Lot 771    

Two Shiloh Battle Letters Written by Jacob M. Porter, 8th Ohio Battery,
2007, Western & Historic Americana, Dec 6th and 7th
a pair of manuscript letters with a single cover written by Pvt. Porter to his sister and brother in Ohio. The first inked letter is 5pp dated March 11, 1862 (Porter meant April 11) and the second from April 14, 1862 is 4pp, picking up some material from the first. Porter recounts his journey from St. Louis, arriving at Fort Henry in the wake of the battle and noting that “everything was toren to stems.” He talks about arriving at “Savannah on the 27th (March)” and Grant “ordering us to camp 8 miles above the town at which we are now at,” adding, “I am happy to inform you that I have just passed through one of the Bloodiest and hard fought battles that was ever fought in America without the least wound.” From the perspective of the 8th Ohio Battery, Porter recounts the battle of Shiloh as he saw it beginning with the Rebel attack at daylight on Sunday, April 6, admitting that we were “not expecting an attack at all. But to our surprise we found them right in our Camp with 10 thousand strong and 3 of our regiments was thrown out immediately to a line of battle.” The battle line was forced to withdraw and “our men were so surprised and skaired at the sudden attack so that they would not fight.” The Federal line was pushed back, or as Porter says “retreated back 4 miles before they made a stand.” The battle raged until nightfall when “the rebels were compelled to retreat.” Of the 8th Ohio Battery at Shiloh Porter wrote, “Our battery was in the fight when they made one of there heaviest charges on Sunday afternoon. Bury Gard (Beauregard) was in command that time himself. There was three regiments came up with 3 hundred yards of our battery. We were on top of a hill and we just poreed the shells and canon balls into them without the loss of any of our men and drove them back.” Porter omits details of the next two days but says the “battle lasted three days before we whipped them but we having nothing to brag of. I have no time to give you the full details of it but shall in the future if I live.” The balance of the letter talks about weather and his dire need for postage stamps, the health and well-being of mutual Ohio friends in the army, ending with the usual expressions of love. In a lengthy postscript Porter asks his sister for a photograph, “have a miniature taken on paper and send it to me.” He writes that they expect to “have another battle here in a short time” claiming that the army now numbers “near 2 hundred thousand” men. Porter adds, incorrectly, that “we killed General Brags here in this battle” and then makes a wild statement saying, “I cut several buttons of his coat and a piece of his shirt.” Porter ends with the human tally, “We also killed Jonson and took his son Prisinor. The agitant reports today killed and wounded on the rebels side 11 thousand. On our side killed and wounded 7 thousand.”

In the April 14 letter to his brother, Porter says that “the 8th Battery did good service in this battle without the loss of a single man,” adding, “Our battery was in the fight when they made one of their most gallant charges attempting to drive us into the Tennessee River or take us all prisoners but they found it a little too heavy for the artillery…as they came up we first mowed them down. I was told afterwards by one of the prisoners that they lost more men on that one charge than they lost the hole day.” Too delicate a subject for his sister to read, Porters confided to his brother, “The most horrible scene that any mortal being ever witnessed is the battle field. To hear the pleading of the wounded and the groans of the dying and then those that have bin toren to pieces by shells and cannon balls. I volunteered my sirvises one whole day in hauling the dead and wounded from the field. Some places they lay as thick as cross ties. Some regiments would bury their own men in other places they would dig a hole about 3 feet deep and as long as they wished it and place them with their face down. Some time put one or two wagon loads in each place and then according to Army regulations fire over their graves.” Porter concludes by telling about a strange accident on the battlefield that killed an Ohio boy, a friend named Leonard Ulery. Ulery had been “boxing up some ammunition” when “some soldiers unloading a wagon load of muskets that had bin gathered up off the battlefield and was throwing them down on a pile out of the wagon (when) one happened to go off and shot him. The ball entered in his left side passed through his lung and was taken out his back.”

Twenty-one-year old Jacob M. Porter had enlisted as private in the 8th Ohio Battery in January 1862 and was promoted through the ranks. In September 1863 he became a captain in the 3rd U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery but for some unexplained reason was reduced to 2nd lieutenant in December 1863. Porter was discharged from service in December 1864. Typed transcriptions of both fine battle letters accompany.

