Porter, Fitz-John

Porter, Fitz-John,

1822–1901, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Portsmouth, N.H.; nephew of David Porter. He saw service in the Mexican War and was an instructor at West Point (1849–55). At the outbreak of the Civil War, Porter was made a brigadier general of volunteers. In 1862 he distinguished himself as a corps commander in the Peninsular campaign, especially in the Seven Days battlesSeven Days battles,
in the American Civil War, the week-long Confederate counter-offensive (June 26–July 2, 1862) near Richmond, Va., that ended the Peninsular campaign. After the battle of Fair Oaks the Union general George B.
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. Later that year, however, John Pope alleged that the Union defeat in the second battle of Bull RunBull Run,
small stream, NE Va., c.30 mi (50 km) SW of Washington, D.C. Two important battles of the Civil War were fought there: the first on July 21, 1861, and the second Aug. 29–30, 1862. Both battlefields are included in Manassas National Battlefield Park (est. 1940).
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 was due to Porter's disobedience. At his court-martial Porter declared that it was impossible to carry out Pope's orders, but he was, nevertheless, cashiered. A review of the case in 1879 vindicated him. In 1886 he was reappointed colonel of infantry and retired.


See study by O. Eisenschiml (1950).

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Porter, Fitz-John

(1822–1901) soldier; born in Portsmouth, N.H. A West Point graduate (1845), he fought in the Mexican War and served on the frontier. Appointed brigadier general after the Civil War began, he fought in numerous battles in northern Virginia. After the Union's loss at the battle of Second Bull Run (August 1862), he was charged by Gen. John Pope with having refused to obey orders; after a celebrated court-martial, he was convicted and discharged in 1863. Military historians still dispute the fairness of the charge; in any case, Porter, after a long campaign, obtained reinstatement in 1886, then resigned.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Porter, Fitz-John, General Fitz-John Porter's Statement of the Services of the Fifth Army Corps, in 1862, in Northern Virginia.