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County. My brother left home the day before the Regiment took up the march, expecting to get a permit to come by home, but alas! such are the cruelties of war. From some cause unknown to me he failed to come -- and although he went away cheerful, not even shaking hands, we never met again. After they had been at Clarksville sometime, two soldiers passed our house, and told the servant, Dock, that Hezekiah Porter was very sick. Father started forthwith to see him -- in arriving, however, he was agreeably surprised to find brother well and hearty. He remained a few days, started home, and was taken sick, soon after starting. He traveled a few miles a day, until he arrived within eight miles of home, at the home of Maj. Houghton. Finding that he could come no farther, he sent for the family. Mother went immediately. Afterwards, the two younger sisters went. The rest of the family never got to see him alive. He died February 17, 1862, age 58 years and about two months. His body was brought home and buried Masonically in the family burying ground. Would have given other dates, if I could have remembered them.

The Regiment soon took the line of march to Arkansas. On the way my brother was taken sick of measles, together with two comrades, to wit -- Perry Cherry and Bolivar Lilly. They were left to partially recover, and they started to overtake the command. They traveled one day, which caused a relapse, and he died that night, it being March 6, 1862, age twenty years, one month and ten days. He was buried at Clear Spring church, Clark County, Arkansas. Comment is useless upon the troubles we saw at this time; no one can imagine, unless it was one who had realized similar losses.

I will now return to my own history -- my father and only brother now being dead, the charge and support of my Mother's family, in a great measure, devolved upon me. Fortunately, however, my Mother was an extremely good manager; and with her experience and advice to assist me, I shouldered, or tried to shoulder the responsibilities of the family, though it was the heaviest burden that I ever tried to carry.

Myself, and servant Dock, pitched a crop of thirty-five acres, but I had not more than finished planting, when the Confederate Congress passed the Conscript law, compelling every man between the age of 18 and 35 to join the army. I was 18 years old on the 22nd of April, but I determined, if possible, to finish my crop. I thought duty to my Mother's family demanded it; and when persons were too inquisitive about my age, and there were a great many (and some who had shared my Father's hospitality, and pretended great friendship, seemed anxious to push me off), I gave very little satisfaction, but baffled along, went nowhere that I could help, until the 22nd of June, when I saddled and mounted my horse, and started for Jefferson, Texas, where [Col. William Beck] Ocheltree's Regiment was rendezvousing. Sorrowful day: I remember it vividly yet, though nearly twenty-one years have intervened between then and now. I thought as I went along, more of the loved ones I had left behind than of myself, especially of my aged Mother, who had just lost her husband and son, and now to be called upon to give up the last one, for the cruel law of those who had been so deceitful in their friendship, who had used every endeavor to push me

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Life of John C. Porter and Sketch of His Experiences in the Civil War

John C. Porter 1874