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    Description

    General Fitz John Porter Collection of Seven Autograph Letters Signed. Porter was a career army officer and Union Civil War general whose military career was unjustly ruined by a politically-motivated court martial. He distinguished himself as a defensive expert at the Seven Days Battles, being promoted to major general on July 4, 1862. Later that same year at Second Bull Run, General John Pope gave him orders which were based on incomplete information and would have been disastrous had Porter carried them out. Pope was furious and accused him of insubordination and blamed him for the defeat. He was arrested and tried by a military court hand-picked (and later promoted) by Edwin Stanton who hated Porter based mainly on his association with General McClellan. As expected, Porter was found guilty and was dismissed from the army on January 21, 1863. It took him about twenty years to get his name and reputation cleared. In 1879, a special commission reviewed the case and exonerated Porter saying that Porter's reluctance to attack likely saved Pope's army an even greater defeat. Finally, in 1886 and with the help of Chester A. Arthur, he was reinstated as a colonel backdated to 1861 (but without the back pay). Two days later, he resigned. His post-war civilian life was busy serving in New York City as Commissioner of Public Works, Police Commissioner, and Fire Commissioner as well as various positions in the railroad, construction, and other commercial industries.

    This lot contains a total of eight signed letters, seven of which are completely in his own hand. Also included is an original printing of the 27 page brief and argument, Memorial of Fitz-John Porter, he made before Congress in 1882 asking for the court martial to be overturned. The material in this excellent lot is generally in fine condition. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 639

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