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

[CIVIL WAR.] <i>Gettysburg The Pictures And The Story</i>,
Lot # 3196 - [CIVIL WAR.] Gettysburg The Pictures And The Story,
published by Tipton & Blocher, Gettysburg, Pa., 1913, 18th edition, horizontal 4to with silk cord binding, illustrated card stock wraps, 68pp of photogravures with captions. > Item Details
Four Early Western Railroad Promotional Maps,
Lot # 508 - Four Early Western Railroad Promotional Maps,
including paneled brochure with large map GUIDE TO IOWA AND NEBRASKA LANDS FOR SALE ON TEN YEARS CREDIT 23.75 x 16", n.d., but circa 1870-75; 28.5 x 15" paneled, illustrated brochure Take the Burlington Route. Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy R.R. with large colored map; 1904 paneled brochure The North... > Item Details
Boudoir Card of <i>Old Black Joe</i> by Pickens Turner,
Lot # 3351 - Boudoir Card of Old Black Joe by Pickens Turner,
albumen, seated on wood crate with orange tree covered in Spanish moss, staff in hand and his hound at his side, pasted printed label on reverse reads Made and Copyrighted by/Pickens Turner/Indian River Art Gallery... with inked title on label reading Old Black Joe 90 years old. > Item Details
[MEXICAN WAR.] Kendall's <i>Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition</i>,
Lot # 3217 - [MEXICAN WAR.] Kendall's Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition,
An account of the Disasters that the Expedition Encountered for Want of Food, And by Attacks of Indians: The Final Capture of the Texians, and Their Sufferings as Prisoners in Mexico. 1847, London: Henry Washbourne, 16mo, 599pp, cloth with guilt spine. > Item Details
Two California Stereoviews,
Lot # 3035 - Two California Stereoviews,
both 4.2 x 6.75” with square images, entitled in negatives 229 Hotel at Clatsop Beach, Oregon and 127 Chamberlain Creek, Washington Territory. > Item Details
Two F. J. Haynes Stereoviews of Sharpnose and His Family,
Lot # 206 - Two F. J. Haynes Stereoviews of Sharpnose and His Family,
cabinet-sized, includes 1748 and 1749. Sharpnose, a Northern Arapaho, is shown wearing a U.S. captain's jacket. > Item Details
P. B. Gaylord Stereoview of  a Chippewa Indian Elder,
Lot # 51 - P. B. Gaylord Stereoview of a Chippewa Indian Elder,
with his Duluth, Minnesota, imprint, on regular-size orange mount. He wears a Hudson Bay style blanket. A fine image of a Chippewa elder. > Item Details
Letterpress Copy Books of Thaddeus Stanton, Paymaster General of the United States Army,
Lot # 555 - Letterpress Copy Books of Thaddeus Stanton, Paymaster General of the United States Army,
private letterbooks, 1895-1899. 500pp each (last volume, only 86pp used). The pinnacle of Thaddeus Stanton's long military career came when he was appointed Paymaster General of the U.S. Army in 1895, a position he held until his retirement at the end of the Spanish American War in 1899. The five ... > Item Details
Lot of Three Civil War Albums,
Lot # 3091 - Lot of Three Civil War Albums,
two are composite albums, one red leather, another brown leather, containing respectively 38 and 28 mostly unidentified military cartes including numerous lithographed generals. The third is a small family album holding 12 cartes with a CDV of Pvt. Constantine G. Mull described as “the biggest man ... > Item Details
Lot of Two Colonial Legal Documents, Including Sale of a Slave,
Lot # 673 - Lot of Two Colonial Legal Documents, Including Sale of a Slave,
both framed and glazed. 1p, 7.75 x 11" (sight), Nausaw Island, Province of New York, February 5, 1762, conveying the ...Negro woman called and known by the name of Candes thirty odd years of age... to Joseph Coles for 65 pounds from Thomas Smith and John Butler, executors of the estate of Richard Bu... > Item Details
