Civil War Wiki
Horace Porter
[[Image:File:Horace Porter - Brady-Handy.jpg|center|200px|border]]Horace Porter
Personal Information
Born: April 15, 1837(1837-04-15)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: May 29, 1921 (aged 84)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname: {{{nickname}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
Legion of Honor
Relations: David R. Porter (father)
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Horace Porter, (April 15, 1837–May 29, 1921) was an American soldier and diplomat who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Porter was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, the son of David R. Porter, an ironmaster who later served as Governor of Pennsylvania. A first cousin, Andrew Porter, would also serve as a Union general. Horace Porter was educated at Harvard University. He graduated from West Point in 1860 and served in the Union army in the Civil War, reaching the rank of brigadier general. He received the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Chickamauga. In the last year of the war, he served on the staff of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, writing a lively memoir of the experience, Campaigning With Grant (1897).

File:Pullman's Palace Car Co. Stock 1884.jpg

Pullman's Palace Car Co. stock certificate signed by Gen. Porter (1884)

From 1869 to 1872, Porter served as President Grant's personal secretary in the White House. Porter had refused to take a $500,000 vested interest bribe from Jay Gould, a Wall Street financier, in the Black Friday gold market scam. He told Grant about Gould's attempted bribery, thus warning Grant about Gould's intention of cornering the gold market. However, during the Whiskey Ring trials in 1876, Solicitor General Bluford Wilson claimed that Porter was involved with the scandal.[1][2] Resigning from the army in December 1872, Porter became vice president of the Pullman Palace Car Company. He was U.S. Ambassador to France from 1897 to 1905, paying for the recovery of the body of John Paul Jones and sending it to the United States for re-burial. He received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor from the French government in 1904. In addition to Campaigning with Grant, he also wrote West Point Life (1866).

Porter was president of the Union League Club of New York from 1893 to 1897. In that capacity, he was a major force in the construction of Grant's Tomb.

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and Organization:

Captain, Ordnance Department, U.S. Army. Place and date: At Chickamauga, Ga., September 20, 1863. Entered service at: Harrisburgh, 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.[3]

See also[]


  1. Jean Edward Smith, Grant, pgs 481-490, Simon & Shuster, 2001.
  2. McFeeley 1981, p.409
  3. "PORTER, HORACE, Civil War Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War website. 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 


Further reading[]

  • Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z at Project Gutenberg , contains a number of speeches by Porter.
  • Mende, Elsie Porter; with Henry Greenleaf Pearson (1927). An American Soldier and Diplomat, Horace Porter. Frederick A. Stokes Company. 
  • Owens, Richard Henry (2002). Biography of General and Ambassador Horace Porter, 1837-1921: Vigilance and Virtue. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 0773472428. 

Template:Start box |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
James B. Eustis |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|U.S. Ambassador to France
1897–1905 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Robert S. McCormick |- |}

Template:US Ambassadors to France