Brother Keith G. Harrison, PCinC has sadly passed away on 12 January 2023 at the age of 73.
PCinC Harrison of Holt, Michigan was a member of the Order since 1981 and a life member since 1986, was elected Commander-in-Chief of the National Organization of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) on August 13, 1994, at the 113th National Encampment in Lansing, Michigan. Brother Harrison’s ascension represented the fourth Michiganian in the then 113-year history of the Order, and the first in 46 years, to serve as Commander-In-Chief becoming the 108th Brother to hold that esteemed office in the SUVCW.
In addition to serving as Commander-in-Chief, Brother Harrison served the Order in several national capacities, including Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, Patriotic Instructor, Membership-at-Large Coordinator, History Book Coordinator, and Council of Administration member. Within his native state of Michigan, he had served as Department Commander for three years, Senior Vice Commander for two years, Department Council Chair for two years, and Department Chief of Staff for seven years. He was a charter member of the Lansing-Sunfield Curtenius Guard Camp #17, which he organized in 1983. Within his local camp, he had served as Camp Commander, Camp Secretary, Camp Treasurer, and Camp Historian.
Since serving as Commander-in-Chief, Brother Harrison had continued to serve the Order as a member of the National Council of Administration, Constitution and Regulations Committee, National Signals Officer, National Webmaster, Backup National Webmaster, Editor for 10 National Proceedings, and National Webmaster for the SUVCW’s Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR). In 1999, he was awarded the Order’s Meritorious Service Award and in 2001, he was awarded the Order’s Cornelius F. Whitehouse Outstanding Brother Award. Past Commander-in-Chief Harrison traces his ancestry to 45 Union Civil War soldiers, forty of those soldiers served from Michigan. The Michigan units in which his ancestors served included the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 25th, 27th, and 28th Volunteer Infantries; the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th, and 11th Volunteer Cavalries; 1st Light Artillery, and 13th and 14th Batteries. The remaining five Union Civil War ancestors served in the 60th United States Colored Troops, the 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry, 15th United States Infantry, 3rd United States Artillery, and the Army of the Ohio (Major General Don Carolos Buell), respectively.
Brother Harrison had been a Civil War reenactor since 1982 and rose through the ranks. He remains a member and former Captain of the 7th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company B., an honorary member of the 3rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company K, 5th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company K and 14th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company A, 15th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Company B, and a Major, periodically serving in the capacity of Chief of Staff or Assistant Adjutant General with the Cumberland Guard, a nationally recognized Civil War reenactment association. Within the SUVCW’s Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR), he served as Brevet Brigadier General and Commanding Officer during 1996/97 and held the rank of Major (Retired) in the SVR. He had participated in more than 550 reenactments, parades, livings histories, and ceremonies, and served innumerable times at reenactments as an infantry company commander, infantry battalion commander, and overall Union army commander.
Major Harrison was very knowledgeable and well-practiced in Hardee (1855), Casey (1862), and Coppee (1862) Field Manuals, and highly competent in 1861- 1865 U.S. Army company, battalion, brigade, and army-level infantry drill and tactics. He had participated in most of the national 125th – 150th anniversary Civil War battle reenactments.
Brother Harrison belonged to several historical, patriotic, and civic organizations, including the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), in which he served as National Commander-in-Chief from 2009 to 2011. He is one of four Brothers to have served as the Commander-in-Chief of both the SUVCW and the MOLLUS; the other three being US Grant III, Gordon R. Bury, and Lowell V. Hammer. Within the Michigan Commandery of the MOLLUS, he served as Commander from 1986 to 2003. He belonged to the Society of Mayflower Descendants; William Brewster Society; Society of Colonial Wars; Sons of the Revolution; Society of the War of 1812; Morgan’s Men Association Inc.; Military Order of the World Wars; and Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (Commissioned twice, once in 1988 and again in 2003). He was a member of the Masonic Lodge #252 of Okemos, Michigan and life member of the Civil War Research Lodge #1865 of Highland Springs, Virginia. He also served as President of the Eaton Rapids, Michigan GAR Memorial Hall and Museum, Inc., as Treasurer of the state-affiliated Friends of Michigan History, Inc. and as Chair of the state-affiliated Michigan Civil War Sesquicentennial History Partners, which is formally charged with the responsibility to assist the Michigan Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission in the planning, promotion, and implementation of the Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration in the state.
Source: https://suvcw.org/pcinc/harrison.htm dated May 2014
The services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, 21 January 2023 at Skinner Funeral Home, 315 South River St, Eaton Rapids MI, with burial and a graveside service taking place later that day at Prospect Hill Cemetery, North Disbrow St, Cassopolic MI. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday, 20 January 2023 from 6-8PM and one hour prior to the service on Saturday 21 January In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the nonprofit Michigan’s G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum (22 South Main, Eaton Rapids, MI) and/or the nonprofit Capital Area Human Society (7095 W. Grand River Ave, Lansing MI).