Scroll of Honor adds Great War veteran
CLEMSON — Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor, comprised of alumni who died on active military service, recently added its 485th name. Carlos Golightly Harris was added to the Scroll following an extensive vetting process conducted by the Clemson Corps. Harris died in 1926 of complications from wounds suffered during World War I.
Harris, of Spartanburg, was a member of the Clemson College Class of 1917 which famously volunteered en masse when the United States entered the war. At Clemson, Harris was involved in many activities, “being a hearty supporter of everything that is elevating to him and his fellow students,” according to the yearbook “Taps.” C.G., as he was known on the still young campus, captained the basketball team, served as editor-in-chief of The Chronicle literary magazine and won the Orator’s Medal.
Once on military service, Harris was assigned to the 371st Infantry Regiment at Camp Jackson. The 371st was the first “Colored” Regiment organized for active participation in combat during World War I. The 371st was the only all-draftee regiment in the war.
On Sept. 28, 1918, Harris was leading his company in an assault on Hill 188 during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. German defenders feigned capitulation, luring the Americans into a carefully planned ambush. Harris’ right hip was shattered by shell fragments. For his intrepid leadership and heroism, Harris was awarded a Silver Star Citation and the French Croix de Guerre.
After his discharge from the service, Harris was fitted with a titanium hip. He returned home to Spartanburg, but continued to suffer from his wound and was unable to work. He returned to school, studying law at Columbia University and was admitted to practice law in New York. Instead of practicing law, he took a position with the McClellan chain stores in Waterloo, Iowa. While there, Harris’ hip continued to plague him and he decided upon an operation to provide relief.
The surgery took place at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, in March 1926. A septic infection set in and Harris died from complications on March 30.
“We’re very proud to add Lt. Harris to the Scroll of Honor,” said Frank Cox, chair of the Clemson Corps, the alumni constituency group that maintains the Scroll. “It is important that we remember and honor his sacrifice, which, like those of so many other Clemson alumni, has helped protect our country in times of war and peace.”
“We invite anyone with knowledge of the death of a Clemson alumnus while on military duty to contact the Clemson Corps. We want to make sure all those who have made the supreme sacrifice are honored and remembered,” Cox said.
— with Ken Scar