Harris, James H.

ACTION: New Market Heights (near Fort Harrison), VA.

DATE: 29 September 1864.

NAME: Harris, James H.

RANK/UNIT: Sergeant, Co. B, 38th U.S. Colored Troops.

CITATION: "Gallantry in the assault."

MEDAL PRESENTED: 18 February 1874.

BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Born: St. Mary's County, MD. 1828. Died: Washington, D.C., 28 January 1898.

ENTERED SERVICE: 14 February 1864, Great Mills (St. Mary's County), MD.


OTHER: Sgt. Harris spent nine months in the hospital after being wounded at New Market Heights. He was mustered out of service on January 25, 1867 at Indianola, TX. Although no reason is given in his records, he left the army as a private. Harris was a farmer before he joined the U.S. Army and spent his later years as a carpenter in Washington D.C., receiving an army pension of $12.00 a month at the time of his death. He is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA (Section 27, Grave 985-H).

Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1978, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979 p. 109
Raymond L. Collins, Medal of Honor Historical Society. (Mr. Collins obtained Harris' service and pension records from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.).
Davis, William C., Death in the Trenches: Grant at Petersburg. Alexandria, VA Time-Life books, 1986. p. 124.


An order from Gen. Benjamin Butler, dated 11 October 1864, had this to say:

Sergeant Harris, Company B, Thirty-eighth U.S. Colored Troops, has a medal for gallant conduct in the assault of the 29th instant.

Official Records, #89, p169

James Harris in his Civil War uniform
Sergeant James H. Harris, 38th USCT, Co. B

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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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