Robert Harrison was born on April 18, 1822 in New York.
His brother Phelps A. moved from New York to Ohio with his wife sometime before 1845, moving his family on to Michigan sometime between 1851 and 1853. By 1860 Robert himself had left New York and settled in western Michigan where he was working as a farmer and living with Phelps and his family in Croton, Newaygo County.
Robert stood 5’11” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 39 years old when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. In July of 1862 Robert was reported sick in the hospital at Fort McHenry, Maryland where he remained until he was discharged on September 20, 1862, at Fort McHenry, Maryland, for sciatica.
After his discharge from the army Robert returned to Michigan, and was living in Tyrone, Kent County when he married Michigan native Susan Pettingill (b. 1829) on November 27, 1862; they had at least two children: Nettie (b. 1866) and Myrtie (b. 1870); also living with them was a 9-year-old boy named George Johnson. (It is possible that Susan had been married before.)
In any case, by 1870 Robert was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Croton, Newaygo County. (Next door lived the Peter Russell family; their son Peter had died during the war while serving with the Third Michigan.) By 1880 Robert was working as a laborer and living with his wife and children in Algoma, Kent County. In 1888 he was living in Cedar Springs, Kent County, in Algoma, Kent County in 1894.
In 1879 he applied for and received a pension (no. 398529).
Robert died of paralysis on February 14, 1895, in Algoma, and was buried in Elmwood cemetery, Cedar Springs.
His widow also applied for and received a pension (no. 553862).