About John Thomas Mercer
Civil War Confederate Army Officer. A native of Crawfordville, Georgia, he was an 1854 graduate of the United States Military Academy (ranked 40th of 46). Upon graduating, he entered the United States Army and would remain within its ranks until resigning to join the Confederacy in 1861. At the age of 28, he enlisted into the 4th Georgia Infantry at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Within the year, he was discharged for promotion to Colonel and was placed in command of the 21st Georgia Infantry on September 27, 1861. He received honorable mention for his gallant leadership during the battle of Gettysburg. He was killed in action on April 18, 1864 at Plymouth, North Carolina, (bio by: Stonewall)
Richmond, VA - 1864 Newspaper Article; Col. John t. Mercer's Death
Submitted for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Jay Remer <email@example.com>
Taken from the Richmond Enquirer, Friday Morning, April 29, 1864
Col. John T. Mercer, of the 21st Georgia Regiment who was killed in the recent fight at Plymouth, was a brave and skillful officer. He was a military man by education, having graduated at West Point in the year 1854. He was in the same class with Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, Gen. Hood, Gen. Custis Lee, and Gen. W. D. Pender and graduated with them. At the time the war broke out, he was stationed in California and was First Lieutenant in the First U. S. Dragoons. Hearing that his native State has seceded from the old Union, he immediately resigned his commission in the United States service and tendered his services to the Confederate Government at Montgomery, Alabama. He was then ordered to Richmond, Va., and appointed Colonel of the 21st Georgia Regiment in the year 1861, and was attached to Ewell's Corps. He participated in the battle of Winchester, Va, and was highly complimented by his commanding General in his official report of the battle of Cross Keys. He also bore a conspicuous part of the battle of Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.
On the 20th of January 1864, he was attached to Hoke's brigade and was with the brigade on the late expedition against Newbern and acted very gallantly at the battle of Bachelor's Creek, and was afterwards assigned to the command of all the cavalry in this department.
In the expedition agains Plymouth he was in command of his own regiment, and during the attack upon the town was in command of the dekes? brigade, and fell during the charge upon Fort Sanderson, which was taken a few minutes after his fall.
The remains of Col. Mercer arrived at Goldsboro on Wednesday night last and were interred in the Episcopal Cemetary by the side of the late lamented Gen. W. D. Pender, his class-mate, his comrade-in-arms and his relative.
These galant spirits sleep side by side in death-peace be to their ashes, and may a grateful country remember their noble deeds. Their blood has been sprinkled upon the altar of their country, and their noble lives offered up for their country's good.
Col. Mercer was a young man, being only about 32 years of age.