Pierce County was created from parts of Appling and Ware counties. Georgia's 119th county was named for Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States.
Blackshear was named for General David Blackshear, who supervised construction of the Blackshear Road. Patterson was named for William Patterson who resettled in the county from New York. He ran a sawmill in the area.
The Pierce County courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There have been preliminary efforts to have the old Blackshear Jail and its hanging tower listed on the National Register.
A Confederate prison camp in Pierce County held about 5,000 Union prisoners of war during the last months of the Civil War. Prisoners were transferred to Pierce County from Millen, and possibly Andersonville, so that Sherman's troops would not be able to free them on their march south.