Civil War 150
New Hampshire

TIMELINE of Fitz John Porter's Life & Career


August 31, 1822            Fitz John Porter born in Portsmouth NH, son of Cmdr. John Porter

1845                             Porter graduates from West Point, 8th of 41 in his class

June 18, 1846                Porter was promoted to second lieutenant

May 29, 1847                Porter promoted to First Lieutenant

September 8-13, 1847    Porter at Mexico City storms the Belén Gate, a pivotal battle against the odds that secured American victory in the Mexican War. Brevetted Captain “for gallant and meritorious services”

September 13, 1847       Wounded at Chapultepec and promoted to Major

1849-55                         West Point, instructor of Natural & Experimental Philosophy; then Artillery & Cavalry, adjutant to superintendent

November 1860              Ordered to Charleston SC to survey defenses of Charleston Harbor; recommended fortification of Fort Sumter

Mar 4-Apr 5, 1861          Porter removed 400-5000 infantry, cavalry, stores and $40,000 in gold from TX aboard Star of the West and Webster, removed to Key West, Dry Tortugas & NY

May 14, 1861                Made colonel of 15th Infantry

August 20, 1861            Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan formed Army of the Potomac, with himself as its first commander

August 1861                  Porter promoted to Brig Gen (backdated to May 17) to take division command Army of the Potomac under McClellan

April 11, 1862                Porter’s aerial surveillance in a balloon a half-mile up over Confederate defenses at Yorktown, Virginia. On that date Porter made an unexpected flight alone when his “runaway balloon” broke free of its tether.

June 25-July 1, 1862      Seven Days Campaign with Porter at the Battle of Malvern Hill. Corps losses were 995 killed, 3,805 wounded, and 2,801 captured or missing, totaling 7,601, or half the entire loss of the army

July 22, 1862                 V Corps, Army of the Potomac defined by War Dept., under Porter command

August 29, 1862            Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas VA) Porter remains with Fifth Corps

August 30, 1862            Second Battle of Bull Run, Porter’s 6,500 forces attack Longstreet’s 25,000. V Corps had losses of 331 killed, 1,362 wounded, and 456 missing; a total of 2,151

September 5, 1862         Porter relieved of command, but restored to command corps in Maryland Campaign  

September 17, 1862       Commanded corps at Battle of Antietam

November 25, 1862        Porter arrested.

January 10, 1863           Court martial finds Porter guilty as charged

January 21, 1863           President Lincoln signs order cashiering Maj Gen Porter

1878                             Special commission under Gen John Schofield exonerates

July 1, 1886                   President Cleveland signs pardon.

August 5, 1886             Army reinstates Porter as Infantry Colonel (backdated to May 14, 1861)

August 7, 1868             Porter resigns from the Army, vindicated.

May 21, 1901                Porter died. Buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY

July 1, 1904                   Porter statue dedicated in Portsmouth NH

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