Thomas L. Harrison | Battle Of Mobile Bay Hero
Obituary Notice for Thomas L. Harrison
At Mobile, Thomas L. Harrison, the hero on the confederate side in the Battle of Mobile Bay, died Friday night, aged fifty-one years. He graduated from Annapolis, and at the age of twenty years, he entered the confederate naval service. He was ordered to Mobile in 1862 and appointed executive office for the gunboat Morgan.
In the battle in the spring of 1865, when Farragut forced an entrance into Mobile Bay, the little vessel was soon driven under the shelter of the guns of Fort Morgan, the ram
Tennessee and the gunboat Selma having been captured and the gunboat Gaines burned.
The captain of the Morgan gave orders to abandon the ship and set her on fire. Lieutenant Harrison, however, reminding the crew that this was the only free vessel in the bay and would be of incalculable value to the confederacy if saved, asked the men to volunteer to run the boat up to Mobile. Every man stepped to the starboard. Thereupon Harrison requested the captain to step below. The captain declared the act one of mutiny, but Harrison said they would talk about that later. It was then night, and the Morgan, under full steam ran through the federal fleet, the vessels opening fire upon her on either side.
The Metocomet and the Lackawanna put out in pursuit, and a fighting race of twenty-three miles followed. At the upper forts the confederates, not trusting the signals from the advancing vessel, opened fire upon her and had the gates through the obstruction closed. Under the double fire the lieutenant put out a small boat, hailed the nearest fort and got his friends to turn the full force of their guns on the pursuing vessel, thus keeping them at bay. Before daylight the gate was lifted and the Morgan passed into Mobile River in safety. After the war Harrison engaged in business and later filled the post of United States Commissioner.
[Vernon Courier, Lamar County, AL – March 31, 1892]
Lieut Thomas Locke Harrison
Sep. 13, 1839
Mar. 18, 1892
Lieut Thomas Locke Harrison, Confederate States Navy, born Martinsburg, Virginia, September 13, 1839; original service in the United States Navy, as midshipman, from September 29, 1856; entered the Confederate States Navy as midshipman, August 12, 1861, at Richmond, Virginia; later promoted acting master and 2ndlieutenant, February 8, 1862; served on the Richmond station, 1861 – 1862; served as executive officer aboard the CSS Morgan, Mobile Squadron, 1862 – 1864; appointed 1st lieutenant, Provisional Navy, to rank from January 6, 1864; involved in the battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864; later served as executive officer aboard the steamer CSS Nashville, at Spanish River, Alabama, 1865; paroled at Nunna Hubba Bluff, Alabama, May 10, 1865; resided in Mobile, Alabama, after the war, and engaged in the rope and bagging business, under the firm name of Fosdick & Harrison; later became United States Commissioner; married Mary Waring of Mobile; died at Mobile, March 18, 1892.
Service on board CSS JAMESTOWN, RICHMOND, MORGAN, NASHVILLE
Name: Thomas Locke Harrison
Enlistment Date: 8 Dec 1861
Rank at enlistment: Midshipman
State Served: CN
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Commissioned an officer in .
Promoted to Full Acting Master on 24 Sep 1861.
Commissioned an officer in the Confederate States Navy on 12 Aug 1861.
Promoted to Full Lieutenant on 08 Feb 1862.
Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 25 Jun 1863.
Commissioned an officer in the Confederate States Prov Navy on 02 Jun 1864.
Sources: Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy 1861-1865
Officers of the Continental and U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, 1775-1900
Name: Thomas Locke Harrison
Rank Information: Acting Midshipman, Midshipman, Dismissed
Service Dates: 29 Sep 1856, 15 Jun 1860
Military Branch: US Navy Officers (1798-1900)