Faces of the Sixth-Private Henry Speck Harris Company B

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The following photographs and information are original members of the “Bloody Sixth”. I am honored to include their stories and images here. If you would like to share a story or photo about your 6th NCST ancestor, please leave a comment and I will be in touch.

Private Henry Speck Harris
Company B


Image from a tintype. Collection 9. Neg. 100-54. UNC Collection
Photo Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/dig_nccpa/id/5195/rec/7


Resided in : Granville County
Prior Occupation: Farmer
Enlisted: May 1, 1861, for the war
Where: Orange County
Age at enlistment: 22
Killed in Action: May 20, 1862
Buried: on the battlefield, unknown

Henry Speck Harris appears in the 1850 Federal Census living in the 1st district of the county of Orange. His father, Marcus, a 40 year old farmer and his mother, Louena, age 35, have 5 children living in their household.  Robert (16),  Archibald (14), Henry (12), Emeline(10) and Nathaniel (8). [1] I have been unable to locate a suitable match for him in the 1860 Census.

Henry Speck Harris was born at Bahama, N.C. on February 12, 1837.[2]

He Resided in Granville County and enlisted in Orange County at age 22, May 1, 1861, for the war. His Compiled Service record show him listed as “Present”  from the date of his enlistment on May 1, 1861 through  May 31, 1862 when he is listed as “Killed at Seven Pines, Virginia, May 31,1862.” [3][4]

The Chaplain of the regiment, K. Y. Stewart, D.D., wrote to the Raleigh Standard about the valor of the regiment and hardship they faced at the battle of Seven Pines, commending the conduct of the 6th N.C. Regiment:

“They stormed the enemy’s lines through an open field and exposed to a rapid fire from the works where they were posted. They charged and drove them from their camps—they ran them for a mile—they then twice charged their

masked works, wading through swamps up to the waist and that under a destructive fire until the approach of night and the absence of artillery, combined with the numbers of the enemy and strength of the works satisfied every one that nothing more could be done.”

1st Lt. B.R. Smith, Adjutant, 6th N.C.T. furnished a report to the newspaper and stated in a note to the editor [5]:

“The regiment was in advance and drove the enemy before them for a mile and a half, capturing their camps with large supplies and valuable property when they were met by large bodies of Federals entrenched with masked batteries. It was in charging these batteries twice that the chief losses were sustained.”

Total casualties for the battle below Richmond for the 6th NCST were

Killed- 11; Wounded-88; Missing-15; Aggregate loss-114 [6]

In this report H. S. Harris is listed as missing. Having fallen during the battle it is unclear if his body was ever recovered. His final resting place is unknown. His parents are buried at the Mount Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery,  located in Mangum Township (North Carolina) across from church at intersection of Bahama Road (SR 1616) and Quail Roost Road (SR 1615).

He was a member of the Flat River Guard (FRG on hat), which became Company B, Sixth North Carolina State Troops.

Source Notes:

1) Harris in the 1850 United States Federal Census; Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Orange, North Carolina; Roll: M432_639; Page: 255A; Image: 505, Reviewed by Researcher Frederick Walton on 7/13/2016 on Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

2) Harris Family Bible – Flat River, Orange County, NC; Author: Marcus Harris; Note: Marcus Harris, Salesman for American Bible Society Rainey M. Harris (Apr. 1991) discovered on Ancestry.com Harris Family Tree

3) Jordon, “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865

4) The National Archives Publication Number: M270; Publication Title: Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina; National Archives Catalog ID: 586957; National Archives Catalog Title: Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations , compiled 1903 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1865; Record Group: 109;Roll: 0161; Military Unit: Sixth Infantry, North Carolina; Harris, Henry S..

5) Both the Chaplain’s letter and the Adjutant’s report can be found in the newspaper- North Carolina Standard; Raleigh; June 18, 1862

6} The Richmond Daily Dispatch: June 9, 1862.

Additional information or photos would be welcomed to complete 
the record of this honorable soldier. 

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