Saturday, February 19, 2011
A Fighting Lawyer
Robert Brown Potter was born July 16th 1829 in Schenectady, New York, the son of Alonzo Potter. He was a lawyer in New York City.
Potter enlisted at the beginning of the Civil War as a private in the New York militia. He was quickly promoted to lieutenant and then commissioned on October 14th 1861 to Major. Potter was wounded March 14th 1862 at the Battle of New Bern. He was in command of the 51st New York Volunteers at the Battle of Second Bull Run. As a Colonel Potter led the 51st in the Battle of Antietam, where he was wounded again. March 13th 1863 saw Potter commanding the Second Division of the IX Corps during the Siege of Vicksburg, and a new rank of Brigadier General. He was leading the Division during the Overland Campaign, and the Siege of Petersburg were he was the only division commander at the Battle of the Crater. Potter was wounded again in the Battle of Fort Stedman April 2nd 1865, this wound keeping him out of the war until it ended.
With the war having ended and Potter recovered, he was given command of the Districts of Rhode Island and Connecticut which were parts of the Department of the East. Potter married September 20th 1865 to Abby Stevens. It was also on that day he received a promotion to Major General. He was mustered out of service on January 15th 1866. Potter spent the post war years as a receiver for the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. He lived in England from 1869, before returning the to states and settling in Rhode Island in 1873. Potter died February 19th 1887 in Newport, Rhode Island. He is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
If you would like more information about this subject check out Alonzo Potter Family Website