Lieutenant General William
Corps Commander in the Army of Tennessee
Lieutenant General Hardee was known as "Old Reliable." He served well as a corps commander in the Battles of Shiloh, Perryville, Murfreesboro or Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and in the Atlanta Campaign. In the final stage of the Civil War, his command opposed Union General Sherman's advance into North Carolina. Their last major engagement was the Battle of Bentonville where General Hardee lost both the battle and his only son. He surrendered along with General Johnston on April 26, 1865.
William J. Hardee was born on October 12, 1815 in Camden County, Georgia. He graduated 26th in a class of 45 from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1838. He later served at West Point as a tactics instructor and as the commandant of cadets. He fought against the Seminoles and in the Mexican War. At the beginning of the Mexican War, Captain Hardee was taken prisoner. After his exchange, he took part in the Battle of La Rosa and was wounded. He also participated in the siege of Monterrey. He received two brevet promotions for his service. After the Mexican War, Major Hardee was assigned to the new 2nd Cavalry. This unit was commanded by Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, and second in command was Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee. William Hardee wrote the most widely used drill manual of the Civil War time. It was strongly influenced by his study of the French Army during a year long stay in Europe. After the Civil War, he farmed in Alabama, and he died in Wytheville, Virginia on November 6, 1873.
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