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        Pershing and “Life’s Realities” in Photographs | Black Jack Pershing: Love and War

        John Joseph Pershing began life in the quiet town of Laclede, Missouri in 1860. The Civil War brought hardships to the Pershings. Undaunted, John took up teaching and then won entrance to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  He served with the 6th Cavalry in the Southwest and then with 50 Ogallala Indian Scouts at Pine Ridge. Next, he taught cadets at the University of Nebraska. He went on to Montana to lead the African American 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers. He returned to West Point in 1897, where unruly cadets nicknamed him "Black Jack," a sneering reference to his Buffalo Soldier days.

        The Young Pershing | Black Jack Pershing: Love and War

        Photo of young John J. Pershing in Laclede, Missouri.

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        The Pershing Family | Black Jack Pershing: Love and War

        Photograph of John J. Pershing and his father, mother, and siblings in Laclede, Missouri.

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        Pershing at West Point Military Academy, 1886 | Black Jack Pershing: Love and War

        The young John J. Pershing as a cadet at West Point Military Academy.

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        John J. Pershing with Staff While at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Black Jack Pershing: Love and War

        1st Lieutenant Pershing became commander of the cadet program at UNL and earned a law degree. While at the University he expanded the cadet program, gaining admiration from many of the students and faculty of the university.

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        The Buffalo Soldiers in the 1880's | Black Jack Pershing: Love and War

        In 1898, Pershing led 10th Cavalry Buffalo soldiers up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. Pershing’s gallantry in the Battle of San Juan Hill caught the attention of Teddy Roosevelt.

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