William Joseph Hardee (October 12, 1815 – November 6, 1873)

Discussion in 'Generals' started by 5fish, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    William Hardee had a good career before the Civil War the question should be why was he not promoted quicker and given command somewhere earlier in the war for he had the credentials...

    William Joseph Hardee
    (October 12, 1815 – November 6, 1873) was a career U.S. Army and Confederate States Army officer. For the U.S. Army, he served in the Second Seminole War and in the Mexican–American War, where he was captured and exchanged. In the American Civil War, he sided with the South and became a general. Hardee served in the Western Theater and quarreled sharply with two of his commanding officers, Braxton Bragg and John Bell Hood. He served in the Atlanta Campaign of 1864 and the Carolinas Campaign of 1865, where he surrendered with General Joseph E. Johnston to William Tecumseh Sherman in April. Hardee's writings about military tactics were widely used on both sides in the conflict.

    Here is a summary of his Mexican-American war days... He fought well...

    On April 13, 1844, Hardee received a new commanding officer at Fort Jesup. Future President of the United States Zachary Taylor arrived with little fanfare. Taylor was impressed with Hardee's success at introducing European cavalry tactics to the United States and made him a captain on October 21, 1844. When Taylor's command became the "Army of Observation" early in 1846, Hardee's dragoons rode west to the Mexican-American border to support the infantry then sailing to Texas.

    Taylor combined Hardee's dragoons with Major Samuel Ringgold's "flying artillery" to form a highly mobile, effective fighting force. At this point in time many European scholars felt the Mexican cavalry was both a better and bigger fighting force than the American cavalry, a belief that was supported by the capture of Hardee, his commanding officer and their squad of men by Mexican cavalry.

    Atop a high chaparral north of the Rio Grande on April 25, 1846, Captain Sam Thorton, Captain Hardee, and two companies of dragoons had been sent to recon a 22-mile stretch of the river. Once bivouacked, the men began to look for water and some settled near the river. When Mexican cavalry found the Americans Thorton rode his out of control horse into Mexican lines and was captured. With most of his men unarmed, Hardee requested surrender terms under a white flag from Mexican General Anastasio Torrejon. After giving Hardee favorable terms, the General took Hardee prisoner but put the Captain up in lavish quarters.

    Hardee's and Thorton's reports on the incident varied greatly. Thorton blamed the disaster on the original orders and his guide, which did not sit well with his commanding officer, Zachary Taylor. With the double victories at Palo Alta and Resaca, Taylor secured enough Mexican prisoners to trade for Hardee and his men and they returned to the American side. A court of inquiry found Hardee acted properly and determined that he had filed a correct report.

    During Taylor's siege at Monterrey, Hardee's men protect nearby passes that Torrejon might use for an escape route. Following the battle, Hardee and Daniel Harvey Hill worked together to learn more about the countryside in northern Mexico. When General Scott moved south to Vera Cruz he ordered the Second Dragoons, now under William Harney, to join him.

    Scott had a few ideas of his own about the effective use of dragoons. He held Harney's men in reserve during the Battle of Cerra Gordo to pursue the Mexicans if they were defeated. When Santa Anna withdrew, Hardee and his men were in close pursuit, killing the enemy rear guard and hastening the retreat. It was his action at San Augustine during the battle of Churubusco that earned Hardee a brevet to Lieutenant Colonel. Protecting the flank of the American army Hardee swept a superior force from the field.

    During the battle of Chapultepec, General Scott reinforced General William J. Worth's flank with two companies of dragoons, including Hardee's, under Edwin Vose Sumner, in addition to Franklin Pierce's brigade and an artillery battery under John Magruder. The Mexican army hit Pierce and Hardee in their position on the flank, but the Americans held the line and prevented Santa Anna from turning the flank. Lt. Colonel Hardee received special praise for his actions under heavy fire.

    Snip... he wrote military manuals...

    Hardee published Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics for the Exercise and Manoeuvres of Troops When Acting as Light Infantry or Riflemen, popularly known as Hardee's Tactics, which became the best-known drill manual of the Civil War.[4] He is also said to have designed the so-called Hardee hat about this time.

    Hardee completed the manual in July, 1854. Hardee's Tactics replaced a 1835 manual written by Winfield Scott (who lost a bid for President to Franklin Pierce in 1852). He also edited the cavalry and light infantry manual although he never received credit for this work. These works would influence men in the armed forces for generations and created the concept of modern warfare practiced by William Tecumseh Sherman and perfected by George Patton.

    Snip... Shiloh... this episode cost the Confederates this battle... Hardee started the battle...

    At 7:00 am on the morning of April 6, William Hardee opened up the Battle of Shiloh with a cannon blast. By 8 am his men were advancing against the Yankees, but then ran into William Tecumseh Sherman's main force.

    That night, Nathan Bedford Forrest approached Hardee with bad news. Grant's forces were not leaving, they were being reinforced in large numbers at Pittsburg Landing. Hardee instructed him to find Beauregard and tell him. Forrest could not find the diminutive Creole and the Confederate Army was not prepared for the federal onslaught the next day. Although Hardee held his position on Bark Road and actually attacked and took five pieces of artillery, at 1:00 pm Beauregard ordered a general withdrawal.

    I was not a Hardee fan for the actions he took in Savanah against Sherman... He did live to fight another day...

    LinkS: http://blueandgraytrail.com/event/William_Hardee

    William J. Hardee - Wikipedia

  2. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Webmaster Staff Member Administrator

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    Interesting story.
  3. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    Here is the Hardee Hat....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardee_hat


    Hardee hat with infantry adornment; the brim on this hat at Gettysburg National Military Park is pinned on the right, inconsistent with regulations

    The Hardee hat, also known as the Model 1858 Dress Hat and sometimes nicknamed the "Jeff Davis", was the regulation dress hat for enlisted men in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The Hardee hat was also worn by Confederate soldiers.[1][2] However, most soldiers found the black felt hat to be too hot and heavy and shunned its use, preferring a forage cap or slouch hat.[citation needed] However, the unadorned, plain and often field-modified Hardee hat was worn by Union troops, especially in the Western theater. The hardee hat was most famously worn and easily identified, as the hat worn by the Union Army's Iron Brigade, which became their trademark and were popularly known, by the nickname, "The Black Hats".
    Kirk's Raider's likes this.

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