Cleaning the grave stone of my ancestor, Major Henry Harding of the North Carolina 61st Infantry Regiment. He's buried in Cherry Hill Cemetery, Greenville, North Carolina.
Henry Harding was born in Beaufort County, North Carolina on May 8, 1837 and died April 23, 1912. He was raised on the family farm and later became a teacher. Mr. Harding married Susan Elizabeth Sugg on February 21, 1867. He enlisted in Beaufort County at the age of 25, and became Captain of Henry Harding's Independent Company N.C. Troops. He later served in Company K, 17th Regiment N.C. Troops (1st Organization) and was appointed 1st Lieutenant of the company. He was present or accounted for until he resigned on October 9, 1861. The reason he resigned was not reported or known. Mr. Harding later joined Company B, 61st Regiment N.C. Troops, also known as the Beaufort Plow Boys, and served as Captain until his promotion to Major and transfer to the Field and Staff of the N.C. 61st Regiment on September 5, 1862. He was reported present or accounted for in January-June 1863, and was reported in command of the regiment in July-August 1863. Major Harding was reported present or accounted for on surviving regimental muster rolls from September 1863 through April 1864. On August 3, 1864, he resigned "to promote the good of the service, as well as to secure my personal satisfaction and the satisfaction of those with whom I am associated......I respectfully pray that I may be allowed to join a Regt of my choice, which I promise to do within five days after this is accepted (the 41st or 50th N.C. preferred.) His resignation was accepted on August 10, 1864, but there is no evidence that he later served in another unit. Major Harding is buried at Cherry Hill Cemetery, Greenville, North Carolina.
From Sketches of Pitt Co, N.C. by Henry T. King (Page251)
Major Harding was born at his father's home on a farm three miles south of Chocowinity. Major Harding was raised on the farm, working and attending school, finishing from Trinity Parochial School at Chocowinity, with a good academic education. He then began teaching and had been teaching five years, when he left the schoolhouse for the field of war, volunteering in Captain Swindell's company, which went to Hatteras, and at the expiration of twelve months, for which he had enlisted, disbanded. Governor Vance then commissioned him Captain to raise a company. This company went into the Sixty-first Regiment as Company B. He was later promoted to Major of the regiment. The regiment saw much service in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. In 1863 it was encamped on James Island, near Charleston. On another part of the island were a lot of Negro soldiers. The United States Gunboat Chippewa was lying in Stono River to protect them. Major Harding conceived a plan to capture it. Early one morning in July, 1863, his regiment made the charge, succeeding in getting to the boat but could not scale its sides. The guns of the boat could not be lowered enough to reach the Confederates and any appearance over the sides of the boat was an invitation for a ball. So the boat could do nothing but weigh anchor and float down river. But not before several on the boat had been killed and the boat damaged. As the boat swung around, the regiment had to seek shelter, as grape and canister were flying thick. However, only one Confederate, B.A. Davis, Private in Company F, was wounded. He died in a few minutes. The regiment then charged on the Negro soldiers, and drove them from the island with great loss. All their camp and supplies were captured without the loss of a man. Returning from the war, he went to work on the farm and in 1866 was elected to the legislature (House). In 1876 he was elected a county commissioner and was twice reelected. In 1885 he moved to Greenville, N.C. He had served four years on the Board of Education, when in 1889, on the death of Superintendent Josephus Latham, he was elected county superintendent to fill the vacancy. He held this position four years. In 1892 he was elected Register of Deeds, and since the expiration of that term, with the exception of two years, he was a Justice of the Peace. He was Senior Warden of the Episcopal Church, was a long lay reader, teacher, and superintendent of the Sunday School. He was a Past Mason and a Democrat.
Major Harding's Obituary from the Washington Daily News, April 25, 1912
Major Harding, brother of the Rev. Nathaniel Harding, of this city passed away at his home in Greenville, N.C., yesterday afternoon. He was about seventy-seven years of age and for years resided in this county at Aurora, N.C. Major Harding was a native of Beaufort County and spent his early years at Trinity School at Chocowinity. When the Civil War broke out he organized the "Beaufort Plow Boys" and went to the front as Captain of that company. His gallantry as a soldier brought him steady promotion and he became major of the 61st Regiment North Carolina Regiment. He delighted in reviving the memory of the Confederacy and for the last several years was commander of Bryan Grimes Camp of Confederate Veterans, always taking active part in the annual reunions on the 10th of May. His remains were interred in Cherry Hill cemetery this afternoon with Masonic honors.
Your website continues to grow and becomes better each and every day. Thanks for all the hard work you do and keep up the great work!
Washington, North CarolinaBeaufort Plow Boys Camp #2128
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