Choosing the profession of the law, he settled in New York City and became associated with his brother, Clarkson Nott Potter, who was afterward so long a member of Congress from Westchester, and was engaged essentially in chamber practice.
Soon after his marriage to Frances Payne Tileston, a daughter of William M. Tileston, of New York, who died the year following, leaving one daughter, who in later years married James Lawrence Breese, of New York.
After the death of his wife he travelled in Europe, returning to find the county agitated by threat of rebellion from the Southern States, which shortly culminated in civil war. To prepare himself for war he spared no pains of study or fatigue.
On his return from the war, 1865, he married Abby Austin Stevens, the daughter of John A. Stevens. He was then commissioned as full major-general of the United States Volunteers.
On his appointment, in 1865, to command of Connecticut and Rhode Island, of the Military department of the East, he made his headquarters and family residence at Newport.
General Robert B. Potter's Obituary From the New York Times published February 20, 1887
48th/150th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
Robert Brown Potter (1829–1887) was a United States lawyer and a General in the American Civil War.
His father was Alonzo Potter (1800-1865), American bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Pennsylvania. Potter served as an attorney in New York City prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Potter was commissioned as a major and then promoted to lieutenant colonel during the early days of the war. He commanded the 51st New York Volunteers at Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run and Antietam. He was wounded at Antietam and at Petersburg, was commissioned a Major General of volunteers in September 1865, and was mustered out in 1866.
Potter Family History