Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
Charles Harrison, the subject of this sketch was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, February 29, 1841. His parents were natives of Germany; his father died in Pennsylvania and his mother in Kentucky. He came to Missouri in 1859, and when the dark cloud of Civil War began to cast its baleful rays over the country in 1861, though but eighteen years of age, he enlisted in the cause of the Union, joining Company C, First Regiment Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Thomas C. Majors, July 8, 1861. The regiment was mustered into service on the 6th of the following August and at once boarded the steamer Hesperian, for St. Joseph, Missouri, thence by train to Hannibal, and, while en route were attacked by the rebel forces under General Clark, but with no effect. From Hannibal the regiment went to St. Louis, thence to Pilot Knob, where they were detailed to guard bridges. They were next sent to Springfield to oppose the forces under General Van Dorn, but on arrival found the enemy routed with considerable loss. Moving on to Warsaw they encountered the Confederates under General Rains, who had possession of the town, and in the engagement which ensued the rebels were defeated. The First Nebraska was’ next detailed to intercept recruits for the Confederates from northwest Missouri, and on the 18th of December, 1861, succeeded in capturing 1,300 new men on their way to join Price’s army, beside 1,000 stand of arms, 600 horses, rations, ammunition, etc. From Georgetown, the scene of this exploit, they joined the forces under General Grant and participated in the capture of Fort Donaldson. On the 7th of April, 1862, Mr. Harrison was wounded and laid in the hospital at Evansville, Indiana, for six weeks, when he was able to join his company at Jackson, Mississippi, but in remembrance of that wound, he still carries the ball, which at times causes him considerable pain. He participated in the battles of Jackson, Little Rock, Poplar Bluff, and Pine Bluff, after which he contracted a fever which laid him up in the hospital again, and on the 26th of December, the same year, he was discharged and sent home. In June, 1864, he again enlisted, this time in the Forty-third Missouri Volunteer Infantry, under Col. C. Harding, and was upon detail service as a scout until the close of the war. While still in this service, April 8, 1865, he was detailed to carry the mails between Independence and Pleasant Hill, this State. The reason for this was the fact that mails in transit between the above named points had been repeatedly robbed, and he was put on duty to see if the criminals could be discovered. In company with four comrades who occupied seats in the hack, he set out upon his journey, having as a passenger Ex-Governor Crawford, of Kansas. The stage was attacked by four bushwhackers whom they succeeded in putting to flight, leaving one of their number seriously wounded; but the fleeing ones returned to the attack further along on the same road with reinforcements and they were compelled to surrender, and were each robbed of their personal effects, money, clothing, etc. This was his last serVice during the war.
Mr. Harrison was united in marriage to Miss Eliza J. Walters, June 22, 1865. The issue of this union has been six children, names and births as follows: William H., born December 20, 1866; Lilly, born May 27, 1867; Anna, born July 7, 1870; Catharine, born April 1, 1872; Melvina, born May 18, 1876; and Stella May, born May 24, 188″. Mrs. Harrison is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Harrison has lived in Daviess county for thirteen years and in Jefferson township for three years.