The actions of Colonel Washington Hardy, 60th North Carolina, as he led Reynold's Brigade at Bentonville.
"While General McLaws held the extreme left of our lines and the enemy were endeavoring to turn our flank the Fiftieth North Carolina Regiment and the Tenth North Carolina Battalion of Colonel Hardy's Brigade, in a single charge and in about five minutes time sustained a loss of about one-third of their number. In this case the enemy were lying in line three columns deep and reserved their fire until our troops were near them struggling through a dense swamp. At the first volley every man fell to the ground and Colonel Wortham and Lieutenant Lane, of the Fiftieth, and Lieutenant Powell, of the Tenth Battalion, crawled out of the thicket and reported to General McLaws for duty, stating that the entire brigade was killed or wounded. Colonel Hardy, by his boldness and daring, saved the command from utter destruction.
Dressed in a suit of sky blue broadcloth and broad-brimmed slouch hat, he might easily be taken for a Federal officer. He was in front of his men leading the charge, and at the first volley he rushed forward with his hat in one hand and his sword in the other, and pacing up and down in front of and within a few feet of the Federal lines, ordered them to cease firing, as they were firing on their own men. He continued this for some time, although their own officers were ordering them to fire. They were utterly confused and before the firing was resumed all of our men who were able had crawled out of the swamp and made their escape, and Colonel Hardy deliberately walked off without a scratch."
2nd Lt. J.C. Ellington - 50th North Carolina
Photo: Colonel Washington Hardy - 60th North Carolina