Potter Family Album: page 46 (John Potter)

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Page 46 of Potter album : John Potter
John Potter
Peplow & Balch
221 Main St., Memphis, Tenn.
John Potter
no writing on photo
(an account from Civil War is below)

The following account reprinted from a contemporary Livingston Enterprise article clipped for a scrapbook kept by Kate (Vermilye) Potter, which is currently in the possession of Kate's grandson, John Vermilye Potter 2nd of White Sulphur Springs, Montana
That will be interesting to Livingston and White Sulphur Springs Readers
The following interesting narrative of one of the many heroic minor incidents of the late fratricidal struggle is related to the Enterprise by one of the audience who heard the two principal characters call up the memories of the thrilling episode :
It was in Lauman's celebrated charge at Jackson, Mississippi, July 12th, 1863. The rebels under Joe Johnston held Jackson. Breckenridge's division, comprising the rebel left, occupied the south side , entrenched in rifle pits and redoubts with 30 pieces of artillery and 4200 muskets. The 3rd Iowa, 28th, 41st, and 53rd Illinois regiments formed a brigade in command of Col. Pugh of the 41st, holding the extreme right of the Union line between Pearl River and the New Orleans road. This brigade was ordered to charge on Breckenridge's position. The brigade formed under cover of the woods, a little force of under 1,100 men. Their charge lay across a cornfield half a mile to the rebel works. The corn had been cut down by sabres so that as soon as the men came out of the woods they were in full view of the enemy. From the time they emerged from cover when the first shot was fired till they advanced to within less than 10 rods of the confederate works and fell back to their original position was only ten minutes. But in that terrible charge four men more than half of all Pugh's brigade fell upon the field before the terrible fire of artillery and musketry which they so gallantly confronted. Col. Earle of the 53rd Illinois went down at the head of his regiment within 150 feet of Breckenridge's line. Captain John Potter, now of Potter, Moe, & Co., bankers at White Sulphur Springs, Montana, who was in charge of his company in the same regiment, received a shot in the thigh and was left on the field at a point not more than ten rods from the rebel works, When his brigade fell back he painfully arose upon the uninjured leg and tried to hop back to his line but soon fell to the ground. He then crawled a little way to a small stump not more than 20 feet from where he fell and there partially sheltered himself. The rebels had watched his movements but, as they were about to evacuate their position and did not want the encumbrance of wounded prisoners, they made no movement to capture him. Col. D.H. Budlong, of Livingston, was then a First Lieutenant in the 33rd Wisconsin on staff duty as one of Gen. Lauman's aides. After Pugh's terribly fatal charge Col. Budlong was sent out to drive in stragglers. He was then as now a very tall man and was mounted on a monstrous white horse that stood nineteen hands high. As he rode upon the field and looked over its ghastly occupants, he saw Capt. Potter's efforts to get back to his own lines and recognized the fact that the wounded officer had something of the sympathy of the southern soldiers who were watching. Col. Budlong rode forward slowly until within 150 yards of Potter's sheltering stump. He then scanned the rebel lines with his glass and, seeing no movement to interfere with him, put his horse to the gallop, rode up to Potter, threw him across the saddle, wheeled his horse and rode back to cover. Not a shot was fired but as they retired the rebels stood up in their entrenchments and gave a round cheer for the two brave Union officers.
Budlong and Potter met again at Vicksburg after the latter's wound had healed and he was again on active duty. Budlong afterward became a lieutenant-colonel of engineers in Sherman's service. Both retired from the military service at the close of the war and their paths were thenceforward divergent until last winter they met in a Helena hotel. Potter recognized Budlong as his gallant rescuer before Jackson, and introducing himself with the words "Budlong this is the second time I am glad to see you," related the story of their first meeting to an admiring circle of auditors.