Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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HARRIS, TEMPLE OVERTON -- Born in Hanover County, Virginia, a son of William O. Harris and his first wife Eliza Brooke Gwathmey Harris, whose children in order of birth were Ellen Brooke, born in 1811; William O., Jr., Born in 1812; Temple Overton, born April 13, 1814; and George Harris, who died young. William O. Harris, Jr. moved to Davidson County, Tennessee in 1830 and in 1832 sent for his brother Temple.

In the Spanish Archives in the General Land Office, Austin, it is shown that Mr. Temple Harris arrived in Texas January 1, 1836 and applied for land in Robertson's Colony. The colony at that time, however, was no longer permitted to issue land titles.

Mr. Harris was a member of Captain Isaac N. Moreland's artillery company at San Jacinto. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 2635 for 640 acres of land for having served in the army from March 2 to September 13, 1836. He did not apply for the donation land due him for having participated in the battle, since Donation Certificates were non-transferable and Mr. Harris did not intend remaining in Texas. Shortly after receiving his discharge from the army he returned to Nashville, Tennessee. He was a clerk for a time for Ralp Martin, later founding the wholesale grocery stores of Harris, Edwards and Company and Harris, Gordon and Company. He purchased much sugar in New Orleans but never lived there, as some sketches of his life have stated. In 1862 he closed his business and bought the farm of John F. Cage, called "Rose Hill" in Sumner County, Tennessee.

Mr. Harris was married to Martha H. McGregor who was born in Rutherford County, December 24, 1824 and died November 28, 1846. Mrs. Harris was the daughter of General John McGregor and Mildred Donelson McGregor. Mildred Donelson was the daughter of William Donelson and Charity Dickerson Donelson and was a niece of Mrs. Andrew Jackson and granddaughter of Colonel John Donelson, one of the founders of Nashville, Tennessee. There were no children of this union. Mr. Harris sold his farm in 1876 and for the next six or seven years lived at the home of Captain Thomas B. Wilson. He then lived at the home of Mrs. S. C. Douglas in Nashville, Tennessee, where he died April 1, 1889. His remains were placed by the side of those of his wife in Mount Olive Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Isaac N. Moreland

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1814 Apr 13
  • Birthplace: Virginia, Hanover County
  • Origin: Tennessee
  • Came to Texas: 1836 Jan 1
  • Date of Death: 1889 Apr 1
  • Burial Place: Mount Olive Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Bounty Certificate: 2635
  • Profession: Merchant, farmer
  • Wife: Martha M. McGregor