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Major Harrison Soule, U.S.V.


Major Harrison Soule is a lineal descendant of George Soule, one of the " Mayflower" Puritans. He was born in Murray, Orleans County, New York, August, 1832. His parents moved to Marengo, Calhoun County, Michigan, in 1836. Here he worked on his father's farm in the summer, attending the district school in the winter till his seventeenth year. He was then a student in Albion College three years, and one year in the Mercantile College, Detroit, from which he graduated in 1852. He was then employed as book-keeper and general accountant in a large manufacturing establishment in Detroit.

In 1855 he married Miss Mary E. Parker, by whom he has two daughters,-Mary Eva, now Mrs. L. L. Clark, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Annah May, teacher in the State Normal School, Ypsilanti, Michigan.

On the breaking out of the Civil War he was in mercantile business at Albion, Michigan. Prompted by patriotism, he was one of the first to enlist in response to the President's call for volunteers. He was ordered into camp at Fort Wayne, Detroit, for military instruction and discipline under that gallant old soldier General A. S. Williams. Evincing an aptitude for military tactics, he was commissioned captain and ordered to raise a new company of volunteers. This was quickly done, and they were mustered in as Company I of the Sixth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, afterwards transferred to the Heavy Artillery Department.

With his regiment he was ordered to Baltimore, Maryland, soon after the mob fired upon the Union soldiers while passing through that city. Here Captain Soule was daily on patrol duty or drilling his company until February, 1862, His regiment was then ordered to Newport News, Virginia, but soon after embarked on the steamship " Constitution" to join General B. F. Butler's army of the Gulf Department. After a few weeks on Ship Island they were taken on the ship " Great Republic" for the capture of Forts Jackson and St. Philip.

He was next transferred, with his company, to the gunboat " Wissahickon," and was with the fleet at the surrender and occupation of New Orleans.

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Major Soule next went with the fleet, under Commodore Farragut, on the first expedition for the capture of Vicksburg, led by General Thomas Williams. In short, he participated in all the campaigns of the Gulf Department, the history of which is the record of Major Soule. Severely wounded at Baton Rouge, he was sent North for medical treatment. In three months, when but partially recovered, he reported for duty to his regiment, and, with his arm in a sling, engaged in the siege of Port Hudson.

Major Soule was not off duty a day during the war except for wounds received in battle, and was honored in general orders for gallant service in severe engagements during over four years of active service.

Major Soule holds two commissions as major of his regiment.

He declined the first, preferring to be on active duty with his heroic company than a major of the regiment without command. On receiving the second commission a year afterwards, he assumed immediate command of the regiment, as its only superior officer was detailed on other duty. He then fitted out the serviceable arm and batteries with siege-guns and mortars for the investment of Mobile, doing active service to the end of the campaign.

July 9, 1865, he took the regiment to New Orleans, under orders, and received a new outfit and armament of light siege-guns, and was transferred to General Sherman for a campaign to the Texas frontier, in view of Maximilian's occupation of Mexico; but before any movement of troops was made affairs there so changed that he was ordered to turn over all government stores, to muster out under special orders, and to take his regiment to Michigan to be discharged and paid off, which was done September 5, 1865.

On returning to civil life, Major Soule was made passenger agent of the Michigan Central Railroad. For the pact ten years he has been treasurer of the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and a companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Commandery of Michigan.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.


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