Letters written by General Pershing on both personal and official business. Correspondents include Earl of Derby, Mrs. Kingsley Ohl, Hon. Louis C. Crampton, Dr. Clarence J. Owens, Mrs. James C. Frazer, General Calcer C. Sniften, Reverend Alton M. Young, Lieutenant Col. George Grosman, Col. Hugh J. Gallagher, John A. Stewart, Josephine Patten, Paul Maerker Branden, and Mr. Wheeler.
Permission to publish from the General John J. Pershing letters, 1917-1936, MS 161, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
John J. Pershing was born September 13, 1860 in Laclede, Missouri. Having graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1886, he fought in the United States military in the Spanish-American War and several Indian Wars. He also served as brigadier general in the Philippines from 1906-1913 and led the attack against Mexican rebel Pancho Villa in 1916. Early in his military career, he served with a black regiment, giving him the nickname Black Jack. For a time, he also taught at West Point.
In 1917 when the United States declared war on Germany, Pershing was chosen to command the American troops in Europe. Pershing can claim two significant victories: the attack on the German's Saint-Mihiel line of defense and the Meuse-Argonne operations, a month after which the Armistice was signed.
Upon returning to the United States, he was given the rank of general of the American armies. For three more years he served in the military as chief of staff until his retirement in 1921.
General John Joseph Pershing passed away on July 15, 1948 in Washington D.C.