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Dear America Wiki

"I was asked why I had put my neck at risk, and when I said, "Because I needed a pair of boots and dinner," everybody laughed. But that is the truth. And when the Sgt. asked why I didn't leave after I had got my feet covered and belly full, I got an even bigger laugh when I answered, "Because the boots fit perfect and the dinner tasted good.""
—James Pease[3]

Sergeant James Edmond Pease (c. 1847 – 1914) was a military officer in G Company of the 122nd Regiment in the Union Army. He was best friends with Johnny Henderson. James fought in the Battle of the Wilderness during the Civil War.


Early life[]

James Edmond Pease was born sometime in 1847.[1] He had no memories of his parents, whom died when he was young. He was raised by his uncle and aunt in the small town of Warners, New York, where he worked on his uncle's farm.

In the summer of 1862,[4] James started to feel that his uncle and aunt resented him and decided to leave. He roamed around for three months, until he found a sign advertising a war meeting.

Civil War[]

James joined G Company of the 122nd Regiment in the Union Army "because [he] needed a pair of boots and dinner." In November of 1863, Lt. Toms assigned James to write the company's journal.

That winter while camped in Brandy Station, Virginia, James was promoted to Corporal. He was promoted to Sergeant in January of 1864 and began preparing with his company for battle. On May 5, James fought in the Battle of the Wilderness, when he was knocked unconscious and left in enemy territory. James was able to escape with the help of slaves, Davie and Sally.

On May 13, 1864, James found the rest of his company near Spotsylvania. James and his best friend Johnny Henderson were given two weeks furlough, which they spent at Johnny's farm. On June 4, James married Johnny's sister Sarah. James and Johnny returned to battle and fought at Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Cedar Creek, and Appomattox Courthouse, until the end of the Civil War on April 9, 1865.

Later life[]

At the close of the war, James began working as a staff artist for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. James traveled on assignments, which Sarah accompanied him on. They had one daughter named Kate. The members of G Company met once a year for several years at the 122nd New York Volunteers reunion.

In 1910, James returned to America for a celebration of the forty-fifth anniversary of the Civil War's end. James passed away from a heart attack in 1914, while in the Philippines. He was followed by his wife ten years later. Kate Pease received all her parents possessions, including her father's journals.

Personality and traits[]

James Pease was shy and simple prior to the War. However, by May 1864, James developed into a confident and skilled soldier, leading to his Sergeant promotion. He also demonstrated quick thinking during the Battle of the Wilderness, when James found himself in enemy territory.

Family tree[]

The Pease-Henderson Family Tree
Aunt and uncle
Two sisters
Johnny Henderson
(b. 1844)
Sarah Henderson
James Pease
Kate Pease

Behind the scenes[]



See also[]