"I Remain" - A Digital Archive of Letters, Manuscripts, and Ephemera
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[Letter] [1862] August 16 6:30 pm [to] General G.B. McClellan, Washington City / F.J. Porter [Fitz-John Porter].

Title: [Letter] [1862] August 16 6:30 pm [to] General G.B. McClellan, Washington City / F.J. Porter [Fitz-John Porter].
Personal Author: Porter, F.J. (Fitz-John), 1822-1901.
Date: [1862] August 16.
Extent: [1] leaf.
Dimensions: 25 x 20 cm.
General Note: A letter written in code during the Civil War bearing mathematical calculations at the bottom in a different hand. See also the telegram sent by Porter at 6pm, part of the War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/browse.monographs/waro.html).
Abstract: This telegram was probably written using one of the ciphers devised by Anson Stager for the use of the Union Army during the Civil War. As only the telegraph operators had access to the codebooks used to decrypt the letter, this is probably a transcription of the telegram for transmission, or a Confederate transcription of an intercepted telegram. Porter was one of McClellan's officers who had distinguished himself in the Peninsular campaign; at the time this letter was written (probably 1862 as the codes were not in general use in August 1861 and Porter was no longer in the army in August 1863), Porter would be sent in a few days to reinforce General John Pope at what would be known later as the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 29-30, 1862). Because he did not move quickly enough, Porter was accused by Pope of failure to carry out orders. He was court-martialed for insubordination and cashiered from the army in 1863. Porter's loyalty to McClellan (who had political differences with the Washington administration) may have motivated this dismissal from the army. Porter protested the decision and fought for reinstatement and compensation. As President, Grant himself vouched for Porter, who was eventually vindicated in 1879; an 1886 Act of Congress restored his rank. He later worked for the city of New York.
Personal Subject: Porter, F.J. (Fitz-John), 1822-1901--Correspondence
McClellan, George Brinton, 1826-1885--Correspondence.
Corporate Subject: United States. Army.
Subject: United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States. Military Telegraph Corps.
Recipient: McClellan, George Brinton, 1826-1885.

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