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Robert E. Lee Portrait
ACTING REAR-ADMIRAL D. D. PORTER.—FROM
A PHOTOGRAPH BY ANTHONY.]
BRIGADIER-GENERAL THOMAS, OF THE ARMY OF THE OHIO.—[PHOTOGRAPHED BY BRADY.]
ADMIRAL DAVID D. PORTER.
ACTING REAR-ADMIRAL DAVID D. PORTER,
the Commander of the Mississippi Flotilla, is the son of the famous Commodore
David Porter of
Essex, and was born about the
year 1814. In 1829 he entered
the navy as midshipman on board
Constellation, and served six
years on that ship and the
United Sates. In 1835 he
passed his examination, and
served six years as passed midshipman
on the Coast Survey. In 1841 he was commissioned
a lieutenant, and served with that rank
on board the
Congress for four years.
After a brief period of
service at the Observatory at Washington,
he was placed on active duty under Commodore Tattnall in the Gulf of Mexico, and
took a leading part in the naval operations of the Mexican war.
In 1849 he was allowed to take command of one of
the Pacific Mail Company's steamers, and remained several years in the service
of that Company. While he commanded one of the California steamships—the
performed an exploit which attracted no little attention at the time. In
consequence of the
Black Warrior affair the
Spanish Government had refused to permit any United
States vessel to enter the port of Havana. Running under the shotted guns of
Moro Castle, he was ordered to halt. He promptly replied that he carried the
United States flag and the United
States mails, and, by the Eternal, he would go in;
and he did, the Habaneros fearing to fire upon him. He said afterward
that he intended firing his six-pounder at them once, in defiance, after which
he would haul down his flag.
At the beginning of the year 1861 he was under
orders to join the Coast Survey on the Pacific, but,
fortunately, had not left when the rebellion broke out. His name at this
time stood number six on the list of lieutenants. The resignation of several
naval traitors left room for his advancement, and the "Naval Register" for
August 31, 1861, places him number
seventy-seven on the list of commanders. He was placed in command of the
steam sloop of war Powhatan,
a vessel of about twenty-five hundred tons, and armed with eleven guns.
After doing blockading duty for some time, he left that ship to take special
charge of the mortar expedition. The active part he took in the reduction
of the forts below
New Orleans will make his name
in connection with the mortar
or "bummers," as the sailors term them. After
the capture of New Orleans he, with his fleet, went up the Mississippi
River, and was engaged in several affairs on that river, including that of
Vicksburg. From that place he was ordered to the James River, and returned in
Octorara. When off
Charleston, on his way to Fortress Monroe, he fell in
with and captured the Anglo-rebel steamer Tubal Cain. He has now been appointed to the
supreme control of all the naval forces on the Mississippi River, with
the rank of Acting Rear-Admiral. The forces under his orders, in vessels,
guns, and men, will be larger than ever before under the command of any
United States naval officer. His squadron will be distinct in every way from
Admiral Farragut, who will still command the Western Gulf Blockading
Admiral Porter is a man of wiry, muscular frame,
handsome features, of medium height, and, a few years ago, universally
admitted to be the strongest man in
the navy. He is about forty-five years old, and exhibits but few marks of age.
He is married to a sister of Captain C. P. Patterson, formerly of San Francisco,
by whom he has several children.
He is most truly "a worthy
son of a worthy sire."
He belongs to a family of naval patriots; for, besides the subject of this
sketch, there are in the navy H.
B. Porter, acting midshipman, appointed from New York, November 29, 1859; T. K.
Porter, master, appointed from Tennessee, May 20, 1852;
William C. B. S. Porter, lieutenant, appointed from
the District of Columbia, March 25, 1849; and Wm.
D. Porter, commodore, appointed from Massachusetts,
January 1, 1823. The last-named commanded
Essex gun-boat on the
Tennessee River, and fought
the rebel ram Arkansas
on the Mississippi River. Major-General Fitz John Porter
is a cousin of the subject of
our sketch, adding another hero to the family.
WE present above the portrait of GEN. GEORGE H. THOMAS, of Buell's
army, who must not be
confounded with General Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant-General
of the Army.
General George H.
Thomas was born in Virginia
about the year 1819. He was
appointed from that State to
West Point in 1836, and graduated in the (Next
BRIGADIER-GENERALS STANLEY, OF THE ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI—[SEE
COLONEL INGALLS, CHIEF QUARTER-MASTER OF THE
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.—[SEE