Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Farmer Statesman

Union General Andrew Lintner Harris the last Civil War General to serve as a United States Governor, was born November 17th 1835.

Andrew Lintner Harris was born November 17th 1835 in Milford, Butler, Ohio. He was the son of Benjamin and Nancy [Lintner] Harris. He attended local schools and graduated from Miami University in 1860. He returned home to farm and read for the bar at the law firm of Thompson and Harris in Eaton Ohio.

When the Civil War began Harris enlisted in the Union Army as a private. He rose in rank quickly and was soon the Colonel of the 75th Ohio Infantry. Harris had command of a brigade at Gettysburg, and defended Cemetery Hill on the evening of July 2nd 1863 against the famed Louisiana Tigers. He would see action in eighteen major battles, and was wounded several times. Harris was mustered out of service January 15th 1865. He received a brevet to Brigadier General for “gallant and meritorious” service in 1866.

Following the war Harris took up the practice of law. He served in the Ohio State Senate, and as the Preble County Ohio Probate Judge from 1875 to 1882. In 1889 he was a trustee of the Ohio Soldiers’ Sailors’ and Orphans’ Home. Harris was the 23rd and the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. He was a Republican, and active in the temperance movement. He served the State of Ohio as Governor, after the death of Governor John M Pattison on June 18th 1906. Harris was nominated again in 1909, but lost to Warren G Harding. He was the last civil war veteran to serve as a Governor. Harris, often called the “Farmer Statesman” died on his farm of heart problems September 13th 1915.

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