William Joseph Hardee

Lieutenant General

Monument: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.  http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html

William Joseph Hardee, "Old Reliable," was born in Camden County, Georgia, October 12, 1815, and was graduated from West Point in 1838. He was twice brevetted for gallantry in Mexico. Afterwards he served as commandant of cadets at the Military Academy and wrote the standard textbook, Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics (1853-55; published Philadelphia, 1861). When Georgia seceded from the Union he resigned his lieutenant colonelcy, January 31, 1861, and was appointed brigadier general on June 17, and major general on October 7, 1861. Early in the war he organized a brigade of Arkansas regiments and operated in that state until he was summoned to join General A. S. Johnston just before the battle of Shiloh. Subsequently he commanded a wing of the Army of Tennessee in Bragg's Kentucky campaign and at Murfreesboro, and was promoted lieutenant general to rank from October 10, 1862. He commanded a corps at Chattanooga and served under J. E. Johnston in the Atlanta campaign. In the last months he opposed Sherman in Georgia and South Carolina, and in the closing weeks was again under Johnston, his old friend and commander. After yielding Savannah and Charleston to Sherman's army, he finally surrendered in North Carolina in April 1865. Hardee had declined command of the Army of Tennessee after the Chattanooga campaign, but his lack of confidence in John Bell Hood caused him to request transfer after the battle of Jonesboro, with the remark that his first refusal of command was not for all time. Along with Stonewall Jackson and Longstreet, General Hardee was recognized as one of the outstanding corps commanders in Confederate service. After the war he was a planter at Selma, Alabama. He died, while on a trip, at Wytheville, Virginia, on November 6, 1873, and is buried at Selma. General Hardee's niece was the wife of General William W. Kirkland.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.