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 battles. Later that year, however, John Pope alleged that the Union defeat in the second battle of Bull Run 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).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.