|If this website has been useful to you, please consider
making a Donation.
Your support will help keep this website free for everyone, and will allow us to do
more research. Thank you for your support!
Civil War Soldiers - Pierce
|Pierce, Byron Root, Major-General,
U.S. Army, editor of the chapter on "Military Affairs in Michigan,"
was born at East Bloomfield, Ontario county, N.Y., Sept. 20, 1829, a
son of Silas and Mary (Root) Pierce. He was educated at an academy in
Rochester, N.Y., and began his business career in his father's woolen
mills. After a few years of this life he studied dentistry and in 1856
located at Grand Rapids, Mich., where he opened an office for the
practice of his profession, at the same time conducting a branch
office at Joliet, Ill. On May 13, 1861, he entered the Union army as
captain of Co. K, 3d Mich. volunteer infantry. For bravery and
efficient services he was rapidly promoted, becoming major of the
regiment Oct. 21, 1861; lieutenant-colonel July 25, 1862; colonel Jan.
1, 1863; and brigadier-general of volunteers June 7, 1864. In the
Peninsular campaign and the movements in northern Virginia, while
major, he was frequently mentioned in the reports of his superior
officers as a gallant and skillful officer. At Fredericksburg, as
lieutenant-colonel, he commanded the regiment, then in Berry's
brigade, Birney's division, 3d army corps. At Chancellorsville Col.
Pierce was wounded and was mentioned in Berry's report as
"distinguished for gallantry." In the fierce fighting at the "peach
orchard" in the battle of Gettysburg, Col. Pierce received a would
that ultimately cost him a leg, but he continued in the service,
taking part in the Bristoe and Mine Run campaigns and the subsequent
operations in Virginia. On May 23, 1864, he was assigned to the
command of the 2nd brigade, Birney's division, and led a successful
charge at the North Anna river. At Bethesda Church and Cold Harbor he
commanded the 1st brigade of Gibbon's division, being slightly wounded
in the latter engagement. He then returned to his old brigade, which
he led in the assault on the Petersburg works June 18, 1864, and
continued in command of it until the close of the war, except for a
short time when he was temporarily in command of a division of the 2nd
corps. For gallant conduct in the battle of Sailor's creek he was
brevetted major-general. Gen. Pierce served two years as commander of
the Department of Michigan, Grand Army of the Republic, and as senior
vice-commander of the Michigan Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal
Legion. After the war he was for some time connected with the U.S.
postoffice department. He was influential in securing the
establishment of the Michigan soldiers' home at Grand Rapids, and
served for several years as its first commandant. On Oct. 12, 1881,
Gen. Pierce married Abbie L. Evans of Rhode Island.
Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal
States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908