Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HARDEE, William J., soldier, born in Savannah, Georgia, about 1817; died in Wytheville, Virginia, 6 November, 1873. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1838, and after serving in the Florida war, in the 2d dragoons, he was promoted to a 1st lieutenancy, 3 December, 1839, and sent by the secretary of war to the celebrated military school of St. Maur, France. While there he was attached to the cavalry department of the French army. He was stationed for a time on the western frontier, appointed captain of dragoons, 18 September, 1844, and accompanied General Taylor in 1846 across the Rio Grande. His company was the first to engage the enemy at Curricitos, where he was overwhelmed by superior numbers and made prisoner. He was exchanged in time to take part in the siege of Monterey, and was promoted to major for gallantry on 25 March, 1847. At the end of the war he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, and a little later was appointed major in the 2d cavalry, of which Albert Sidney Johnston was colonel and Robert E. Lee lieutenant-colonel. About this time he received instructions from the war department to prepare a system of tactics for the use of infantry. On the completion of tiffs work, in 1856, he was ordered to West Point as commandant of cadets, with the local rank of lieutenant-colonel" and there he remained, with the exception of one year, during which he was absent in Europe, until the end of January, 1861. He then joined the Confederate army with the rank of colonel, and was assigned to duty at Fort Morgan, Mobile. In June, 1861, he was made brigadier-general, and sent to Arkansas under General Polk. He was soon afterward transferred to Kentucky, where he gained a victory over a small National force at Mumfordsville, 17 December, 1861. Events were now shaping for more vigorous work in the southwest. At Shiloh, Hardee's corps, the 3d, formed the first Confederate line, and made the first attack. He was promoted to major-general, and Beauregard, in his report, praised Hardee's skill and general ability. He commanded the left wing at Perryville, 8 October, 1862, and took a conspicuous part in all the movements at Murfreesboro. For his conduct at Perryville and throughout the campaign he was appointed lieutenant-general, ranking after Longstreet. After the fall of Vicksburg, Hardee had charge of a camp of paroled prisoners in Alabama. Later in the year he was put in command of the 2d corps under Bragg, and, after the battle of Chattanooga, was temporarily appointed his successor. In May, General Joseph E. Johnston assumed the command, and Hardee resumed his subordinate position. Hardee was relieved at his own request in September, 1864, and appointed to the command of the Department of South Carolina. He finally surrendered at Durham Station, North Carolina, 26 April, 186,5. At the close of the war General Hardee retired to his plantation in Alabama. Hardee's Tactics, or the " United States Rifle and Light-Infantry Tactics," the work already referred to (New York, 1856), is eclectic rather than original, and is drawn mainly from French sources.
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