, and son Oscar (32) as a porter for a local grocery store. John and Lucinda’s stepdaughter, Modeste (23), is listed as a dressmaker. 5

Cpl. John Pierce was laid to rest in Chalmette National Cemetery on March 20, 1936, Section 168, grave number 13865. His wife, Lucinda Harris Pierce, passed away on January 11, 1938, and was interred on January 13, 1938, with her husband, John, in grave number 13864, Section 168, Chalmette National Cemetery.

Grave of Cpl. John Pierce, Co. E, 4th U. S. Colored Cavalry. Ancestry.com

  1. The Atlanta World (Atlanta, Georgia), 2 April 1936, p. 1; image copy, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (https://www.lva.virginia.gov: accessed 1 December 2019)
  2. “Flourishing Southern Department,” The National Tribune (Washington, D. C.), 12 May 1904, p. 2, c. 7; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://newspapers.com: accessed 3 December 2019)
  3. According to Louisiana marriage records, Oscar Charles Pierce, Sr., married Miss Modeste Jolivet, daughter of Edward Charles and Henriette Jolivet, on September 7, 1907, New Orleans, Louisiana; Louisiana Vital Records, Vol. 29, p. 453, Oscar Charles Pierce-Madeste Jolivet, 7 September 1907; database online, “New Orleans, Louisiana, Marriage Records Index, 1831-1964,” Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com: accessed 3 December 2019); citing “State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, Division of Archives, Records Management, and History. Vital Records Indices. Baton Rouge, LA, USA.”
  4. Ancestry, “U. S. Census 1920,” Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com: accessed 3 December 2019), New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, dist. 0122, p. 44, citing “Year: 1920; Census Place: New Orleans Ward 7, Orleans, Louisiana; Roll: T625_621; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 122.”
  5. Ancestry, “U. S. Census 1930,” Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com: accessed 3 December 2019); New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, dist. 0110, p. 25, citing “Year: 1930; Census Place: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 2340540.”

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