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Connection - Saltcoats / Custer's Last Stand

For those researching family in the three towns area.


Jim McCreadie
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Connection - Saltcoats / Custer's Last Stand

Post by Jim McCreadie » Fri May 25, 2018 9:11 am

Due to an interest in military commanders, I recently researched Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and found him far-removed from the "hero" he was made out to be. Anyway, to the connection:

Acting Assistant Surgeon Henry Rinaldo PORTER (b. 13 Feb 1848, New York d. 03 Mar 1903, Agra, India, bur. British Cantonment Cemetery, Agra) was 28 years old at the time of the Battle of Little Bighorn River (25-26 June 1876) but he was not a soldier. In those days, the U.S. Army hired doctors/surgeons under contract for specific periods of time. On 14 May 1876, PORTER entered into a 3-month contract for the Sioux campaign. For much of the two day battle, he alone cared for what grew to be 50 wounded men (see Note 1) at an improvised field hospital at the Reno-Benteen defence site (see Note 2) which was under constant rifle fire from Sioux and Cheyenne braves. Of three surgeons serving with Custer's 7th Cavalry, he was the sole survivor.

Acting Assistant Surgeon PORTER's mother was Helen POLSON, daughter of John POLSON (Weaver, Saltcoats) and Helen WORKMAN (b. circa 1789 d. 26 Jul 1821, Saltcoats, age 32 years). The family resided at probably 13 Raise Street ("Weaverland"). In 1825, at age 7 years and probably orphaned (see Note 3), Helen POLSON emigrated to the U.S. where, around 1840, she met and married Dr Henry Norton PORTER (b. 1816 d. 1899). Her maternal grandparents were Robert WORKMAN (b. circa 1749 d. 23 Feb 1836, age 87 years) and Eliza(beth?) BOYD (b. circa 1750 d. 13 January 1814, age 64 years).

Notes:
1. There were no survivors from five of Custer's 12 companies. Custer, two of his brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law were among the dead. Casualties totalled 268 dead, 55 severely wounded with a further six dying later from their wounds.
2. So named for Major Marcus Reno and Captain Frederick Benteen, respective commanders M, A & G and D, H & K Companies, 7th Cavalry. They combined their surviving troopers and established a horseshoe-shaped defensive perimeter on a bluff where they could not be attacked from the rear.
3. Other than a statement made by her son in a personal letter, I can locate no evidence of Helen being orphaned and emigrating (this pre-Ellis Island).
Comment: The POLSON and WORKMAN family headstones are probably in the graveyard (dating from 1744) at the North Ayrshire Museum, Manse Street.
Q98
32.04'.04"S 115.48'30"E

"What language are you talking in now? It appears to be Bo**ocks."

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sweet caroline
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Re: Connection - Saltcoats / Custer's Last Stand

Post by sweet caroline » Fri May 25, 2018 1:04 pm

1870
Name:
Hellen Porter
Event Type:
Census
Event Year:
1870
Event Place:
New York, United States
Gender:
Female
Age:
50
Race:
White
Race (Original):
W
Birth Year (Estimated):
1819-1820
Birthplace:
Scotland
Page Number:
78
Household
Role
Sex
Age
Birthplace
Henry N Porter

Male
52
New York
Hellen Porter

Female
50
Scotland
Henry B Porter

Male
22
New York
Francis Porter

Female
24
New York
“He that has no fools, knaves, nor beggars in his family, was begot by a flash of lightning.” Thomas Fuller

Jim McCreadie
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Re: Connection - Saltcoats / Custer's Last Stand

Post by Jim McCreadie » Fri May 25, 2018 1:12 pm

Many thanks for that additional info. Siblings I located but did not include as they contributed nothing to my original post:
Sarah Elizabeth (b. 21 Nov 1842, New York d. 28 Nov 1919, District of Columbia)
Frances Emogene (Imogine?)
W.C. Rev.
Q98
32.04'.04"S 115.48'30"E

"What language are you talking in now? It appears to be Bo**ocks."

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