Harrison is a spy for the Confederate Army, hired by Longstreet. The novel begins with Harrison’s discovery of the position of the Union Army, which he immediately reports to Longstreet (who is somewhat surprised that Harrison fulfilled his assignment) and Lee (who had never agreed with hiring a spy to begin with, choosing to trust Jeb Stuart instead). Harrison has a background in acting, which he uses to advantage in his spy work, and quotes Shakespeare to calm himself as he rides through a storm. Longstreet describes him as a tiny man with a face like a weasel. Apparently loyal to the Southern cause, Harrison behaves fawningly toward Lee and Longstreet, which they ignore, dismissing him after they have finished questioning him about the enemy’s numbers and position. Harrison does not appear in the story again, though his report is vindicated on the first day of battle at Gettysburg, when Confederate brigades successfully engage with Union cavalry.
Harrison Character Timeline in The Killer Angels
The timeline below shows where the character Harrison appears in The Killer Angels. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Monday, June 29, 1863: Chapter 1: The Spy
Lee emerges from his tent, bareheaded and haggard-looking in the rain. He and Longstreet ignore Harrison’s obsequious behavior and examine the Union positions he has reported. After questioning the spy further... (full context)
Wednesday, July 1, 1863: Chapter 3: Lee
...remarks to himself that docile men don’t make good soldiers. He thanks Longstreet for engaging Harrison’s services as a spy, but Longstreet doesn’t show pleasure at the compliment. Lee feels troubled,... (full context)