John J. Pershing was born in Laclede, Missouri, on September 13, 1860, and graduated from the United States Academy at West Point in 1886. Pershing served with the 10th Cavalry, an African American regiment, during the Spanish-American War. In 1916, he led an expedition that pursued Francisco “Pancho” Villa in Mexico. President Woodrow Wilson appointed Pershing to command the American Expeditionary Forces when the United States entered the Great War in 1917.
This presentation sword was given to General Pershing by the Corporation of the City of London, July 18, 1919, in recognition of his service in leading the American Expeditionary Force. The text on the sword reads: Guildhall, 18th July 1919 Presented by the Corporation of the City of London to General John J. Pershing, G.C.B. Commander in Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in Testimony of its High Appreciation of the Valuable Services Rendered by Him and the Troops Under his Command in the Cause of Freedom, in the Great War Just Concluded.
Subject: Generals; World War, 1914-1918
Contributing Institution: Missouri State Museum
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Photographer: Ben Divin