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Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter




Born: August 31, 1822

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Died: May 21, 1901

Morristown, New Jersey


1845: West Point Graduate

1845: Brevet 2nd Lieutenant

June 18, 1846: 2nd Lieutenant

May 29, 1847: 1st Lieutenant

September 8, 1847: Brevet Captain

May 14, 1861: Colonel

August 1861: Brigadier General

July 4, 1862: Major General

Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter

1845: West Point Graduate - 8th out of 41

1845: Brevet 2nd Lieutenant in 4th U.S. Artillery

June 18, 1846: Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant

May 29, 1847: Promoted to 1st Lieutenant

1845-1848: Mexican/American War

September 8, 1847: Brevet Captain for bravery at Battle of Molino del Rey

September 13, 1847: Battle of Chapultepec - Received Brevet Major

1849-1853: West Point - Cavalry and Artillery Instructor

1853-1855: Served as adjutant to academy's superintendent (Robert E. Lee)

1857-1858: Expedition against the Mormons

1859-1860: Reorganized defenses of Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

1861: Aided in the evacuation of military forces from Texas after the state seceded

1861: Chief of Staff and assistant adjutant general for Department of Pennsylvania

May 14, 1861: Promoted to Colonel in 15th Infantry

Gen. Porter accused Porter of convincing Gen. Patterson to let Ge. Johnston's army to escape to reinforce Gen. Beauregard allowing the Confederate victory at 1st Bull Run

August 1861: Promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers, backdated to May 17

This promotion allowed him to receive a divisional command in the Army of the Potomac

Peninsula Campaign

April 5-May 4, 1862: Siege of Yorktown - Along with Gen. Heintzelman, first to use the Union Army of Balloon Corp

June 25-July 1, 1862: Seven Days Battle

June 27, 1862: Battle of Gaines Mill

July 1, 1862: Battle of Malvern Hill

July 4, 1862: Promoted to Maj. General of Volunteers

August 29-30, 1862: 2nd Battle of Bull Run - Received conflicting orders where he was ordered to attack the flank and rear of Stonewall Jackson's command, but ran into Gen. J.E.B. Stuart

August 30, 1862: Ordered to attack Jackson's right and presented Gen. Longstreet's  men to push against Porter's much smaller force pushing them back into the main army

September 17, 1862: Battle of Antietam, but his Corps was held in reserve

November 25, 1862: Arrested and court-martialed for his actions at Bull Run

January 10, 1863: Found guilty and dismissed from the army on January 21, 1863

1878: A special commission under Gen. Shofield exonerated Porter finding his reluctance to attack Longstreet probably saved Gen. Pope's command at Bull Run

President Cleveland commuted Porter's sentence and with a special act from Congress restored his commission of infantry colonel to May 14, 1861, but with no back pay

August 7, 1886: Voluntarily retired from the army

Boatner, Mark M. III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: David McKay, 1967. p 661, 662-663

Fitz John Porter. 7 March 2020. web. 10 April 2020

Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State, 1964. p 378-380

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