1862 War Date Letter Signed With Rank
General McClellan orders that the house, property & family of a Virginian be protected by the U.S. Army
(1820-72) Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he was the grandson of the Revolutionary War General Andrew Porter, and a first cousin of the mother of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln. He was also a first cousin of General Horace Porter, U.S. Grant's intimate friend, and personal secretary when Grant was president. He was brevetted major and lieutenant colonel for gallantry in the Mexican War, and he served fourteen years on duty in Texas and the Southwest frontier. At the 1st battle of Bull Run in July 1861, Porter commanded the 1st Brigade of General David Hunter's Division which sustained 464 casualties; after the wounding of Hunter, Porter commanded the division itself. During General George B. McClellan's 1862 Virginia Peninsular campaign, Porter was Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac. In the fall of 1862, he was ordered to Harrisburg, Pa. to aid in organizing and forwarding recruits. Then he was charged with enforcing the draft in Pennsylvania and appointed Provost Marshal General of the state. After serving as commander of the depot for drafted men at Philadelphia, Porter was relieved of command on July 18, 1863 due to his poor health which had been badly compromised by the hardships he suffered while on duty during his army service on the Indian frontier. General Porter moved to Paris, France, in an attempt to improve his deteriorating health, however, he died at his home there on January 3, 1872, and his remains were returned to the U.S. for burial in Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.
War Date Letter Signed: 1 page, 7 3/4 x 9 3/4, in ink.
Head Quarters, Army of the Potomac
Office of the Pro.[vost] Mar.[shal] General
Camp near Yorktown, Va.
April 9th, 1862
Safeguard No. 4
A safeguard is hereby granted to the House, property & Family of William B. Martin, of York County, Va. All officers and soldiers belonging to the Army of the United States are therefore commanded to respect this safeguard, and to afford if necessary protection to the house, property & family of the said William B. Martin.
By Command of Maj. Genl. McClellan
Pro. Marshal Genl.
Army of Pot.[omac]
55th Article of the Rules & Articles of War. "Whosoever belonging to the Armies of the United States, employed in foreign parts, shall force a safeguard, shall suffer death."
Light age toning and foxing, with some light wear. Very fine. Nice content.