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Edward L. Pierce to John Albion Andrew, July 22, 1863

Edward Lillie Pierce, circa 1880, detail
Edward L. Pierce was a lawyer and writer who had been private secretary to Salmon P. Chase before the war and a strong anti-slavery advocate. After service as an infantry private in the Massachusetts Volunteers, Secretary Chase had recently put him in charge of the freedmen camps and the plantations of South Carolina's Sea Islands. On the day of the attack on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, in which the 54th Massachusetts was to distinguish itself, he had dined with Brigadier-General Strong and his senior officers. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw of the 54th gave him letters and effects to be delivered to Shaw's family should he not survive the action scheduled that evening. Four days after the attack, he wrote the following letter to Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts, describing the efforts of the state's first African-American regiment during the attack. With pride, he describes their conduct and their casualties. (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: "Edward L. Pierce to John Albion Andrew, July 22, 1863," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,