Henry Thomas Harrison (1832-1900)
Harrison, a shadowy figure who shows up from time
to time as a spy, usually working for Gen'l
Longstreet. He has a role to play in the Gettysburg
movie and appears to have preferred to keep his
personal life "personal." He was identified as
James Harrison (1834-1913), the actor, for a time
(see the entry in the Historical Times Illustrated
Encyclopedia of the Civil War, for example, but he
is more probably Henry Thomas HARRISON (ca.
1832-post 1900). Known simply as "Harrison," he was
an effective southern spy. He operated out of
Washington, DC, prior to Gettysburg and reported
back to Longstreet on 28 June 1863, bring the first
news of George G. Meade's relief of Joseph Hooker
as commander of the Army of the Potomac. He also
reported that Meade had crossed the Potomac River.
Longstreet passed the information along to Lee and
the stage was set for Gettysburg. Stewart Sifakis,
Who was who in the Civil War, notes that Harrison
was "positively identified" in the middle 1980s as
Henry Thomas Harrison, originally a Mississippi
scout serving with the CSArmy in northern Virginia
during the first year of the war. He became a
special agent in 1862 with Secy War James A. Seddon
and the following spring was serving with Ongstreet
in s.e. VA before going on his Washington "hunt."
In the fall, 1863, he appears to have been paid off
for his services because he was a security risk
(heavy drinking). However, when Longstreet was in
the west, he again sought out "Harrison" for more
work. Harrison was gone. He allegedly went to
Mexico to aid Maximilian and later disappeared in
the Montana Territory until 1900. Then he vanished
once more. There is an article in the Civil War
Times Illustrated that discusses the spy, February
1986 ("The spy Harrison")
Above information taken from Sifakis, Who was who.
If you have any information concerning ancestry of this HARRISON, please contact us!
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Last Updated: 28 January 1998
© 1998 Josephine Bass and Becky Bonner. All rights reserved.