George Paul Harrison, Jr.,
George Paul Harrison, Jr., was
born on March 19, 1841, at Montieth plantation near Savannah, Georgia. His
father, George Paul Harrison, Sr., was a rich planter and state legislator (See
George Paul Harrison, Sr.); his mother was Thurza Adelaide Guinn.
The younger Harrison was a student at Georgia Military Institute when the secession crisis arose. He left school in January, 1861, to participate in the seizing of Fon: Pulaski and later that month became a lieutenant of the 1st Georgia Regulars. Returning to Georgia Military Institute, Harrison graduated at the head of his class that May, and briefly served as his alma mater's commandant (at age twenty). He then rejoined the 1st Georgia, now stationed in Virginia, and served as that regiment's adjutant. In April, 1862, he was elected colonel of the 5th Georgia State Troops, a six-month regiment. On May 15, 1862, he was elected colonel of the 32nd Georgia Infantry. For the next two years the 32nd was stationed at Charleston, South Carolina. At times Harrison commanded Fort Johnson, Morris Island, and John's Island. During the July 18, 1863, Union assault on Fort Wagner (shown in the movie Glory), the 32nd reinforced Wagner's garrison near the end of the battle and aided in the disastrous Union defeat. While on John's Island Harrison was wounded twice in skirmishes. At the Battle of Olustee in 1864 the "brave and daring" Harrison commanded a brigade and was again wounded, receiving a citation for his gallantry. In late 1864 he was put in command of the post of Florence, South Carolina, and the prison there. His humane treatment of prisoners won praise from the Union troops imprisoned there. In 1865 he led a mixed brigade of Georgia infantry and reserves in the Carolinas campaign and at the Battle of Bentonville. Harrison surrendered at Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865.
After the war Hanison settled in Alabama, where he had a distinguished career as a lawyer and politician. Harrison served as commandant of cadets at Auburn University, then worked as a lawyer and planter. Removing to Opelika, he served as state senator from 1878 to 1884 (being president of the senate the last two years) and as U.S. congressman from 1894 to 1896. After 1896 he returned to the practice of law, serving as counsel for two railroad companies, and was again elected to the state senate in 1900 and 1902. Hanison was also major general of the Alabama Division of the United Confederate Veterans. General Hanison died on July 17, 1922, at Opelika and is buried in Rosemere Cemetery.
Harrison is listed as a general in CMH, Wright, Heitman, Wood, SHSP, and CV. Wright has him assigned to duty by General E. Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi, perhaps confusing him with another Harrison (there were many). CMH cites a winter, 1864, promotion, while Henderson's Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865 cites a February, 1865, promotion. Harrison uniformly signed himself and was addressed as "colonel, commanding brigade" in the OR as late as April 19, 1865. He is perhaps confused with his father, who briefly led a brigade of state troops.
Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.