About Thomas Harrison
Thomas Harrison (May 1, 1823 - July 14, 1891) was a Confederate States Army brigadier general during the American Civil War. He had a law practice in Waco, Texas after moving to Texas in 1843. He was a Mexican-American War veteran and Texas state legislator before the war. After the war, he was a district judge at Waco and was a Democratic Party politician and Presidential elector.
Thomas Harrison was born on May 1, 1823 in Jefferson County, Alabama. He was raised in Monroe County, Mississippi. He was a brother of Confederate Brigadier General James E. Harrison. Thomas Harrison moved to Brazoria County, Texas in 1843 and studied law, establishing a law practice at Waco. He returned to Mississippi in order to become a member of the 1st Mississippi Rifles, commanded by future Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the Mexican-American War.
Harrison served a term in the Texas legislature from Harris County. He then settled in Waco, Texas. He was the captain of a volunteer militia company and served for a time in West Texas.
American Civil War
After service in West Texas, Harrison's militia company joined the 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment of the Confederate States Army, which was known as "Terry's Texas Rangers," after a measles epidemic caused a large reduction in the number of men in the regiment. Harrison began his service as captain and was promoted to major in early 1862. He fought with the regiment at the Battle of Shiloh, Siege of Corinth and Battle of Perryville. Harrison became colonel of the regiment on November 18, 1862, about six weeks before the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) and led the regiment at that battle. Harrison was wounded in the hip on January 1, 1863 at Stones River. He subsequently led the regiment during the Tullahoma Campaign.
Between July 1863 and April 26, 1865, Harrison commanded cavalry brigades in the divisions of Brigadier General John A. Wharton (including Major General William T. Martin's detachment), Brigadier General Frank Crawford Armstrong and Brigadier General William Y.C. Humes in Major General Joseph Wheeler's Cavalry Corps of the Army of Tennessee and the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. His regiment and brigade often were used as scouts.
Harrison fought under the command of Cavalry Corps commander Major General Joseph Wheeler at the Battle of Chickamauga and in the Knoxville Campaign, Atlanta campaign, Savannah Campaign (Sherman's March to the Sea) and the Carolinas Campaign.
Despite being in brigade command for a considerable period of time, Harrison was not appointed as a brigadier general until near the end of the war, February 18, 1865, to rank from January 14, 1865. His brigade was placed in Brigadier General Robert H. Anderson's division in Lieutenant General Wade Hampton's cavalry corps during the Carolinas Campaign. Harrison was wounded at the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads in North Carolina on March 10, 1865. He was paroled at Macon, Georgia on May 31, 1865 and pardoned on March 29, 1866.
Harrison returned to Waco after the end of the war. He was elected district judge. He became an anti-Reconstruction Democrat. He was a Democratic Party Presidential Elector in 1872.
Thomas Harrison died July 14, 1891 at Waco, Texas and is buried at Waco.
May 1, 1823 - July 13 or 14, 1891
Born in Ruhama, Jefferson County, AL on May 1, 1823. Raised in Monroe County, MS. Moved to Brazoria County, TX in 1843. Began studying law at his brother-in-law, William H. Jack's office in Brazoria County, TX. Returned to MS. Acted as lawyer and politician. Served Mexican-American War. Returned to TX and settled in Houston. Represented Harris County, TX for one term in 1850 in the TX legislature. Moved to Marlin, TX in 1851. Moved to Waco, TX in 1855. Married Sarah Ellis McDonald in 1858. Served as a Captain of volunteer militia. Resided in Waco, McLennan County, TX in 1860.
Mustered into Company A at Houston, TX on September 25, 1861. Elected Captain. Promoted to Major at Regimental organization in October 1861. Commanded regiment as Major from January to February 1862, and May 1862. Briefly absent in May 1862 due to illness (apparently). Commanded regiment as Major again by September 1862. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on November 7, 1862. Promoted to Colonel on November 18, 1862. Horse shot beneath him near Nolensville, TN in Decmeber 1862. Received minor flesh hip wound at Murfreesboro, TN in December 1862. Commanded brigade as Colonel by December 1862. Promoted to Brigadier General in January 1865. Wounded at Johnsonville, NC (apparently) on March 10, 1865. Paroled at Macon, MS on May 31, 1865. Member of Terry Lodge, Regimental Masonic Chapter.
Elected district judge after the war, but removed by the military authorities a year later. Acted as trustee of Baylor University. Democratic Presidential Elector in 1872. Died at his home in Waco, TX on July 13 or 14, 1891. Buried at Waco, McLennan County, TX.