John Harris was a resident of Mansfield on December 30, 1863 when he enlisted as a Private in Co. Cof the 31st Regiment United States Colored Troops. He was wounded in the leg on August 11, 1864 while in a rifle pit in Petersburg, Virginia. He was sent to the Satterlee Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is said to have deserted from there in September 1864.
The descriptive muster roll of the 31st Regiment United States Colored Troops lists his age as 21 and his occupation as sailor. He is described as 5’ 4” tall with a black complexion and black hair and black eyes. No marital status is recorded.
He was born about 1842 in Patterson, New Jersey. John Harris was not a resident of Mansfield in the 1860 U.S. census; no further information is known.