Since his death, the unfortunate Colonel Harris seems to be the center of several errors in the historical record. He is listed in some orders of battle as commanding the 2nd Georgia in September, 1862, but he'd already been given command of the 43rd Georgia months prior. Moreover, while he died of injuries during the Vicksburg campaign in May, 1863, his own grave marker states his death was on May 17, 1862.
James Alpheus Skidmore Harris in Southern VictoryEdit
James Harris (1828-after 1882) was the superintendent of a copper mine at Canton, Georgia when the War of Secession began in 1861. He joined the Confederate Army eventually rising through the ranks to the position of Brevet Colonel. He served under James Longstreet during the war where he commanded a regiment. After the War ended, Colonel Harris stayed on in the Confederate Army.
By 1881, Harris was now a proper Colonel and in command of a brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia guarding the Shenandoah Valley. When the Second Mexican War began later that year, his brigade was forced back by a numerical superior force of US troops. He withdrew south to Front Royal where he awaited the arrival of General in chief, Thomas Jackson.
Upon arrival, Jackson took full command. Harris didn't mind and worked with the General, who lead Harris' brigade to victory over the US forces. Although he was ecstatic at beating the Yankees, he was surprised by Jackson's vigorousness at pursuing their foe all the way to Harpers Ferry. Though tired, he none the less obeyed with great relish.
For the remainder of the war, Harris' brigade lay encamped just outside the town of Harpers Ferry, until he was transferred south of the Potomac to threaten Washington D.C., thus ending the war.