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Fitz John Porter

Porter was born August 31, 1822 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Porter family produced several naval heros. Fitz John's father was a captain, his Uncle was Commodore David Porter, and his cousin Admiral David D. Porter of the Civil War. Fitz John graduated from West Point in 1845, he served in the Mexican War. From 1849 to 1855 Porter was assistant instructor of artillery at West Point. On August 7, 1861 Fitz John was made brigadier general of volunteers. General George McClellan brought Porter to Washington to help train the Army of the Potomac. Porter developed a deep loyalty to McClellan, which would be the cause of his downfall. In the Peninsular campaign of 1862 Porter distinguished himself through his defense at Malvern Hill which protected the Army of the Potomac's withdrawl to the James River. McClellan's defeat in the Peninsula led to the withdrawl of the Army of the Potomac to link with John Pope's Army of Virginia. At the ensuing Second Battle of Manassas, much of the blame for Pope's defeat was placed on Porter.

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Jul 13, 2005