Chromolithograph of the  Steamboat Race of the <i>Robert E. Lee</i> and the <i>Natchez</i>,
Lot # 1000 - Chromolithograph of the Steamboat Race of the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez,
published by Donaldson Art Sign Co. A brass plaque on bottom middle reads The Historic Race Between the Robert E. Lee and the Natchez from New Orleans to Cairo June 30, 1870 Winner - Robert E. Lee Time - 3 Days 1 Hour 16 Minutes Delayed by Fog 2 1/2 Hours - The Robert E. Lee - was Built in Cincinn... > Item Details
Fine Alex J. Ross Silver Gelatin Print of Isapo-Muxika (Crow Foot), Blackfoot,
Lot # 343 - Fine Alex J. Ross Silver Gelatin Print of Isapo-Muxika (Crow Foot), Blackfoot,
published with the blindstamp of H. Pollard, Calgary lower left; 9.5 x 7.5". Crow Foot (circa 1830-1890) was a renowned warrior taking part in 19 tribal battles and sustaining wounds on six occasions. Attaining chieftainship in 1870, he made peace with his Cree neighbors and welcomed the North-West ... > Item Details
William Henry Jackson Cabinet Card of Washakie,
Lot # 364 - William Henry Jackson Cabinet Card of Washakie,
Shoshone, also known as Shoots The Buffalo Running. Taken at Fort Stambaugh, September 1870. The photo is mounted on a United States Geological Survery of the Territories mount. Caption in negative, Washakie Shoshonee. Washakie’s name is derived from the Shoshonean word meaning, A Gourd Rattle... > Item Details
CDV of Young Rowdies with Guitar,
Lot # 3283 - CDV of Young Rowdies with Guitar,
showing three young gentleman lounging at table with jug of spirits, one with guitar, marked in negative Centennial 1776-18, end of 1876 cut off by printer, with Dow, Ogdensburg, N.Y. imprint. > Item Details
C. R. Savage CDV of Shoshone Man,
Lot # 369 - C. R. Savage CDV of Shoshone Man,
with his Salt Lake City, Utah, imprint, circa 1868. Ink inscription, verso: Snake Indian. The same image in the National Anthropological Archives, Neg. No. gn_01499, is identified as Ute. The man wears heavy wool-blanket leggings with seed-beaded strips, beaded moccasins, a fringed leather shirt wit... > Item Details
CDV of Kit Carson
Lot # 565 - CDV of Kit Carson
a copy image, with imprint of Burnite, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and inked inscription on recto. > Item Details
38 Star Silk American Flag
Lot # 841 - 38 Star Silk American Flag
1877-90, printed with 6-7-6-6-7-6 star arrangement, machine-stitched edges, 47 x 30". > Item Details
55A: Alexander Gardner Portfolio of Photographs of Yanctonai, Sans Arc , Blackfeet ,
Lot # 4055 - 55A: Alexander Gardner Portfolio of Photographs of Yanctonai, Sans Arc , Blackfeet ,
and Uncapapa. Red Moroccan leather portfolio with gilt lettering Yanctonai, Sans Arc, Blackfeet & Uncpapa Sioux under charge of Col. J. C. O’Connor, U.S. Agent, taken during their visit to Washington, D.C. September 20, 1872 by Alexander Gardner for the Trustees of the Blackmore Museum, Salisbury,... > Item Details
Fine Silver Gelatin Photograph of a Man and His Victrola,
Lot # 3335 - Fine Silver Gelatin Photograph of a Man and His Victrola,
in the countryside. The gentleman, dressed in fine attire, stands motionless, a Victrola positioned on top of a barrel with a box of records resting below. 4 x 5" on slightly larger card stock. > Item Details
Currier & Ives Lithograph, <i>The Battle of Gettysburg...</i>
Lot # 800 - Currier & Ives Lithograph, The Battle of Gettysburg...
Pa. July 3d. 1863., an interesting engraving, which bears nothing to anything that took place at this battle, as it shows a group of Union soldiers attaching an entrenched Confederate group with entrenched artillery. This never happened, but in the rush to release a print, soon after this momentous ... > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: