The Pierce family name is as synonymous to the Stockton area as J.L. Kraft and the Great Western Railroad.
The Dave Pierce Memorial Stockton Civil War Reenactment takes place on the old Pierce farm. The old homestead has gained its share of memories over the years, including the State of Illinois Centennial Farm commenorative presentation in 1998.
The farm was the original homestead of Harvey Wesley Pierce and his wife Lottie Weir Pierce. They were the parents of seven boys and three girls. Brothers: Ross Franklin, Ralph Weir, Leland Wesley, Ellsworth Barton, Ellwood Amos, Mason Harvey and Major Donald, and sisters: Hazel Lola, Hollace Marion and Doris Jay.
Ellwood and his wife, Helen Abbey Townsend Pierce, continued the home dairy farm business with thier son David Ray and his wife Eloise Webster Pierce. Huge history buffs, Dave and Eloise were the original hosts of this Civil War reenactment. When Dave passed away in 2006, Eloise continued as the hostess and renamed the event the Dave Pierce Memorial in his honor. Eloise has retired from farming, and today the land is rented by relatives Kenny and Brenda Pierce who grow 220 acres of corn, hay and oats.
Great grandfathers Franklin Wilder Pierce and George Whitfield Pepoon both served our country during the Civil War. Both served with the 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with Franklin in Company F and George in Company K. The 96th Regiment was first under the command of General William Rosecrans and later replaced by General Henry Thomas, also known as the "Rock of Chickamauga."
The 96th Regiment was recruited by companies under the call of the President of the United States during the months of July and August 1862, and mustered into service at Camp Fuller, Rockford, Illinois on September 6, 1862. Six companies A, E, F, H, I and K were from Jo Daviess County and four (B, C, D and G) were from Lake County. They were active until the close of the war.
The regimental history, The History of the 96th Regiment (1887), is availalbe as a free ebook from Google Books. The Lake County History Archives maintains a large collection of 96th Illinois related letters and documents.