George Paul Harrison, Sr
George Paul Harrison, Sr., a
brigadier general of Georgia state troops, was born on October 19, 1813, in
Effingham County, Georgia, the son of Colonel William Harrison and his wife,
Mary Keller. Colonel Harrison, who commanded a company of Georgians in the War
of 1812, was said to be related to President William Henry Harrison, though
histories of this distinguished Virginia family fail to disclose any
relationship. The young Harrison engaged in rice planting on his plantation,
Montieth, situated on the Savannah River on the border of Effingham and Chatham
counties. He represented Chatham County (Savannah) in the state house in 1842,
1849 to 1850, 1853 to 1854, 1857 to 1860, and 1865 to 1866. Prior to the war
Hanison had risen to the rank of brigadier general in the Georgia militia,
taking an active interest in state military affairs. An active Democrat, General
Hanison served as county delegate to the 1858 and 1860 state party conventions.
At the outbreak of the war Governor Joseph Brown of Georgia, a lifelong friend, appointed Harrison one of three brigadier generals of Georgia troops, the commission dated September 14, 1861. The governor ordered Harrison to establish a camp of instruction on the railroads near Savannah and organize incoming companies into regiments. Harrison spent the winter of 1861 training volunteers and guarding the Georgia coast. The camp, and Hanison's command, were dissolved in 1862. In 1864, under a new militia law, he was appointed colonel in charge of the First Military District; his duties included chasing down deserters and destroying whisky stills. During Sherman's March to the Sea in 1864 Hanison's "palatial home and extensive lands were pillaged.": While visiting Montieth in December, 1864, Hanison was taken prisoner by Union troops. Released from prison before the close of the war, he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the federal government.
After the war General Hanison removed to Savannah and again became active in public affairs. He was elected to the state legislature in 1865, served as a delegate to the state constitutional convention, was elected clerk of the City Court of Savannah and clerk of the Superior Court of Chatham County. Harrison, "earnest in purpose, courteous in demeanor,"' died of a heart attack on his farm near Savannah on May 14, 1888. He is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, Savannah. His son, George P. Hanison, Jr., was a Confederate colonel and U.S. congressman (see George Paul Hanison, Jr.).
Harrison's rank of general in Georgia's state army qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.
Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.