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Bill Thayer

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[decorative delimiter]

 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1845

[image ALT: A photograph of a man in his early middle age wearing a 19c U. S. Army uniform, seated, slightly leaning back. He is trim, his hair is receding at the part, and has a full beard and mustache; he looks intelligent. He is General Fitz-John Porter, the subject of this webpage.]

Vol. II

(Born N. H.)

Fitz-John Porter

(Ap'd at Large)


Born Aug. 31, 1822, Portsmouth, NH.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1841, to July 1, 1845, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 4th Artillery, July 1, 1845.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va., 1845‑46; in the War with

(Second Lieut., 4th Artillery, June 18, 1846)

Mexico, 1846‑48, being engaged in the Siege of Vera Cruz, Mar. 9‑29, 1847, — Battle of Cerro Gordo, Apr. 17‑18, 1847, — Battle of Contreras,

(First Lieut., 4th Artillery, May 29, 1847, to Oct. 31, 1846)

Aug. 19‑20, 1847, — Battle of Molino del Rey, Sep. 8, 1847,

(Bvt. Capt., Sep. 8, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Molino del Rey, Mex.)

Storming of Chapultepec, Sep. 13, 1847, — and Assault of the City of

(Bvt. Major, Sep. 13, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Battle of Chapultepec, Mex.)

Mexico, Sep. 13, 1847, where he was wounded at the Belen Gate; in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va., 1848, — Ft. Pickens, Fla., 1848‑49; at the Military Academy, 1849‑55, as Asst. Instructor of Artillery, July 9, 1849, to Sep. 1, 1853, — as Adjutant, Sep. 1, 1853, to Aug. 1, 1854, — and as Instructor of Artillery and Cavalry, May 1, 1854, to Sep. 11, 1855; in garrison at Ft. Brady, Mich., 1855‑56; as Asst. Adjutant-General

(Bvt. Captain, Staff — Asst. Adjutant-General, June 27, 1856)

of the Department of the West, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., July 24 to Dec. 29, 1856; on Special duty in Washington and New York, Dec. 29, 1856, to Sep. 11, 1857; as Asst. Adjutant-General of Utah Expedition, Sep. 11, 1857, to Feb. 29, 1860; on leave of absence, Mar. to Oct., 1860; Inspecting Recruits at New York city, Oct., 1860, to Feb. 15, 1861; and on Special duty on the Gulf of Mexico, Feb. 15 to Mar. 30, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑63: as Chief of Staff of the Department of Pennsylvania, and of the forces

(Colonel, 15th Infantry, May 14, 1861)

 p220  commanded successively by Majors-General Patterson and Banks in Shenandoah Valley, Apr. 27 to Aug., 1861, being engaged in the Action

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, May 17, 1861)

of Falling Waters, July 2, 1861; in command of Division in the Defenses of Washington, D. C., Aug., 1861, to Mar., 1862; in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign, in command of Division, Mar. to May, 1862, and of 5th Corps, May to Aug., 1862 (Army of the Potomac), being engaged in the Siege of Yorktown, as Director of the Siege, Apr. 5 to May 4, 1862, — Action of New Bridge, May 23, 1862, — Action and Capture of Hanover Court House, May 27, 1862, — Battle of Mechanicsville, June 26, 1862, — Battle of Gaines's Mill, June 27, 1862, — Action of Turkey Bend,

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, June 27, 1862,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Chickahominy, Va.)

June 30, 1862, — and Battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862; in command of the 5th Corps in the Northern Virginia Campaign, Aug. to Sep., 1862,

(Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, July 4, 1862)

being engaged in the Battle of Manassas, Aug. 30, 1862, — and Retreat to Washington, D. C., Aug. 30 to Sep. 2, 1862; in the Defenses of Washington, D. C., Sep. 2‑13, 1862; and in the Maryland Campaign, in command of 5th Corps (Army of the Potomac), Sep. to Nov., 1862, being engaged in the Battle of Antietam, Sep. 17, 1862, — and Skirmish of Shepardstown, Sep. 19, 1862.

Cashiered, Jan. 21, 1863, and
"Forever Disqualified from holding any Office of Trust or Profit
under the Government of the United States,"
for Violation of the 9th and 52d Articles of War.

Civil History. — Superintendent of Mining Operations, for New York Companies, in Colorado Territory, 1864‑65. Merchant, New York city, 1865‑71. Superintendent in the Erection of New Jersey State Asylum for the Insane, at Morristown, 1872‑75. Commissioner of Public Works of New York city, Mar. 1, 1875, to Jan. 18, 1876. Assistant Receiver of Central Railroad of New Jersey, 1877‑82. Police Commissioner, New York city, 1884‑88; and Fire Commissioner, 1888‑89.

Military History. — Re-appointed, by Act of Congress of July 1, 1886,​1

Colonel of Infantry, Aug. 5, 1886, to rank from May 14, 1861.

and placed upon the Retired List, Aug. 7, 1886.

Vol. IV
[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Civil History. — Retired officer. — Merchant, 1889‑93. — Cashier of New York Post-office, 1893‑97, — residence, Morristown, N. J., since 1897.

Vol. V
[Supplement, Vol. V: 1900‑1910]

Civil History. — Retired officer.

Died, May 21, 1901, at Morristown, N. J.: Aged 78.

See Annual Association of Graduates U. S. M. A., 1901, for an obituary notice.

Buried, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.

The Author's Note:

1 The following is the Act of Congress for the relief of Fitz-John Porter: —

Whereas, the Board of Army Officers convened by the President of the United States by special orders numbered seventy-eight, headquarters of the Army, April twelfth, eighteen hundred and seventy-eight, to examine into and report upon the case of Fitz-John Porter, late a major-general of the United States volunteers and a brevet brigadier-general and colonel of the Army, having by their report of March nineteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, stated that, in their opinion, "justice required at his (the President's) hands such action as may be necessary to annul and set aside the findings and sentence of the court martial in the case of Major-General Fitz-John Porter, and to restore him to the positions of which the sentence deprived him, such restoration to take effect from the date of dismissal from the service; and

Whereas, the President on the fourth day of May, eighteen hundred and eighty-two, remitted so much of the sentence of said court martial remaining unexecuted as "forever disqualified the said Fitz-John Porter from holding any office of trust or profit under the Government of the United States": Therefore, that justice may be done the said Fitz-John Porter, and to carry into effect the recommendations of said board,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to appoint, Fitz-John Porter, late a major-general of the United States volunteers and a brevet brigadier-general and colonel of the Army, to the position of Colonel in the Army of the United States, of the same grade and rank held by him at the time of his dismissal from the Army by sentence of court martial promulgated January twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and, in his discretion, to place him on the retired list of the Army as of that grade, the retired list both hereby increased in number to that extent; and all laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are suspended for this purpose only: Provided, That said Fitz-John Porter shall receive no pay, compensation, or allowance whatsoever prior to his appointment under this act.

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Page updated: 9 Mar 13