Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Alexander Harris (1893-1919)

Image Courtesy Carolina Caswell
Alexander Harris was born September 25, 1893, in Caswell County, North Carolina, a son of Haywood Harris and Chlora Griggs Harris. On April 10, 1912, he married Annie Belle Wilson (1893-1956). The couple had at least two children: Pharlina Harris (1912-2003) and Daisy Harris (1915-1983).

According to his World War I draft registration card, Alexander Harris (who went by Alex) had brown eyes, black hair, was of medium height, and stoutly built. He was not bald and reported no disability. He registered on June 5, 1917, in Caswell County, North Carolina when twenty-four years old. At the time of his registration, Alex was working in Blanche, Caswell County, North Carolina as a railroad laborer, employed by the Southern Railway Company. He was a single African-American male, who apparently could not write (as he signed the registration form with his mark).

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On July 31, 1918, he was inducted into the United States Army at Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina. Alex was assigned to Company C, 344th Labor Battalion and shipped overseas. Which country is not known, but probably England or France. Private Alexander Harris died overseas on January 11, 1919. The cause of death was pneumonia.

Whether his body was returned to the United States is not known. However, there is a grave marker at the Ebeneezer Missionary Baptist Church in Caswell County, North Carolina. This may be a cenotaph, which memorializes the person when the body is elsewhere.


The youngest child, Pharlina Harris (1912-2003), married Eddie William Slade September 22, 1945, in Caswell County, North Carolina. One child is known: Eddie William Slade, Jr., born September 23, 1950, in Dan River Township, Caswell County, North Carolina.

The second known child is another daughter, Daisy Harris (1915-1983). She married Ellis Stamps August 26, 1941, in Caswell County, North Carolina; and one child is possible: Shelia Ann Stamps.

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