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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Peter A. Porter

Lawyer/Politician/Union Army Officer

Centurion, 1853–1864

Full Name Peter Augustus Porter

Born 14 July 1827 in Black Rock, New York

Died 3 June 1864 in Cold Harbor, Virginia

Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls, New York

Proposed by Thomas Hicks

Elected 8 January 1853 at age twenty-five

Archivist’s Note: After his death, a memorial address delivered at the clubhouse on 3 December 1864 by Frederick S. Cozzens was published in book form, bound with a similar memorial address to James S. Wadsworth (available at Proceedings of the Century Association in Honor of the Memory of Brig.-Gen. James S. Wadsworth and Colonel Peter A. Porter). Both were battle casualties in the Civil War.

Proposer of:

Century Memorials

Mr. Mr. Frederic S. Cozzens then read a Eulogy on the late Colonel Peter A. Porter, after which the following resolutions, prepared by the Committee charged with that duty, were read by the Secretary, accepted, and ordered to be entered on the minutes.

Resolved, That the Century deplores with deep and lasting grief the death upon the battlefield of their late loved and honored associate, Colonel Peter A. Porter.

Resolved, That we search the annals of this war in vain for a kinder heart, a brighter wit, a purer soul, inspiring a life of culture more finished and purposes more noble, and welcoming a more triumphant martyrdom of all-sacrificing patriotism.

Resolved, That the character of Colonel Porter, tender and steadfast as he was in all home and friendly relations, faithful and intelligent in his devotion to the public civil service, modest, humane, and gallant in the career of arms, crowning the graces and accomplishments of the Scholar’s life with the truest glories of the Soldier’s, and the genuine faith and practise of the Christian’s, burnishes the bright name which he inherited, and stamps it high on the Golden Book of Americans made noble by worth and valor.

Resolved, That the personal sorrow with which the Century laments the loss of our endeared to them by so many years of genial companionship is deepened by the sense that in him the Nation loses a man of a type it can ill spare; and that the years so rich in promise would have borne, had they matured, fruits of wisdom in council, and of courage and resource in action, priceless to his country in that new era for the dawn of which he gave his hopes, his labors, and his life.

Augustus R. Macdonough, Secretary
Monthly Meeting Minutes, 3 December 1864

Thayer, March, Rainsford, Benkard, Wadsworth, Porter, Young, and Noyes, no longer appear on our rolls. Of these, one wore out his life in faithful service to his country in a foreign land, two others, before the fulness of years was reached, had proved their worth, and gained their sure eminence as chiefs in their respective professions; and two, falling gloriously on the field of battle, passed into the memory of the nation as the brightest lights of sacrifice to patriotism that burn in the history of this war.

The Association has expressed in formal resolutions its appreciation of the high qualities of these men who honored us, and whom we delighted to honor, and those tracts which make them personally dear are each day regretfully recalled, as we miss how our gathering the clear sense and tolerant judgements of Thayer, the generous sympathies, ripened but not chilled, by large experience, of Young, and the brilliant yet gentle wit of the accomplished Porter. To remember that our circle once held such friends, and now has lost them, is to recal[l] our grief while justifying our pride in an Association which invites such companionship.

Augustus R. Macdonough
Annual Meeting Minutes, 14 January 1865