Civil War Wiki
Ebenezer W. Peirce
[[Image:File:EWPeirce.jpg|center|200px|border]]Ebenezer W. Peirce
Personal Information
Born: April 10, 1822(1822-04-10)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: August 14, 1902 (aged 80)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Ebenezer Weaver Peirce (April 10, 1822 - August 14, 1902), was an American Civil War veteran and a general in the United States Army.


Peirce was born in Assonet, Massachusetts to Ebenezer and Joanna (Weaver) Peirce. He attended local schools in Assonet and Andover Academy. He inherited an estate rich in real estate, and took up sheep farming. Peirce enlisted in the 4th Artillery, MVM, in 1843, and continued his service up to and including the Civil War.[1]

In 1861 Peirce was a brigadier general in the Massachusetts State Militia. Serving under Benjamin F. Butler in Virginia he was in direct command of the Union forces at the Battle of Big Bethel in June, 1861. The following year, Peirce joined the volunteer forces as colonel of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. His troops were located at Fortress Monroe and were involved in the battle of Hampton Roads. He was court-martialed for presenting burlesque shows to the troops of his command and for incompetency, but was acquitted[2]. Peirce then fought in the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days Battles where, on June 30, 1862, he lost his right arm at Nelson's Farm. He was out of action until November 1863 when he returned to command his regiment and served in the siege of Knoxville. His regiment returned to Virginia with the rest of the IX Corps and fought at Cold Harbor. He commanded a brigade at the Second Battle of Petersburg. Peirce was discharged from the volunteer service on November 4, 1864, and returned to Assonet.[1] In 1880, he served one year as a member of the Freetown Board of Selectmen.

Peirce was married to Irene I. Payne until she was granted a divorce from him on May 1, 1875, and the couple had one son, Palo Alto Peirce, who was many years the town clerk of Freetown. He was elected a life member of the Old Colony Historical Society on April 2, 1855, and a resident member on October 11, 1886.[3] On April 5, 1892, Ebenezer Peirce married Ida E. Gardner,[1] an 1881 graduate of the Bridgewater Normal School.[4] On August 14, 1902, Ebenezer Peirce died at the age of 80. He is buried in the Assonet Burying Ground.


File:Ebenezer Peirce birthplace.jpg

Ebenezer Peirce birthplace in Assonet

In 1867, the E. W. Peirce Encampment, Post 8, Grand Army of the Republic was established in Middleborough, Massachusetts and named for Ebenezer W. Peirce.[5]

Peirce was an author of numerous books and articles on historical subjects in Bristol and Plymouth counties.

Popular local legend claims that Gen. Peirce's horse is buried in his family lot in the Assonet Burying Ground, and this has been neither proven nor disproven.

Peirce vs. Pierce[]

In the Assonet-Lakeville area, there has historically been an inconsistent spelling of the surname Pierce. In some cases, parents with the surname Pierce are shown to have children with the surname Peirce, and vice-versa. The most common spelling of this subject's last name seems to be Peirce (sometimes pronounced as "purse").


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Richmond, Col. Silas P. A History of the Town of Freetown, Massachusetts: Military History. Assonet: Assonet Village Improvement Society, 1902.
  2. Eicher p.422
  3. Collections of the Old Colony Historical Society, No. 7. Taunton: Old Colony Historical Society, 1909.
  4. Boyden, Albert Gardner. Alumni Record of the State Normal School, Bridgewater, Mass.. Boston: Wright & Potter Printing Co., State Printers, 1900.
  5. Weston, Thomas. History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts: Fraternal Organizations. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1906.

Template:Start box Template:S-off |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Henry Peirce |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Member of the Freetown Board of Selectmen
Served alongside: James Winslow, Orsmond F. Braley |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
George W. Hall |- |}