Fort Donelson pays tribute to Parisian’s Confederate unit

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(Post Intelligencer) – The contributions of a Civil War artillery battery led by a Confederate officer from Paris were remembered Saturday at Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

“Porter’s Battery Strikes Again,” a living history demonstration paying tribute to Capt. Thomas K. Porter of Paris and the 48-man artillery battery he commanded, was put on by park volunteers several times during the morning and afternoon at the park’s entrance.

Each demonstration included a 10-minute talk about the battery’s actions during the critical Battle of Fort Donelson, which took place Feb. 14-16, 1862.

The son of Dr. Thomas K. Porter Sr., Porter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, but resigned his commission in 1861 in order to serve in the Confederate Army.

He was given the rank of captain —the equivalent of his former naval rank — and put in command of an artillery company by Gov. Isham G. Harris, himself a former Parisian.

Stationed in Bowling Green, Ky., he was ordered to Fort Donelson on Feb. 6, 1862, and arrived in time for the Union attack on Feb. 14.

He was wounded in the leg during the fierce fight on Feb. 15, during which 31 of the 48 men in his battery were either killed or wounded. Their actions were later commended by Confederate Gens. John B. Floyd and Simon Bolivar Buckner.

He was captured along with the rest of the battery after the fort’s surrender, and eventually lost his leg. After his release, he fought as…

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