Brigadier General Walter A. Harris

Walter Alexander Harris was the son of Nathaniel Edwin and Fannie Burke Harris. Nathaniel Edwin Harris was a Georgia State Senator from 1894-1895 and was elected Governor of the State of Georgia serving from 1915-1917. Walter A. Harris was born in Macon, Georgia on November 17, 1875. He graduated from Gresham High School in 1891 and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1895 with an A.B., B.I., and LL.D. degrees. Walter A. Harris was a member of the Kiwanis Club, Chi Phi, Phi Beta Kappa Fraternities. He was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1896. As a captain of the 3rd Georgia Infantry U.S.V., Walter A. Harris served during the Spanish American War in Cuba.

On January 9, 1901 Walter A. Harris married Emily Williamson of Macon. He served as a member of the Bibb County Board of Education from 1905-1912. In the Georgia National Guard, Walter A. Harris served in all grades, up to and including the rank of Major General. On the Mexican Border in 1916-1917 he commanded the Georgia Brigade. As Brigadier General Walter A. Harris commanded the 61st Infantry Brigade, 31st Division “Dixie Division” during the First World War.

General Harris was Chairman of the Georgia Division of the American Legion in 1919. He also served as one of the charter members of the national organization. He was commander of his home post, the Joseph N. Neel Jr., No. 3 of Macon from 1928-1929. He was President of the Macon Bar Association from 1925-1926 and was a member of the Georgia State, and American Bar Associations.

In 1933 General Walter A. Harris became convinced that the Indian Mounds East of Macon were of great historical value. After the McDougal Mound was removed for fill dirt, General Walter A.Harris, Dr. Charles C. Harrold, and Linton Solomon gained assistance from the Smithsonian Institution to preserve the mounds. The Smithsonian sent Dr. Arthur Kelly to organize and conduct archaeological excavations on the Macon Plateau. Today the site is preserved as a National Monument.

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