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Civil War Soldiers - Porter

Porter, Andrew, brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Lancaster, Pa., July 10, 1820. He entered the United States military academy in 1836, but left in 1837, and in 1846 he was appointed 1st lieutenant in the mounted rifles. He served throughout the Mexican war, winning the brevet of major for gallant and meritorious conduct at Contreras and Churubusco, and lieutenant-colonel for services at Chapultepec. He was promoted captain, May 15, 1847, served after the close of the Mexican war in Texas and the southwest, and on May 14, 1861, was promoted colonel of the 16th infantry. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on May 17, and commanded a brigade in the 2nd division, McDowell's army, at the battle of Bull Run, and, after Gen. David Hunter was wounded, the division. He was provost-marshal-general of the Army of the Potomac, 1861-62; organized state troops at Harrisburg, Pa., in 1862, and in November was given a command in Pennsylvania and charged with the duties of provost-marshal-general of Washington, where he rendered valuable service in restoring order in the city and the surrounding district. He was mustered out of the volunteer service, April 4, 1864, and, owing to impaired health, resigned his commission in the regular establishment on April 20, afterwards travelling in Europe. He died in Paris, France, Jan. 3, 1872.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

Porter, Fitz-John, major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Portsmouth, N. H., June 13, 1822, son of Commander John Porter of the United States navy. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1845 and assigned to the 4th artillery, becoming 1st lieutenant, May 29, 1847. He served creditably at Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo, was brevetted captain for gallant and meritorious conduct at Molino del Rey and major for services at Chapultepec. He was present also at the capture of the City of Mexico and was wounded at the Belen gate. In the interval between the Mexican and Civil wars he served on garrison duty and as instructor at West Point, became assistant adjutant-general with the rank of captain in 1856, and served during the troubles in Kansas and in the Utah expedition. He was promoted colonel of the 15th infantry, May 14, 1861, and on May 17, was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers. After taking part in the action of Falling Waters on July 2, Gen. Porter commanded a division in the defenses of Washington, 1861-62, and in the Virginia Peninsular campaign in the spring of 1862, directing the siege of Yorktown, April 5- May 4. From May to August he commanded the 5th army corps, Army of the Potomac, and directed its operations in the battles of New bridge, Hanover Court House, Mechanicsville, Gaines' mill, Turkey tavern, and Malvern hill. He was promoted major-general of volunteers on July 4, having been brevetted brigadier-general U. S. A. on June 27 for gallantry at Chickahominy, was transferred to northern Virginia in August and commanded his corps under Pope at the second battle of Bull Run, subsequently protecting Washington by occupying the right bank of the Potomac. At Antietam he commanded the 5th army corps under McClellan, and on Sept. 19, he fought with his own troops alone the battle of Shepherdstown and captured four guns. He was relieved of his command in November, and was ordered to Washington to appear before a military commission and answer charges preferred against him by Gen. Pope. A court-martial was subsequently ordered, the first order being revoked, and on Nov. 25 he was arrested, the charges against him being made known on Dec. 1. He was charged with having failed to join Pope at Bristoe on the morning of Aug. 28, and with having disobeyed two orders at the second battle of Bull Run on Aug. 30, one to advance and the other to retreat. The court-martial found him guilty of the charges preferred, and he was cashiered Jan. 21, 1863, and "forever disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit under the government of the United States." The justice or injustice of the verdict was the subject of much controversy, and numerous appeals were subsequently made by Porter to have the case reopened. The clause providing that he should never again be permitted to hold office under the United States was remitted in 1882, and in 1885 President Arthur vetoed a bill which had passed both houses restoring him to his rank in the army, on the grounds that Congress lacked constitutional authority to pass such a bill. In 1886, however, President Cleveland signed a similar bill, and he was reappointed colonel, U. S. A., his commission dating from May 14, 1861. After leaving the army Gen. Porter was engaged in business in New York for a time; was superintendent of the construction of the New Jersey insane asylum, 1872-75; commissioner of public works in New York city, 1875-77; assistant receiver of the Central railroad of New Jersey, 1877-82; police commissioner of New York city, 1884-88; fire commissioner, 1888-89, and cashier of the New York post-office, 1893-97. He declined an offer made him by the Khedive of Egypt in 1869 to command his army with the rank of major-general. Gen. Porter died in Morristown, N. J., May 21, 1901.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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