Ceremony on Oct. 29 at Mount Albion will recognize Medal of Honor winner from 1869

Photos courtesy of Tim Archer: Charles D. Harris received a new headstone in the summer at Mount Albion Cemetery that notes he is a Medal of Honor recipient.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 October 2019 at 11:58 am

The original gravestone for Harris did not include a notation that he was a Medal of Honor recipient.

ALBION – Albion students are organizing a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 29 to recognize a Medal of Honor winner from 1869.

Charles D. Harris received a new headstone in the summer at Mount Albion Cemetery, following the efforts of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the Medal of Honor Historical Society.

The ceremony to recognize Harris and the new marker will be the west side of the cemetery on Route 31.

Harris, who fought in the Civil War, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Apache Wars in 1869. Orleans County Historian Matthew Ballard wrote about Harris on June 22 for the weekly “Overlooked Orleans” column. Click here to read the article.

On September 23, 1869, Harris was present at Red Creek, Arizona, with Company D of the 8th U.S. Cavalry, Ballard wrote. On that date, the 8th Cavalry engaged a group of Apache Indians during the Apache Wars, which resulted in three men receiving the Medal of Honor.

John Walker, George Ferrari, and Harris all received the medal for “Gallantry in Action,” but Ballard said the specifics of the engagement and the actions that warranted the awarding of the medal remain shrouded in mystery. After the war, Harris returned to Albion and lived a quiet life until his passing on September 6, 1895.

Harris had a military gravestone at Mount Albion, but it didn’t note that he was a Medal of Honor winner. The new flat stone includes an inscription that calls attention to the award. The stone was set in place by employees at Mount Albion Cemetery.

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