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Thomas Alexander Harris
Born Born 1826
Died Died April 9, 1895 (Aged 68 or 69)
Place of birth Warren County, Virginia
Place of death Pee Wee Valley, Kentucky
near Louisville, Kentucky
Buried at Louisville, Kentucky
Allegiance United States United States of America
Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch Flag of the United States Army (1775).gif United States Army
Missouri Missouri State Guard (Confederate)
Years of service 1848 (USA)
1861
Rank Union army 2nd lt rank insignia Second Lieutenant (USA)
35px Brigadier General (Missouri militia, CSA)
Battles/wars American Civil War
*First Battle of Lexington
Other work Confederate Congressman
Life insurance sales
Newspaperman
Assistant Secretary of State of Kentucky
Kentucky State Representative

Thomas Alexander Harris (1826 - April 9, 1895) was a United States Army officer at the end of the Mexican–American War and a Missouri State Guard (Confederate) brigadier general during the early months of the American Civil War (Civil War). He then became a prominent Confederate politician, serving in the First Confederate Congress from 1861 to 1864. Among other occupations, he was a Missouri State Representative before the Civil War and a Kentucky State Representative in 1885–1886.

Thomas A. Harris was born in Warren County, Virginia in 1826. His family moved to Missouri when Harris was a young boy. An orphan, he fought in the 1838 Mormon War at the age of 12. Harris attended the United States Military Academy in 1843–1845 but did not graduate. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 12th U.S. Infantry Regiment[1] in 1848 but peace was declared to end the Mexican-American War on the day he reported for duty. He participated in two filibustering expeditions in the early 1850s. He then returned to Hannibal, Missouri where he became attorney for a railroad, city attorney and a newspaper editor. He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1860 and became chairman of the military committee.

As a brigadier general in the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, he fought at the First Battle of Lexington, Missouri. Between late 1861 and 1864, he represented Missouri in the First Confederate Congress. He then smuggled equipment for the Confederate States Army from Europe through the Union blockade of the Confederacy.

After the Civil War, Harris worked for the Life Insurance Association of America in St. Louis, Missouri and opened an office in Texas in 1870. Then he worked for a New Orleans, Louisiana newspaper. After this, he moved to Kentucky, where his friendship with the governor gained him an appointment as assistant secretary of state. Harris won a seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives from Oldham County in 1885–1886.

Thomas Alexander Harris died on April 9, 1895 in Pee Wee Valley, Kentucky near Louisville, Kentucky. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.[2][3]

NotesEdit

  1. The current 12th Infantry Regiment (United States) traces its lineage to a Civil War regiment, not to this Mexican-American War regiment.
  2. Allardice, Bruce S. Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8262-1809-4. pp. 121–122.
  3. Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. pp. 282–283.

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