James Findlay Harrison

James Findlay Harrison
Virginia Union University
Image by jajacks62
11th OH. Infantry
Linn County Republic, Friday, Feb.22, 1907
Died: Feb. 14, 1907

FEB. 14, 1907
A Valiant Soldier a Faithful Father
and an Honored Citizen
Laid to Rest.

Col. James F. Harrison, formerly County Surveyor, and an old time citizen of Mound City, Linn County, Kansas born March 9th, 1825 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was the son of William Henry Harrison, a native of Vincennes, Indiana. His father, born Sept. 26, 1802, was the son of General William Henry Harrison, the paternal grandfather of our subject being the hero of Tippecanoe, and later President of the United States. The father, educated in Transylvania University, in Kentucky, was admitted to the Bar in Ohio in 1823. The mother, Jane Findlay Irwin, was the daughter of Archibald Irwin a prosperous farmer near Mercersburgh, Pennsylvania. On the Harrison side the family dates back to Thomas Harrison, a Major General of the Parliamentary army, and once Colonel of the Old Ironsides Regiment of Cromwell. He was one of the Judges who tried King Charles, and was the one who, by orders of Cromwell dissolved the long Parliament and arrested the Speaker. He was hung, drawn and quartered May 10th, 1660. His son, Benjamin Harrison, who emigrated to America on account of political differences with his father located in the Old Dominion, and became Clerk of the Council of Virginia. He died in the year of 1649, and left a son Benjamin; that latter was born September, 20th, 1645 in Southwork, Parish, Surrey county, Virginia, and died January 1713. His son Benjamin, born in Berkley, Virginia, and later Attorney General and Treasurer of the state, was also Speaker of the House of Burgesses, and died April 10th, 1710, aged thirty seven years.
Benjamin Harrison, also born in Berkley, and a son of the last named Sheriff of Charles City county, and in 1728 a member of the house of Burgesses died in 1774. His son Benjamin, likewise of Berkley, was a member of the House of Burgesses from1750 to 1775, and was a member of the first Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was three times Governor of Virginia and carried the popular vote of his state. His third son, William Henry Harrison, born in Berkeley, Feb. 9, 1775, afterwards became the famous General and later President of the United States. He served as Aide de Camp under Anthony Wayne and was Secretary of the North-west Territory. He was a delegate to Congress from that territory, and a brave soldier he fought at the battle of Tippecanoe Nov. 7, 1811. He was engaged at Ft. Meigs—and participated in the battle of the Thames Oct. 6, 1812. He was United States Senator from Ohio, and was Minister to Columbia. President of the United States, he expired while in office April 4, 1841.
His second son, William Henry Harrison became the father of our subject. Upon the maternal side, the family dates back to Archibald Irwin, who settled in Pennsylvania before the Revolutionary war. He was a cadet of the House of Irwin, of Bonshaw, Scotland. His son Archibald married Mary Ramsay, whose father was a younger member of the Dalhousie family of Scotland. Their daughter was Jane Findlay Irwin the mother of Col. James F. Harrison.
The parents after their marriage settled in Cincinnati, Ohio where the father practiced law, and later died in his fathers house at North Bend. The father and mother were blessed with two children, James F. and William Henry. The later, born May 5th, 1828 died in Mexico in April 1849.
Our subject who was educated in Cincinnati College, entered West Point Military Academy in 1841 and graduated in 1845. General Fitz John Porter was in the same class. Colonel Harrison later resigned from the Academy, but when the war broke out with Mexico, volunteered in the First Ohio Infantry. He was Adjutant of the same when only twenty one years of age, and served with distinction under Colonel Alexander M. Mitchell. Our subject remained with his regiment, actually engaged all through the war, he was under the command of General Taylor until discharged in June 1847, and participated in numerous hot skirmishes with the Mexican Cavalry.
Our subject became an inmate of the White House at Washington D. C., during the incumbency of President W. H. Harrison and was at his bedside when that veteran soldier and statesman entered into rest, mourned by all loyal citizens as a national loss. This was prior to his going to West Point. After his return from the Mexican war, Colonel Harrison entered into the study of law, and later admitted to the Bar of Indiana, practiced there for a few years. He resided in Dayton, Ohio from 1854 until 1864, and enlisted in the three months service in the Civil war being Colonel of the 11th Ohio Infantry. During the Chickamauga Campaign he was Aide de Camp and Chief of Staff to General W. H. Lytle, and was covered by the life blood of the General when he was killed in September 1863. The friendship between our subject and the General was very strong; their fathers also had been friends, tried and true, as has likewise been their grandfathers. For a short time Colonel Harrison served on the staff of General P. H. Sheridan, but after the sad demise of General Lytle, resigned from the army.
During the last call of President Lincoln, our subject re-enlisted as a private in the First Ohio Cavalry, and was transferred as Lieutenant to the One hundred and eighty-fifth Ohio Infantry. Later, as captain of the One hundred and eighty-seventh Ohio he went to Georgia and remained until the close of the war. During the Squirrel Hunter Campaign in Ohio, our subject was the recipient of the following order September 12, 1862: “Colonel Harrison, First Regiment State Militia, has been placed in charge of the defense of the Ohio River west of Cincinnati to the Indiana line. He will be obeyed and respected accordingly. By the order of Major General Lew Wallace and Major M. McDowell, A. D. C.
Our subject served through the campaign and was discharged by order of David Tod, Governor of Ohio. Col. Harrison raised a company in Dayton, Ohio in a half hour and was placed in command of a regiment. The same day he was given charge of a brigade, being then engaged two weeks in the service of the government. In 1866 Colonel Harrison settled in Linn county, where for many years he was county surveyor and one of the most popular men of his locality.
In the year 1848 James F. Harrison and Miss Caroline M. Alston of South Carolina were united in marriage. This estimable lady died in the spring of 1863, and the three children of the union are now deceased. Our subject again wedded in December, 1864 to Miss Alice Kennedy, a native of Mississippi and a daughter of John Kennedy formerly of Belfast, Ireland, but originally a Scotch merchant, removing to Belfast in mature life. Unto this second union were born six children, five of whom are now living: John Rudolph, James Findley, Jr., and Archie Irvin. Col. Harrison was a member of the Episcopal church, fraternally associated with Montgomery Post No. 38, G. A. R. of Mound City which had charge of the burial services at Mound City where he was laid to rest; he was likewise a member of the Veterans Association of the Mexican War.
Politically, our subject was a Douglas Democrat and had been a slave holder, but the first shot fired at Sumpter changed him, and killed his democracy for all time to come. The relationship between Col. Harrison and Ex-President Benj. Harrison was that of cousins, theirs being relationship on both the fathers and mothers side. The descendent of honored ancestry and himself personally faithful to all his obligations as a man and citizen, Colonel Harrison won a high place in the regard of a wide acquaintance and throughout Linn county, was esteemed as a man of fine attainments, superior ability and sterling integrity of character.
He passed away peacefully at 10 a. m., February 14 surrounded by his entire family, the funeral service taking place at his residence at 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon, interred under the auspices of the G. A. R., and laid to rest in the Mound City cemetery, the Rev. E. N. Gause preaching the funeral sermon.
The pall-bearers were: Major E. M. Adams, Captain O. E. Morse, S. Dillon Moore, J. H. Maden, H. H. Woy and J. J. Hawkins; all being members of Montgomery Post No. 38, G. A. R. Pleasanton and LaCygne G. A. R. Posts were there and a large number of friends and relatives.

We desire to extend our sincere thanks to our many friends and Montgomery Post No. 38, G. A. R. for their sympathy and kindness through the illness and death of our beloved husband and father James Findley Harrison.