Lansing Porter Family Papers, 1861-1863, 1906


Captain Lansing Porter served in the 75th New York Infantry out of Auburn, New York. He was first stationed at Santa Rosa island but soon moved to Fort Pickens on Pensacola Bay, Florida. His military career brought him under the command of General Godfrey Weitzel once the 75th was moved to Camp Kearney in Louisiana, allowing him to travel up the Mississippi River through New Orleans, Donaldsonville, Napoleonville, Labadieville, and eventually making camp in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. He received a leave of absence in March of 1863.

From January of 1861 to March of 1863, Lansing and his wife Elizabeth wrote a series of letters to one another while Lansing was away at war. Elizabeth wrote primarily of issues of the home in Auburn, New York, while Lansing wrote of his experiences fighting in the South. The couple had three children, Libbie, Annie, and Lansing, who lived at home with their mother. The children periodically wrote letters to their father.


"...I protected my legs thoroughly..." (To Elizabeth from Lansing), February 11th
Correspondence (starting on page 2) from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, describing how he protected himself from a terrible thunderstorm while he was the "Officer of the Day." Lansing tells her about having to look for a missing man who was supposed to relieve a guard from duty and finding him asleep in an unauthorized area protecting him from the rain. He writes that he arrested him for his behavior and was commanded by Colonel Brown to "prefer charges against that man without delay." Lansing goes on about Mr. Griswold and how he was court-martialed and proven guilty for cowardice and disobedience. Lansing announces the appointment of Major Arnold to Brigadier General and mentions that Colonel Brown has asked to be discharged due to his poor health.,
"I wonder I am ever so foolish..." (To Lansing from Elizabeth)
Correspondence from Elizabeth Porter to her husband, Lansing regarding their children. Elizabeth writes that Libbie's spelling has improved and comments on her strong sense of moral value, however, mentally and physically, she is developing very slowly. According to Elizabeth, Annie is "lawless" and unpredictable. She writes her letters in one swift stroke and never looks at them again. Making sure to add that Annie does not always enjoy writing. As for young Lansing, Elizabeth assures her husband that their son is a second edition of him. She is particularly referring to how Lansing, Jr. is a very careful and determined writer, but only when he feels like it.,
Letter of Recommendation, 1863 January 5
A recommendation letter from Lieutenant Colonel W. Babcock of the 75th N.Y.U. for Lansing Porter, highlighting how responsible and attentive he is as well as his support of the creation of an army company consisting of freed, former slaves. Simon Gofs also includes his own recommendation, saying much the same things but adding a note of his pious nature.,
Letter "...since we left New York Harbor," 1861 December 11-14
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth Porter, informing her that they are sailing along the coast of Key West, soon to make their way back to Fort Pickens. Lansing writes that he has received a package from the children that moves him to tears. He assures them that nothing of monumental importance has happened to him and the other men.,
Letter to Annie, 186[?] March 11
A letter from Lansing, Jr. to his sister, Annie, stating that he does not think that their mother wants them to continue to put family records in their "Testaments.",
Letter to Annie, 1862 April 4
Lansing Porter writes a response to his daughter, Annie's "spunky" letter, explaining why he wrote to little Lansing before her. He tells her about two deserters that appeared earlier and that he wanted to look upon a ship they found but he could not because he was acting regimental officer of the day.,
Letter to dear sister, 1862 February 6 and February 18
Elizabeth Porter forwards her husband, Lansing, a letter that her sister wrote to her in regards to some letters being sent back. Elizabeth informs Lansing of many events at home including the fact that the children had the measles and are still not any better.,
Letter to Elizabeth
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, letting her know that he has received her letter informing him of Simon's departure and that he expects to see him in about 48 hours. He writes that his tent from Santa Rosa was condemned so he was issued a very comfortable officer's tent. Lansing describes his furniture and amenities and says the brigade is likely to stay put for the time being.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 December 16
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, writing that he has received many letters within the past week and adds that he is mortified that she would allow some of his letters to be published. Lansing goes on to briefly answer each of the letters written to him regarding his question of coming home. He expresses how very proud he is that his children have such outstanding patriotism and courage.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 December 2
