Col. Peter Augustus Porter

Male 1827 - 1864  (37 years)


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  • Name Col. Peter Augustus Porter  [1
    Title Col. 
    Born 1827  Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Burial 1864  Oakwood Cem, Niagara Falls, Niagara, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Buried 1864  Niagara Falls, Niagara, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Died 3 Jun 1864  Cold Harbor, Hanover, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Notes 
    • Peter Augustus Porter was the only son of Yale lawyer Peter Buell Porter who was a military leader in the War of 1812. He graduated from Harvard, studied at Heidelberg and Berlin, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1857. He also authored plays, poems, and essays and married his cousin Mary Cabell Breckinridge. He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1861-62, and was appointed colonel of the 129th New York State Volunteers on July 7, 1862. The 129th New York State Volunteer Regiment was renamed the 8th New York Heavy Artillery and Porter was appointed Colonel. These units generally guarded the forts around Washington, D.C. and participated in parades used to increase morale in the city in the time of war. However, they were also trained to be used as infantry if necessary. Porter was nominated for New York Secretary of State on September 5, 1863, but declined due to his dedication to the military campaign of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, saying that his neighbors had entrusted him with the lives of their sons and he could not leave them while the war lasted. In May 1864, Porter was ordered by Grant to go to Virginia to join the fighting in the south. Porter was killed on June 3, 1864, leading a charge at Cold Harbor, Virginia. He fell at the head of his regiment leading with drawn sword in one hand and the regimental colors in the other and gasping out his last order to his men, "Guide on the colors." Six bullets were later found in his body, and during a rain storm on the night of Cold Harbor's second day, five men of the 8th NYHA (Sgt. Leroy Williams, Galen S. Hicks, John Duff, Walter Harwood, Samuel Traviss and John Heany) brought Porter's body into the U.S. lines. For his participation in recovering Col. Porter's body, Sgt. Williams was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. His body was placed in a rude coffin made from boards of a nearby Virginia farm house and taken to White House Virginia for embalming. He was then carried to Baltimore, Maryland, to be met by a military escort and carried to the Episcopal Church where he used to attend services when he lived in that city, and there placed in the chancel draped in the flag of his country. Chaplain De La Matyr accompanied Porter's body back to Niagara Falls. Services for Porter were held at St. Peter's Church, lead by Reverend Dr. Shelton, an Episcopal minister and the same that had given the same last rites to his father, mother, and beloved wife. Following the funeral services at the church, his remains were carried to his final resting place in Oakwood Cemetery.
    Person ID I709  mytree
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2017 

    Father Peter Buel Porter 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Letitia Preston Breckinridge,   b. 22 Jun 1786, Albemarle, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jul 1831, Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married Between 1814 and 1829 
    Family ID F383  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Mary Campbell Breckinridge,   b. 12 Oct 1826, Fayette, Kentucky, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Aug 1854, Niagara, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years) 
    Married 1852 
    Children 
     1. Peter Augustus Porter, Jr.,   b. 10 Oct 1853, Niagara Falls, Niagara, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F431  Group Sheet

    Family 2 J. Morris 
    Married Aft 1854 
    Notes 
    • Miss Morris was from New York.
    Children 
     1. Elizabeth A. Porter
     2. George M. Porter
    Last Modified 16 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F432  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1827 - Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - 1864 - Oakwood Cem, Niagara Falls, Niagara, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 1864 - Niagara Falls, Niagara, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 3 Jun 1864 - Cold Harbor, Hanover, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S94] Melissa Ward (sarafina@delcarsdungeon.com).

    2. [S57] Find A Grave.


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