A Civil War Biography

Charles Garrison Harker

Harker was born 2 December 1835 in Swedesboro, New Jersey. He worked as a retail clerk for 1st district New Jersey Congressman Nathan T. Stratton who obtained an appointment for Harker to West Point. Harker graduated 16th from the class of 1858. He was appointed a 2nd lieutenant in the 9th US infantry on 15 August 1858 at saw service at Governor's Island, New York and on the frontier in the Oregon and Washington territories.

Soon after the war erupted Harker, on 14 May 1861, was promoted to 1st lieutenant in the 15th US infantry and assigned to help train Ohio volunteers. He was promoted to captain in the regular army on 24 October. On 11 November he was named colonel of the 65th Ohio Volunteer regiment. The 65th was assigned to Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio and saw its first action at Shiloh. Harker commanded the 20th brigade in the 6th division of the II Corps at Perryville. He commanded the 3rd brigade in the XIV Corps' 1st division at Stone's River. At Chickamauga, in command of the 3rd brigade in the 1st division of the XXI Corps, he held firm on Snodgrass House hill helping prevent a Union disaster. For his stand he was recommended for promotion to brigadier general. He saw action at Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge then was part of the expedition to relieve Ambrose E. Burnside at Knoxville, Tennessee. Harker was promoted to brigadier general on 10 April 1864 to rank from 20 September 1863, the date he distinguished himself at Chickamauga. He was in command of the 3rd brigade in the IV Corps' 2nd division during the early stages of the Atlanta campaign. He was shot and mortally wounded while leading a charge at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia on 27 June 1864.

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