William Henry Harman

William Henry Harman was born at Waynesboro, Virginia, on February 17, 1828, the son of Lewis and Sally (Garber) Harman. At a young age he served as second lieutenant of the 1st Virginia Infantry during the Mexican War. Returning home at the end of that war, Harman studied law. He was elected commonwealth attorney of Augusta County in 1851, serving in that post until the start of the war.

A Staunton resident, Harman was appointed brigadier general of the 13th Brigade of the Virginia militia on April 10, 1861. He helped seize Harpers Ferry, Virginia, on April 18, and his 955-man brigade defended that strategic city for ten days. On April 28 the brigade was relieved by regular Confederate forces under then Colonel Stonewall Jackson. Commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 5th Virginia Infantry on May 7, 1861 (the colonel was Kenton Harper, major general of militia over him), Harman and the 5th fought in the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21,1861. Commissioned colonel of the 5th (part of the Stonewall Brigade) on September 11,1861, Harman led his regiment at the Battle of Kernstown in early 1862. During the April, 1862, reorganization of the army Harman failed to win reelection as colonel. Without a command, he briefly served as a volunteer aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Edward Johnson in Jackson's 1862 Valley campaign. On February 19, 1864, Harman was appointed assistant adjutant general of the PACS, a staff billet better suited to his feeble form than field duty. As colonel he led an improvised brigade of reservists at the June 5, 1864, Battle of Piedmont, where the Union army moving down the Shenandoah Valley crushed a scratch Confederate force of cavalry and reserves. Harman's "strict compliance with all orders" during that campaign earned praise from his superiors. Throughout 1864 and 1865 he led a regiment of reserves in the Shenandoah Valley. At the disastrous Confederate rout at the Battle of Waynesboro on May 2, 1865, Harman was killed while trying to rally his demoralized troops. He is buried in Thomrose Cemetery in Staunton, Virginia.

General Harman's command of a brigade of militia that served in a campaign qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.

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Reference:  More Generals in Gray.  Bruce S. Allardice.  A companion volume to Generals in Gray.  Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.