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Cdv of KIA (General) Colonel Charles G. Harker
Cdv of KIA (General) Colonel Charles G. Harker. In fine condition with wear as shown. "Morse's Gallery of the Cumberland" photographers b/m.

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Harker, Charles G., brigadier-general, was born in Swedesboro, N. J., Dec. 2, 1837, and was graduated at West Point in 1858. He was promoted 1st lieutenant in the 15th infantry, May 14, 1861, and captain, Oct. 24, became lieutenant-colonel of the 65th Ohio volunteers, and on Nov. 11, 1861, colonel. He served with his regiment at Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, took part in the siege of Corinth, and at Stone's river, Dec. 31, 1862-Jan. 3, 1863, where he commanded a brigade, he so distinguished himself that he was recommended by his superior officers for promotion to brigadier-general of volunteers. He did not receive his promotion, however, until he had still further distinguished himself at Chickamauga and Chattanooga, when he was given his commission, to date from Sept. 20, 1863. He commanded a brigade under Gen. Howard in the Georgia campaign, and at Rocky Face ridge in May, 1864, held the peak against determined efforts on the part of the Confederates to dislodge him. He was mortally wounded at Kennesaw mountain, Ga, June 27, 1864, while leading his brigade in a gallant charge, and died on the field of battle the same day.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 8


Benjamin F. Taylor (1822-1887) was a well-known literary editor, poet, and Civil War correspondent with the western Union Armies (New York Times, 25 Feb 1887). His published letters include Harker’s obituary (Taylor, Pictures of Life in Camp and Field, 3rd edition, 1888, p. 189). Text below from a newspaper clipping published in The Nashville Daily Union, 12 Jul 1864. The actual obituary is rendered in italics.

“Death of General Harker.

The following tribute to the gallant soldier is from the pen of B. F. Taylor, the happy letter writer, now in Washington. But there is one, away there in Georgia, of whom I think with an aching heart – Brigadier Gen. Charles S. Harker. So young – not twenty-nine, so courteous, so generous, so modest, so winning, so gallant, ‘with an eye that takes the breath’ – can it be the Rebel shot was ever moulded that could chill such vigorous life and still a heart so noble! I am sure the basest of them all would never have done it had they known him as I knew him. A Colonel, at first of the 65th Ohio, he was at Shiloh, at Corinth, at Stone River, at Chickamauga, at Mission and Rock Face Ridges, and a hero everywhere. I knew him well. With the frankness and simplicity of a boy, he united the dash of Marion and the wisdom of a veteran. I saw him earn his ‘stars’ at Mission Ridge, as he led his brigade like the tenth wave of the sea, right into the hell of splintery fire and shattered shell. I saw him the next morning, and nothing about himself – not a word – but everything about some valiant Lieutenant, some gallant fellow in the rank and file. I had to go elsewhere for the details of his own story. And he is dead! For them that have love him longest, God strengthen them. Young General, good night: Good night to thy form, but good morn to thy fame.

The special Washington correspondent of the New York Tribune, states that the President made out a Major General’s commission, for the departed hero, which he transmitted to his wife. We hope that the president thus appreciated the bravery of the hero; but we presume it was forwarded to his mother as he was an unmarried man.”

Submitted by: Barbara Hemmingsen