Marcus M. Porter’s Eternal Bivouac

Evergreen Cemetery in Stoughton, MA

Evergreen Cemetery in Stoughton, MA

Yesterday students in my Civil War Memory class handed in their final projects. They are amazing and reflect a good deal of research and creativity. Students researched Civil War monuments and memorials in their own communities or designed their own for a specific location. One student created a video that explored a number of Civil War monuments in Stoughton, including this unusual grave marker, which I thought was worth sharing.

From Find A Grave:

Marcus Morton Porter (1841-1921). Porter enlisted as a private on October 15,1862, in Company G, 47th Massachusetts Infantry, and was mustered out on September 1, 1863. He was a member of Post 72, GAR. Porter became a member of the Old Stoughton Musical Society in 1893 and served as the society’s president from 1911 to 1913.

This particular student admitted that she has never enjoyed living in Stoughton, but that working on this project left her feeling more closely connected to her community.

Mission Accomplished.

6 comments… add one
  • Roger Hall Dec 10, 2014 @ 15:26

    Mr. Porter is mentioned in my book of singing meetings and concerts of the Old Stoughton Musical Society, available on a DVD-ROM with music examples and a video program. This musical society was founded in 1786 and now the oldest choral society in the USA.

  • John Hough Aug 1, 2014 @ 21:18

    I hate to comment on a months-old post but.. I find this really interesting. I want to know more about Mr. Porter. Mustered out ’63 made me want to look a little further, and I found the 47th MA infantry never saw combat. They got sent to New Orleans basically for garrison duty, lost one man to guerrillas in the course of the year, and went back home before the war was over. But this is apparently the defining experience in this man’s life.

    When does this marker go up? Is it standing over his wife and daughter, waiting for him to join them? Does he regret this choice after living through ww1?

    “We await the trumpet’s sound,” in context, implies an afterlife in God’s army. Does he mean this? Which sort of religious crusade was he aligned with? Or did he just think it was a cute quote to go with his war-themed monument?

    Man, if I was in your class, I woulda dropped the rest of the monuments to go in-depth on this guy, if I could find any sources.

  • Brad Mar 25, 2014 @ 10:12

    Great story Kevin. It’s entirely possible that your class may have changed that person’s life.

  • Vince (Lancaster at War) Mar 22, 2014 @ 5:12

    Great stuff. Do you have any suggestions for how those of us who do local history research can serve as a resource to teachers in the high school classroom?

    Your student’s remark reminds me of what I took away from the recent movie Nebraska. Like your student’s comment, I found the movie be a poignant expression of how a connection to the past can help redeem relationships with people and places that might otherwise tend not to be enjoyable.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 22, 2014 @ 5:17

      It’s a great question, but I don’t have any answers. Seems to me that the teacher needs to take the initiative to make the contacts or inform students of who they might be able to utilize in their local communities. In addition to local libraries, I encouraged all of my students to utilize the resources at local historical societies. A few did and they all said that the volunteers were incredibly helpful and encouraging.

  • Chris Young Mar 22, 2014 @ 4:10


    Thanks for sharing! Oh, and thank you for assigning a project that obviously is connecting students with the history of their communities. I agree – Mission Accomplished!


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