Friday, January 22, 2010

Colonel Asbury B. Porter


Asbury B. Porter was born in the State of Kentucky, in the year 1808. At the time of entering the service, he was a resident of Mt. Pleasant, Henry county, Iowa, where, for several years, he had followed the business of a merchant and trader. He first entered the service in May, 1861, as major of the 1st Iowa Infantry; and in that regiment he made a good record. His conduct at the battle of Wilson's Creek was mentioned by Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt in terms of much praise. Why he was so unfortunate as colonel of the 4th Iowa Cavalry, I am unable to say. He was the first Iowa colonel dismissed the service of the United States, by order of the President. Before receiving his dismissal, however, he had resigned his commission, and returned to his home in Mt. Pleasant. He left the service in the spring of 1863.

The 4th Iowa Cavalry, at the time of entering the service, was made up of a fine body of men. The Mt. Pleasant schools were largely represented in the regiment; and, in addition to this, there was a larger per cent. of men with families and homes than in any other Iowa regiment previously organized. Its outfit, too, was superior, especially as regarded its horses. Colonel Porter served as his own inspector, and, being one of the best judges in the State of a good horse, he mounted his men in magnificent style. The regiment promised much, and yet it accomplished little worthy of special note, under its original colonel.

The 4th Iowa Cavalry served first in Central and Southern Missouri, and then in Arkansas; and the character of its labors were the same as were those of the 1st Iowa Cavalry, while that regiment was stationed in Missouri. They can not be detailed with interest.

Colonel Porter is a short, stocky man, with a broad, oval face, beaming with much good nature. I speak of him as he looked to me in the stage-coach, in the summer of 1863, on our return from the gubernatorial convention. I did not know who he was till after we had parted, and consequently formed my judgment of his character without prejudice. He is familiar and pleasing in his manners, and makes friends readily. I judged him to be intelligent, and of an extremely social disposition, and thought he would be happy and at home with his friends at a beer-table.

SOURCE: Addison A. Stuart, Iowa Colonels and Regiments, p. 607-8

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