James Alpheus Skidmore Harris (August 28, 1828 - May 17, 1863) was superintendent of a copper mine at Canton, Georgia before the American Civil War. He was elected lieutenant and later lieutenant. colonel of the 2nd Georgia, and was made the first colonel of the new 43rd Georgia in March 1862. He died of a leg wound received while leading his troops, on the 17th May 1863 - during the Vicksburg Campaign.
Since his death, the unfortunate Colonel Harris seems to be the center of several errors in the historical record. He is listed in some orders of battle as commanding the 2nd Georgia in September 1862, but he'd already been given command of the 43rd Georgia months prior. Moreover, while he died of injuries during the Vicksburg campaign in May, 1863, his own grave marker states his death was on May 17, 1862.
James Alpheus Skidmore Harris in Southern Victory
James Harris was the superintendent of a copper mine at Canton, Georgia when the War of Secession began in 1861. He joined the Confederate Army eventually rising through the ranks to the position of Brevet Colonel. He served under James Longstreet during the war where he commanded a regiment. After the War ended, Colonel Harris stayed on in the Confederate Army.
By 1881, Harris was now a proper Colonel and in command of a brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia guarding the Shenandoah Valley. When the Second Mexican War began later that year, his brigade was forced back by a numerical superior force of US troops. He withdrew south to Front Royal where he awaited the arrival of General-in-Chief Thomas Jackson.
Upon arrival, Jackson took full command. Harris didn't mind and worked with the General, who lead Harris' brigade to victory over the US forces. Although he was ecstatic at beating the Yankees, he was surprised by Jackson's vigor at pursuing their foe all the way to Harpers Ferry. Though tired, he none the less obeyed with great relish.