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J. Porter

J. Porter

Federal (USV)


Josiah Porter

(1830 - 1894)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Harvard College, Class of 1852

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Massachusetts Light Artillery, Battery A

Before Antietam

Son of Cambridge, MA hotel keeper Zachariah Porter (1797-1864), he graduated from Harvard in 1852 and joined the Boston Light Artillery (later "Cook's Battery") that year. In 1860 he was a 30 year old lawyer living in the family hotel in Cambridge. He was commissioned First Lieutenant of the battery in December 1860 and mustered with them for 3 months Federal service on 18 May 1861. He then helped organize a 3-year battery, the First Battery (later "A"), Massachusetts Light, and mustered as their Captain on 28 August 1861.

On the Campaign

He was with his battery was on the field at Antietam on 17 September 1862, but they were not engaged there.

The rest of the War

He resigned his commission and was discharged on 27 September 1862.

After the War

By 1867 he commanded the 22nd Regiment, New York National National Guard, as Major. He was promoted to Colonel in 1869 then Major General and New York Adjutant General in 1886; he served in that post to his death of a stroke in 1894.

References & notes

Photograph above is of Porter in early 1861, as Lieutenant in Cook's Battery, Boston Light Artillery, from the MOLLUS Massachusetts album.1 His service from Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines 2 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860, and Brown.3 His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Caroline Hamilton Rice (1833-1916) in 1857 and they had 4 children.

More on the Web

There's a (1902) statue of him in Van Cortlandt Park, New York City.

An 1852 daguerreotype of him is in the Harvard collection.


06/28/1830; Cambridge, MA


12/14/1894; New York City, NY; burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA


1   US Army, Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)-Massachusetts Photograph Collection, Published 2009, <>, Source page: Vol. 95, pg. 4872  [AotW citation 560]

2   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 5, pp. 339, 343, 352  [AotW citation 29448]

3   Brown, Francis H., Roll of Students of Harvard University who Served in the Army or Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion, Cambridge: Harvard University, 1866, pg. 9  [AotW citation 29449]