A letter from Josiah Porter thanking Elizabeth Porter for letting him read Lansing's letters. Josiah writes that Lansing should not have asked Elizabeth about the chances of him not returning home; she should not have to suffer such an idea.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 November 1
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, explaining that he cannot give a proper location to her because General Weitzel has shipped his brigade up the Mississippi. Lansing writes that they passed through the rebel occupied Donaldsonville, Louisiana, and then marched down the east bank of Bayou Lafourche where they met rebel hostility between Napoleonville and Labadieville. He tells her that 80 to 90 were killed and wounded and that 140 rebel prisoners were taken. He also writes that the rebels made a stand at Thibodeaux where slaves were digging trenches but then fled at the sight of the Union soldiers. He adds that there are many rumors from soldiers sent along the Western Railway of fields of rotting sugar cane, deserted plantations, and slaves.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 November 17
A letter from Lansing Porter informing his wife, Elizabeth, that he has sold a $15 watch for $35 and that many of the men want watches now-a-days. Lansing also writes that he was field officer the night before, and that his 15 mile ride today has made him tired.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 November 28
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, writing that they were not spared drills on Thanksgiving Day. Lansing announces the arrival of the chaplain and his good tidings with the officers. He goes on to express how very relieved he is that Elizabeth has received the money he had sent.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 November 5
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife Elizabeth informing her that he is still camped a mile away from Thibodeaux, Louisiana. Lansing describes the camp, including a few details about getting supplies from Algiers. He shares his concern regarding the possibility of going home soon and with an honorable discharge.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 October 12
A letter from Lansing Porter informing his wife Elizabeth that it is the second Sabbath since he's been at Camp Kearney as a part of General Weitzel's Brigade. He writes that he received a package (presumably from Brother Hudson) via the Tract Company. Lansing explains that some were in German so he passed those on to the 1st Louisiana Regiment which actually had a good many Germans. He makes mention of a man in the camp who sells beer; that there is a rumor that Colonel Dodge is returning; and that there are many other rumors floating through the air.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 September 12
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, informing her that he has sent her a few papers, including one by General Butler, so that she may get an idea of his misinformation. Lansing writes about an uproar in New Orleans that required two of the regiments to go out and restore order. He then tells Elizabeth about his adventure into town in hopes of finding a church for worship. He then describes the street cars he saw and the dinner he had with Lt. "Hod." Lansing also recounts a misfortunate occurrence when he "had forgotten the southern custom of calling the afternoon evening.",
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 September 19
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, describing his lack of responsibilities in the barracks in New Orleans. Lansing recounts seeing many wounded soldiers and declaring his determination to stand up for universal freedom. He then informs Elizabeth of General Arnold's return from Pensacola and the mail he inevitably carries. He goes on to write about his pay situation and says he has not had time to venture into the city much.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 September 24
A letter from Lansing Porter to his wife, Elizabeth, rejoicing that Simon has been elected as the new Chaplain. Lansing expresses how much he wishes Elizabeth could visit him and also informs her of Captain Choate's discharge.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1862 September 3
A letter from Lansing Porter informing his wife, Elizabeth, that he is presently on the "Ocean Queen" at the docks of New Orleans. He recounts his journey and his "forced and fatigued march," and describes the excited spectators on shore when they arrived.,
Letter to Elizabeth, 1863 February [13]- 26
Correspondence from Elizabeth Porter to her husband, Lansing, regarding some rumors that have been circulating and other reports from various colleges. On page two, Elizabeth informs Lansing of "Grandpa's" letter and "statement" of money and comments on how she tries very hard to be economical. She includes two other letters, one from Harriet about wanting to visit while in New York; and one from Josiah Porter regarding money and its interest over time (page 4). On the bottom of Harriet's letter (page 3), Elizabeth writes: "This is a strange [apolog] for a letter. Hardly [feel] as if I had written. I shall write again in a day or two. E--.",