The Full Wiki

Henry Thomas Harrison: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Thomas Harrison

Henry Thomas Harrison (1832 – October 28, 1923), known to most simply as "Harrison", was a spy for Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet during the American Civil War. He is most well known for the information he gave Longstreet and Gen. Robert E. Lee in the Gettysburg Campaign, which as a result, convinced Lee to converge on Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, thus causing the Battle of Gettysburg.

Contents

Early life and early Confederate States Army service

Harrison was born in Nashville, Tennessee. At age 29, at the start of the Civil War in spring 1861, Harrison joined the Mississippi State Militia as a private.

Career as a Confederate spy

In November 1861, Harrison was discharged from the Militia and eventually became a spy for CSA Secretary of War, James Seddon. In April 1863, Harrison met James Longstreet during the Battle of Suffolk. From that point on, Harrison provided information for Longstreet, which usually proved to be reliable. Also, to maintain the loyalty of his prized spy, Longstreet frequently paid Harrison in U.S. gold coins and/or greenbacks.

On the night of June 28, 1863, Harrison came to General Robert E. Lee with information about the Union positions. Lee had never heard of Harrison before, yet he came compliments of Longstreet, who had known Harrison since the beginning of that year. In addition, Longstreet's chief of staff, Moxley Sorrel, said that Harrison "always brought true information." In the end, Harrison's information was plausible enough for Lee to halt his entire army. Harrison reported that the Union had left Frederick, Maryland, and was moving northward, which was true. As a result of Harrison's information, Lee told all of his troops to converge on a small Pennsylvania town, Gettysburg, effectively selecting the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. Lee even said after hearing the news from Harrison, "A battle thus became, in a measure, unavoidable."

After Gettysburg, Harrison operated mostly in the North, gathering intelligence while living in New York with his newly wed wife, Laura Broders, yet none of his future intelligence ever matched the importance of his discovery in the days before the Battle of Gettysburg.

Postbellum

After the war, Harrison took his wife and daughter to Mexico. But in 1866, facing marital difficulties, Harrison left Mexico to prospect for gold near in Montana. From 1867 through 1892, Harrison's whereabouts remained unknown. Laura Broders assumed that he was dead and later remarried. In 1893, Harrison moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1901, Harrison got a job in Cincinnati as a detective for the Municipal Reform League. In 1912, he moved to Covington, Kentucky and applied for a Confederate pension. On October 28, 1923, Harrison died in Covington at the age of 91. He is buried at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

References

  • Hall, James O. "A Modern Hunt for Fabled Agent: The Spy Harrison." Civil War Times Illustrated. Vol. 24, No. 10 (1986): 18-25.
  • Henry Thomas Harrison
  • Flagel, Thomas R., and Allers Jr., Ken, The History Buff's Guide to Gettysburg, Cumberland House Publishing Inc., 2006, ISBN 1581825091.
  • Shaara, Michael, The Killer Angels, The Random House Publishing Group, 1974, ISBN 1586635247.
Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message