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Gen. George B. McClellan introduces his friend Gen. Fitz John Porter who "was most basely verified by a political Court Martial on account of his steady friendship for me" - Porter, supervisor of gold mines in Colorado, is in London to meet with banker Russell Sturgis about "the Colorado property…"
Dresden, Germany, May 17, 1866. 5.25" x 8". "Lengthy Autograph Letter Signed ""Geo B McClellan,"" 3 full pages, 5.25"" x 8"", front and verso of two conjoined sheets, lightweight paper. Dresden, May 17, 1866. Minor soiling on fourth page (blank, except for docket). To banker Russell Sturgis, London. Sturgis had become a partner in Baring Bros. bank in 1849 and senior partner in 1873.Gen. McLellan's friend, Gen. Fitz John Porter, was the supervisor of a gold mining operation in Colorado. In part, ""I wrote to my friend in new York advising him to send me the papers in reference to the Colorado property at once, but still better to go himself to England. Upon receiving my letter he determined upon the latter course, & is now in London … The person in question is no less than Genl. Fitz John Porter - one of my oldest & truest friends, who after serving his country with the utmost skill & gallantry on scores of battlefields was most basely verified by a political Court Martial on account of his steady friendship for me. He was the Corps Commander on whom I most relied, & who never failed me - or his country.""He is as true & upright a Christian gentleman as ever lived & the victim of untitled partisan malignity. I have known him so long & intimately - from the time we were boys together at West Point, in the Mexican war, through the long years of peace afterwards, during the organization of the Army of the Potomac, & through all the campaigns & battles when I commanded, that I can vouch for him to the utmost extent in all things. I am very glad that the opportunity presents itself for you to know him as a man - independently of any business advice you may be able to give him - for of all men who have been unjustly treated by the late (?) Administration [Lincoln], his case is the most flagrant - but I will say no more - you can judge for yourself…""Public affairs at home was a more promising aspect since the President [Andrew Johnson] has broken with the Radicals - as may now begin to look for better times, for I cannot doubt on which side victory will ultimately declare itself…""On January 10, 1863, Gen. Fitz John Porter, cousin of Admiral David Dixon Porter, at a Court Martial, was found guilty of charges stemming from his actions at the Second Battle of Bull Run (2nd Manassas) on August 29, 1862. O November 5, 1852, President Lincoln directed General in Chief Halleck to order Gen. McClellan removed from command of Army of Potomac after he had failed to decisively pursue Lee's Army following the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam. On January 21, 1863, Gen. Porter was dismissed from the Army and “forever disqualified from holding any office or trust or profit under the Government of the United States.” After signing the order dismissing Porter, President Abraham Lincoln remarked, “In any other country but this, the man would have been shot.” In 1864, Gen. George B. McClellan was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for President against Lincoln.In 1878, a military commission exonerated Porter by finding that his reluctance to attack Longstreet probably saved Gen. Pope's Army of Virginia from an even greater defeat. In 1886, President Grover Cleveland commuted Porter's sentence and a special Act of Congress restored Porter's commission as an infantry colonel in the U.S. Army, backdated to May 14, 1861. Two days later, on August 7, 1886, Porter, seeing vindication, voluntarily retired from the Army."
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Last Found On: 2016-06-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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