Condition:  
Letters with fold lines but undamaged, clear, and easy to read, near VG. Single cover torn with piece loose.
Sold: $1,840.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Five Large Photographs of Rock Blasting Attributed to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky,
Lot # 3323 - Five Large Photographs of Rock Blasting Attributed to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky,
anonymous albumen photographs, circa late 1880s, each 6” x 8.4” mounted green 7” x 9” card stock, showing rock blasting and the wagons and workmen clearing the rubble, suburban Victorian homes in background. According to the consignor, these images were taken in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. > Item Details
CDV of Ma-co-ho-ko, Sauk & Fox,
Lot # 14 - CDV of Ma-co-ho-ko, Sauk & Fox,
with imprint of Kirby & McHolland, Ottawa, Kansas, circa 1867. Ink title inscription, recto. Minor hand-coloring in red and yellow watercolor. The man wears undecorated, leather, front-seam leggings of typical Sauk & Fox style. The forewing of a golden eagle is used as a fan. > Item Details
Wonderful Group of J. F. Huffman Boudoir Photos of Mexico,
Lot # 593 - Wonderful Group of J. F. Huffman Boudoir Photos of Mexico,
lot of 10, nine 8 x 5" images and one 4.5 x 7"; all with various backmarks of The Mexican National Railroad/ Cockrell - Laredo, Texas; with handstamp of J. F. Huffman and handwritten image number and title on verso. Images include the Plaza Faragosa and cathedral of Monterey, Mexico; A Mexican Jacka... > Item Details
Occupational Cabinet Card of Two Bakers,
Lot # 3303 - Occupational Cabinet Card of Two Bakers,
silver gelatin, dressed in their work attire. Each gentleman is smiling, one with a pan of pastries, the other holding a mixing bowl and a scoop, with C.L Judd's Fargo. N.D. imprint. > Item Details
CDV of Id'd Civil War Doctor and  Italian Soldier,
Lot # 3110 - CDV of Id'd Civil War Doctor and Italian Soldier,
a surgeon by Tolles & Seely, Ithaca, NY with blue-green 2 cent revenue stamp, identified in pencil beneath portrait as Dr. Beales (or Bealer). Plus, an unidentified Italian officer having 35th Regiment cap badge wearing medal with D. Vincenzo Pepi blindstamp. No surgeon with the name "Beales" or "B... > Item Details
Civil War Letter Archive of the Sharp Brothers, Maine,
Lot # 764 - Civil War Letter Archive of the Sharp Brothers, Maine,
Albert J. Sharp letters, 1864. 1st Maine Light Artillery, Battery B; Henry A. Sharp, 16th Maine Infantry, Co. C; 14 letters (six from Albert, six from Henry, and two from another brother) Born in New Brunswick, Canada, the three Sharp brothers were living in Maine when the Civil War broke out. Re... > Item Details
Cabinet Card of Calamity Jane,
Lot # 580 - Cabinet Card of Calamity Jane,
a copy of the original image by W. R. Cross, with imprint of Wilson, of Chicago, on recto. > Item Details
Three Early Cramer's Almanac's, 1825-26,
Lot # 3433 - Three Early Cramer's Almanac's, 1825-26,
all 12m with illustrated self wraps (26) or printed wraps (25), 1825 missing rear wrap and is Number 24, 34pp, 1826 are 23rd and 25th, 70pp and 36pp. > Item Details
Baker and Johnston Cabinet Card of Apache Prisoners,
Lot # 450 - Baker and Johnston Cabinet Card of Apache Prisoners,
likely captured during the events of the 1880s. Baker and Johnston identify this photo only as Apache Prisoners on the reverse of some of their cabinet cards. This photo bears only the studio imprint Baker and Johnston, Photographers, verso. > Item Details
J. Gurney and Son Stereoview of Captain Jack,
Lot # 425 - J. Gurney and Son Stereoview of Captain Jack,
on regular sized, yelow mount. This image was taken 1870 or 71 when delegations of Plains tribes visited Washington, and later new York, where they posed in Gurney's studio. Although the man portrayed may have been called Captain Jack, he is not the famous Modoc with the same name (see also Lot 42... > Item Details
