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[87]

1845.


Peter Augustus Porter.

Colonel 129th New York Vols. (afterwards 8th New York heavy artillery), August 17, 1862; killed at cold Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864.


in how many of the students of Harvard does every favoring element seem to have combined—culture, purity, self-reliance, and courage—to give promise of high and noble achievement. One only boon of Fortune they lacked,— her last and most reluctant gift,— opportunity. At length that opportunity came: it was their death. A good Providence granted them to die, and in their death accorded them the achievement of every possibility life could have bestowed. Of such was Peter Augustus Porter, a graduate of Harvard of the Class of 1845. He died in the service of his country on the 3d of June, 1864, at the battle of Cold Harbor.

There was something impressive and noble in the circumstances of his death. . Young, gifted, happily married, and with children growing up about him, using all his powers and opportunities with a high and noble aim, Colonel Porter had endeared himself to a large circle of friends by ties of more than ordinary strength and permanence. Favored in birth, and early master of his own career, he resolved that no external advantage of position should help him to any station he had not first merited by his own labor. We all know the results he achieved; but few have followed and appreciated the conscientious labor and study, the severely simple and unostentatious life, which preceded them. His more distinguished merit, however, and higher grace consisted in his benevolence and kindness of heart, in his large and constant, though secret charities, and in his consideration and tenderness towards the poor, the suffering, and the bereaved. However attractive he may have appeared in social life, and however valued for his eminent powers, his best intellectual gifts were ever reserved

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