John Porter Hatch


John Porter Hatch was born in Oswego, New York, January 9, 1822. Receiving an appointment to West Point at the age of eighteen, he was graduated in the class of 1845, whose roster included William H. C. Whiting, "Baldy" Smith, T. J. Wood, Charles P. Stone, Fitz John Porter, Edmund Kirby Smith, John W. Davidson, and Gordon Granger. In the course of the Mexican War, as a second lieutenant of Mounted Rifles, Hatch was twice brevetted for gallantry in the advance of General Winfield Scott's army on Mexico City. In the interval between the Mexican War and the Civil War Hatch performed garrison duty at dreary stations in Oregon, Texas, and New Mexico. He was acting as chief commissary in the Department of New Mexico when the war broke out. He was quickly brought east, commissioned brigadier general of volunteers to rank from September 28, 1861, and the following spring and summer was in command of N. P. Banks's cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley, which reflected little credit on either leader. Hatch commanded an infantry brigade until he was badly wounded at South Mountain, where he commanded the 1st Division of Joseph Hooker's corps. From that time until the end of the war he performed various duties of an administrative nature: on courts-martial, in command of cavalry rendezvous, and in garrison in the South. At the time of the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston, Hatch was in charge of the District of Charleston. After muster out from the volunteers, he found himself major of the 4th U. S. Cavalry to which he had been promoted in 1863. He served again upon the western frontier and at various forts and encampments during the constantly recurring Indian troubles, with promotion to lieutenant colonel in 1873 and to colonel in 1881. For his wartime services he was accorded the brevets of brigadier general in the Regular Army and major general in the volunteers. Retired in 1886, he resided thereafter in New York City, where he died on April 12, 1901. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.