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Horace Porter Edit Profile

diplomatist , soldier

Horace Porter, American diplomatist, soldier. Decorated with Grand Cross of Legion of Honor by French Government, 1904; gold medal for patriotism by Sultan of Turkey, 1901. Recovered body of Paul Jones at personal expense in Paris, April 7, 1905. Received by unanimous vote the thanks of Congress and privilege of the floor of both houses for life.


Porter, Horace was born on April 15, 1837 in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of late David Rittenhouse F. (governor Pennsylvania) and Josephine (McDermett) P.


Educated Lawrence Scientific School (Harvard). Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1860. (Doctor of Laws, Union University, 1894, Princeton University, 1906, Williams College, 1907, Harvard University, 1910).


Second Lieutenant United States of America, April 22, 1861. First lieutenant, June 7, 1861. Captain, March 3, 1863.

Lieutenant colonel and a.-d.-c. to General Grant, April 4, 1864. Colonel of staff and a.-d.-c. to the general-in-chief United States of America, July 25, 1866. Bvtd. captain, April 11, 1862, for seige of Pulaski.

Congressional Medal of Honor for Chickamauga, September 20, 1863. Bvtd. major, May 6, 1864, for Wilderness. Lieutenant colonel, August 16, 1864, for Newmarket Heights, Virginia.

Colonel United States.V., February 24, 1865. Colonel United States of America, March 13, 1865, for services during war, and brigadier general, March 13, 1865, “for gallant services in the field.” Assistant secretary of war, 1866. Executive secretary to President Grant, 1869-1873.

Became vice president Pullman Palace Car Company, 1873. Was president New York, West Shore & Buffalo R.R., St. Louis& S.F Railway Company United States ambassador to France, 1897-1905. Orator at inauguration of Washington Arch, New York, May 4, 1895, and dedication of Grant’s Tomb, New York, April 27, 1897 (for the building of which he collected the necessary funds by private subscription).

At inauguration Rochambeau Statue, Washington, May 24, 1902. At Centennial of foundation of West Point Military Academy, June 11, 1902. Interment of Paul Jones’ body at Annapolis, April 23, 1906, etc.


  • Other Work

    • Author: West Point Life, 1860. Campaigning with Grant, 1897.


Married Sophie K. McHarg, December 23, 1863 (died 1903).

Sophie K. McHarg