Thomas Maley Harris

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Thomas Maley Harris
Thomas Maley Harris, 10th West Virginia.jpg
Gen. Thomas Maley Harris, M.D.
Born(1817-06-17)June 17, 1817
Harrisville, Virginia
(now West Virginia)
DiedSeptember 30, 1906(1906-09-30) (aged 89)
Harrisville, West Virginia
Harrisville I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Harrisville, West Virginia
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861 - 1866
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Brevet Major General
Commands held10th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Department of West Virginia (Division)
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
Other workPhysician, state legislator, author
Lincoln Conspirators' Trial and Execution

Thomas Maley Harris (1817–1906) was an American physician and officer. He served as a Union general during the American Civil War.

Born and raised in Harrisville, Virginia (now part of West Virginia), Harris originally set out to be a teacher, but changed career paths to study medicine. He received his medical degree from Louisville Medical College in 1843 and returned to Virginia to practice medicine until 1861, when he closed his practice when the Civil War began.[1]


During the war, Harris commanded the 10th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Shenandoah Valley, then a brigade and division during Philip Sheridan's Valley Campaigns of 1864.[2] He was brevetted to brigadier general for service at the Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864.[3]

He was transferred to the Army of the James and took command of a division of reinforcements from the Department of West Virginia attached to the XXIV Corps. He received a full promotion to brigadier general in March 1865 and a brevet promotion to major general for service at the battle of Fort Gregg on April 2, 1865.[3] His troops were among those directly responsible for cutting off Robert E. Lee's line of retreat at Appomattox Courthouse.[2] Following the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Harris served on the military commission which tried the Lincoln Conspirators.[3] Following the trial general Harris authored two books about the trial evidences and proceedings: Assassination of Lincoln: A History of the Great Conspiracy, Trial of the Conspirators by a Military Commission, and a Review of the Trial of John H. Surratt, 1892; and later: Rome's Responsibility for the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, 1897.

After the war, Harris served in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1867. He was a member of the Whig Party and then joined the Republican Party when the Civil War started in 1861. Harris also served as mayor of Harrisville, West Virginia. He served as an adjunct general in the state militia, from 1867 to 1869, and as the U.S. pension agent for Wheeling, West Virginia from 1871 to 1876. He resumed his medical practice until his retirement in 1885.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b West Virginia Medical Journal, Volume 1. West Virginia State Medical Association. 1907. p. 237.
  2. ^ a b General Thomas Maley Harris
  3. ^ a b c Eicher p.283
  4. ^ West Virginia Encyclopedia-Thomas Maley Harris

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