Cabinet Card of Oklahoma Frank Sargent,
Lot # 615 - Cabinet Card of Oklahoma Frank Sargent,
anonymous, circa 1880s with inked inscription on verso Oklahoma Frank Sargent. Capt. Frank Sargent Oklahoma City, Indian Territory. Frank is armed with a pearl-handled single-action and M1873 Winchester. Sadly, we could not find any information on this character. > Item Details
Silver Gelatin Photograph of <i>The Sioux at Home</i>,
Lot # 329 - Silver Gelatin Photograph of The Sioux at Home,
camp scene depicting a Sioux couple posed in front of their wall tent with their wagon on the right. > Item Details
Miami University Land Sale Document Dated 1810,
Lot # 3430 - Miami University Land Sale Document Dated 1810,
manuscript document on single laid paper sheet, 12 x 13" renting one Thomas Blair of Hamilton County, Ohio, an out-lot in the town of Oxford for 25 cents, 5 mills, signed by the secretary James McBride and William Ludbone. > Item Details
Union Type Oreo Case and Other Pieces,
Lot # 3271 - Union Type Oreo Case and Other Pieces,
lot of three, including: sixth plate Union case, geometric (Berg 3-95) (empty); ninth plate oreo case (Berg 4-499 - brown), with hand-tinted tintypes of two young girls (probably sisters), one holding cloth doll; and oval wall frame, 8.25 x 9.25", with tintype of young girl next to photographer's se... > Item Details
A Fine Boudoir Photograph of a Cattle Roundup by J. C. H. Grabill,
Lot # 586 - A Fine Boudoir Photograph of a Cattle Roundup by J. C. H. Grabill,
titled in the negative, but not readable, presumably taken in Wyoming. A fine image of a herd, with a dozen or more mounted cowboys visible. > Item Details
Framed  Civil War Print of  the repulse of <i>Longstreets Assault </i> by Bachelder,
Lot # 3148 - Framed Civil War Print of the repulse of Longstreets Assault by Bachelder,
Painted by James Walker , engraved by H.B. Hall Jr., and published by James Drummond Ball Boston, Mass. 49.5 x 29" (framed), 14 x 35" (sight), illustrated view of the ongoings of a battle scene. In the foreground, soldiers are scattered in the grassy fields motionless. The many who are still a... > Item Details
Fine Occupational Cabinet Card of Two Miners,
Lot # 3305 - Fine Occupational Cabinet Card of Two Miners,
silver gelatin, engaged in a break. Each miner is in working attire and wearing gloves. The younger of the two is casually smoking a pipe and is covered in soot, both are viewed in front of a wood paneled building, the older gentleman, with a slouch. Underneath image the inscription: Columbia View ... > Item Details
Lot of 18th Century Anatomical Engravings,
Lot # 3485 - Lot of 18th Century Anatomical Engravings,
Engraved for the Royal Encyclopedia, & published as the Act directs, by C.Cooke, executed from 1789-1791. A fine assortment of illustrative diagrams that depict: Proportions of the Human Body accurately measured from the most admired Antique Statues at Rome, Anatomical Tables, illustrative of the... > Item Details
Two Fine Boudoir Photographs of the 1893 Oklahoma Land Rush on the Cherokee Strip
Lot # 575 - Two Fine Boudoir Photographs of the 1893 Oklahoma Land Rush on the Cherokee Strip
each 8 x 5" warm toned silver gelatin images mounted on larger mounts, with manuscript titles. Includes: "One Minute Before the Start" Sep. 16th 1893 and N.W. cor "Chilloco Reserve Sept. 16th 1893. Both action packed images of the opening of the Cherokee Strip for settlement. > Item Details
Rare O.S. Goff Albumen Photograph of a Crow Indian Scout Bull Snake,
Lot # 315 - Rare O.S. Goff Albumen Photograph of a Crow Indian Scout Bull Snake,
9 x 9.25" and mounted on larger card stock, manuscript title on mount Scout Snaki. Bull Snake earlier had served as a scout for Crook and during the battle of the Rosebud in June, 1876 had his left femur shattered. The one-armed man at the left is Two Whistles, who lost his arm during the "Sword B... > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: