Charles Garrison Harker was born December 2nd 1835 in Swedesboro, New Jersey. As a young man, he worked in a store owned by United State Congressman Nathan T Stratton. Stratton worked to get Harker an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1858 and joined the 2nd United States Infantry on garrison duty at Governor’s Island in New York Harbor. He would go on to see service in the Oregon and Washington Territories.
When the Civil War started he assigned to train new recruits in Ohio. With a couple of promotion he was by October 24th 1861 the Captain of the 15th United State Regulars. He would then move onto the 65th Ohio Infantry and become their Colonel on November 11th 1861. Harker and the 65th would be in the Battles of Shiloh and Corinth. He would move up to command a brigade in the Army of the Ohio and the Army of the Cumberland. For his actions during the Battle of Chickamauga on Snodgrass House Hill, Harker received a promotion to Brigadier General on September 20th 1863.
As the Atlanta Campaign got rolling in 1864, Harker was commanding a brigade in Union Major General Oliver Otis Howard Corps. Union General William Tecumseh Sherman made an attempted to push Confederate troops out from behind their lines on Kennesaw Mountain. During the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain while leading his men on June 27th 1864, Harker was shot off his horse, receiving a mortal wound. He died the same day. Harker is buried in the Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery in Swedesboro, New Jersey.