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About Thomas Maley Harris
Thomas Maley Harris (1813–1906) was a physician and Union general during the Civil War. Harris served on the military commission which tried the Lincoln Conspirators.
Born and raised in Harrisville, Virginia (now part of West Virginia), Harris originally set out to be a teacher, but changed career paths to study medicine. He received his medical degree from Louisville Medical College in 1843 and returned to Virginia to practice medicine until 1861, when he closed his practice when the Civil War began.
During the war, Harris commanded the 10th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Shenandoah Valley, then a brigade and division during Philip Sheridan's Valley Campaigns of 1864. He was brevetted to brigadier general for service at the Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864.
He was transferred to the Army of the James and took command of a division of reinforcements from the Department of West Virginia attached to the XXIV Corps. He received a full promotion to brigadier general in March 1865 and a brevet promotion to major general for service at the battle of Fort Gregg on April 2, 1865. His troops were among those directly responsible for cutting off Robert E. Lee's line of retreat at Appomattox Courthouse. Following the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Harris served on the military commission which tried the Lincoln Conspirators.
After the war, Harris was elected to the West Virginia legislature and was appointed an adjunct general in the state militia and the U.S. pension agent for Wheeling, West Virginia. He resumed his medical practice until his retirement in 1885.