Rank and Organization:
- Captain, Ordnance Department, U.S. Army. Place and date: At Chickamauga, Ga., September 20, 1863. Entered service at: Harrisburg, Pa. Born: April 15, 1837, Huntington, Pa. Date of issue: July 8, 1902.
- While acting as a volunteer aide, at a
critical moment when the lines were broken, rallied enough
fugitives to hold the ground under heavy fire long enough to
effect the escape of wagon trains and batteries
- Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. The son of Pennsylvania Governor David Rittenhouse Porter, he graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1860. A talented and skilled ordnance officer, he served as Chief of Ordnance for several Union commands. While only a 1st Lieutenant, he served as Chief of Ordnance for the Army of the Potomac in his early days. After a stint as Chief of Ordnance of the Department of the Ohio, he was promoted to Captain and served as Chief of Ordnance for the Army of the Cumberland. During the Battle of Chickamuaga (September 20, 1863), he rallied retreating fugitives to form a hard fought defense that saved the Army's wagon trains, an action which he would be awarded the CMOH years later. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he spent much of the later war on the Staff of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, functioning as his military secretary. When General Grant was elected President in 1869, Colonel Porter remained in his services, acting as a private secretary to the President. Becoming a prominent railroad executive after the end of President Grant's terms in office, he was appointed as United States Ambassador to France, serving from 1897 to 1905. While serving in France, he made a personal crusade to locate the grave of Revolutionary War Naval Hero John Paul Jones. After six years of research, he located John Paul Jones' remains, which were subsequently brought to the United States, where they rest today in the United States Naval Academy. Horace Porter was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers on March 13, 1865 for "gallant and meritorious services during the war". His citation for his Medal of Honor (awarded to him on July 8, 1902) reads "While acting as a volunteer aide, at a critical moment when the lines were broken, rallied enough fugitives to hold the ground under heavy fire long enough to effect the escape of wagon trains and batteries". (bio by: Russ Dodge)