Harrison W. Spears

Harrison W. Spears was Richard White's father's father's mother's brother

Harrison W. Spears was enrolled in the 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Company K, as a private on 4 October 1861 The 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment was reorganized on 7 May 1862 and Company K was redesignated as Company C.  There are a number of records of him performing "extra duty" as a teamster, and one original document (which appears below) shows that he operated as a teamster between Savannah, Georgia, and Wilmington, North Carolina, for six days in February 1863.  This document is a receipt for commutation of rations which bears his signature.  There are also a number of typed transcriptions of rolls which he signed to obtain $0.25 per day, probably for purchasing his own rations while he was serving as a teamster.

Harrison W. Spears died of measles and diarrhea at Thomasville, Georgia, on 10 February 1864.  His grave at the Old Thomasville Cemetery in Thomasville, Thomas County, Georgia, is near the northwest corner of the cemetery.

Though I do not know it for a fact, and it is not even exactly clear what his name was, it appears that his name was derived from that of President William Henry Harrison.  He may have changed it about a bit to obscure that connection.  Since Harrison's claim to fame was as an Indian fighter and having "killed Tecumseh"... this circumstance at first did not seem favorable to my working hypothesis that the Spears were of Native American descent.  However, if I have correctly parted the clouds of mist and legend (which is no sure thing at all), it appears that his great great grandfather may have been Hopoie Mico aka "Big Warrior", a Creek chief (who was part Piankashaw... Miami... in ancestry) who remained loyal to the U.S. government when Tecumseh came South in 1811 to rouse the Creeks to join his "Red Stick" uprising.  The Creeks were already restive because Hopoie Mico, as principal Creek chief, had undertaken to enforce provisions of the Treaty of New York (1790) which required that the Creeks leaders apprehend Creeks who commited crimes against whites, and turn them over to the government.  In the uprising the Red Sticks attacked Hopoie Mico's town (presumably Ocheopofau "the Hickory Ground," now an endangered archeological site in Elmore County, Alabama, where he had moved upon becoming principal chief a few days after the Treaty of Ft. Wilkinson in 1802).  Hopoie Mico remained on the side of the U.S. government throughout the Creek War and may have been among of the Creeks who fought with General Andrew Jackson against the "Red Stick" Creeks in his decisive victory against them at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.  I have not yet discovered any names of those Creeks, but besides Hopoie Mico was more of a title than a name, and it may have changed even as far back as 1802.  Hopoie Mico died in Washington, DC, in 1824, but the "history" between Hopoie Mico and Tecumseh may well have been sufficient to motivate a great grandson to name one of his own sons after "the man who killed Tecumseh" who happened to run for and attain the office of President of the United States in 1840, which would have been about the time that son, Harrison W. (or W.H.) Spears, was born.  Or the name could be complete coincidence... and Harrison W. Spears might just be one of the countless Americans who have been named after a president.

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This page was created by Richard White on 19 December 2000.
Changes to this page were last made by Richard White on  28 January 2001.