JOHN A. PEIRCE, machinist, Xenia, was born in Clay County, Ill., March 12, 1843, and is the son of John Peirce, whose sketch appears. His early life was spent on the farm, and as soon as the civil war broke out he entered the service, first of the State, in May, 1861, but June 13, 1861, was mustered into the United States service, Company G. Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Col. U. S. Grant. This was the first regiment to march from the State, and October 21, 1861, they were in their first engagement at Fredericktown, Mo. When Mr. Peirce first applied to be admitted into the State service, the enrolling officer refused him because he was so short; but he made known his grievance to Col. S. S. Good, and the Colonel told him that he would soon grow up, and for him to take his place in the rear rank, and when his name was called in the muster-roll to answer up. This advice he followed, and so got into the service. In October. 1861, Mr. Peirce was taken into the Adjutant's office, as Orderly at head-quarters. He served in this capacity till March 12, 1865, when he was promoted to the office of Sergeant Mayor, and September 6, 1865, was mustered in by special order as Extra Lieutenant and Adjutant, which office he continued to hold till close of service. December 16, 1865, they were discharged at San Antonio, Tex. He had all the experience of the soldier in his marches and counter-marches, in tent life and on the field of battle. They were in the siege of Corinth, at Perryville, Ky., Stone River, on the Chickamauga campaign, etc.; and when the first three years of enlistment were out, he re-enlisted at Ooltewah, Tenn., for another three years, and then took a veteran's furlough for thirty days, after which he returned to the regiment at Big Shanty, and was on the Atlanta campaign, and in the fights at Franklin and Nashville, Tenn. After returning from the service, his occupation has been various, being engineer at the woolen mills for some time, then painting, and afterward into the tin business: but in 1878 he started into his present business of machinist, and is now prepared to do all kinds of work in repairing of all kinds of machinery, etc. January 12, 1868, he was married in Xenia to Miss Fidelia Westmoreland, a native of this State, and daughter of John Westmoreland, now a resident of Texas. Mrs. Peirce is the mother of five daughters, three of whom are living, viz.: Nellie, Araminta J. and Mary. He is a member of Xenia Lodge, I. O. O. F. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, he is Republican.
Extracted 28 Dec 2017 by Norma Hass from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, page 166.