ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Grave of General William J. Hardee, Alabama
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Grave of General William J. Hardee, Alabama
Grave of General William J. Hardee
A beautiful marble monument marks the final resting
place of famed Confederate General William J.
Hardee in Selma, Alabama.
William J. Hardee
The famed Confederate
general is buried at Old Live
Oak Cemetery in Selma,
Grave of General Hardee
A brave soldier who was
wounded in both the Civil War
and the Mexican War, Hardee
spent his final years in Selma.
Grave of General William J. Hardee - Selma, Alabama
Resting Place of "Old Reliable"
One of the most respected military officers of
his time, Lieutenant General William J.
Hardee spent the last years of his life in the
historic city of Selma, Alabama. His grave
can be seen today beneath the Spanish
moss and massive trees of Selma's Old Live
Oak Cemetery.

Born in Camden County, Georgia, in October
1815, Hardee graduated 26th in the Class of
1838 at the U.S. Military Academy at West
Point, New York. Commissioned as a
second lieutenant in the 2nd Dragoons, he
was sent to Florida where the Second
Seminole War was then raging.

Like so many others in that conflict, however,
Hardee fell seriously ill. Unlike many others,
he recovered.

Sent to France to study military tactics, he
became one of the foremost tacticians in the
United States Army. He fought bravely and
won two field promotions during the Mexican
War before being taken prisoner. Exchanged,
he was wounded at La Rosia, but once again

After the Mexican War, Hardee served in
Texas where he led both soldiers and Texas
Rangers. In 1855 he published his famed
Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics which became
one of the foremost manuals on tactics used
by the generals of both sides during the Civil

From 1856 until 1860, Hardee served as
Commandant of Cadets at West Point. In
January of 1861, however, his home state of
Georgia seceded from the Union and he
tendered his resignation. Named a colonel
by the Confederacy, he was assigned to
Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines near
Mobile, Alabama. He did his job well and in
just 18 months time rose through the ranks
to brigadier general, major general and
finally lieutenant general.

Distinguished and courageous on the field of
battle, General Hardee led a corps at the
Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, where he was
wounded in the heavy fighting. He performed
very well at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky,
and the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee,
more than earning his nickname of "Old

Like many other officers, Hardee had trouble
getting along with the commander of the
Army of Tennessee, General Braxton Bragg.
This led to a brief reassignment, but he was
too badly needed to be lost to the army for
Hardee fought in the disastrous Southern
loss at Chattanooga and served under
General Joseph E. Johnston during the
Atlanta Campaign. After Johnston was
relieved, Hardee declined to accept the
command of the Army of Tennessee when it
was offered to him.

He went on to oppose Sherman's March to
the Sea and fiercely defended Savannah in
the face of Sherman's much larger army.
After siege operations began, he slipped out
of Savannah at night, achieving a masterful
escape of his outnumbered command in the
face of overwhelming odds.

Hardee served in the Carolina Campaign
and fought his last battle at Bentonville, North
Carolina, where his only son was killed in

After the war he settled on his wife's
plantation in Alabama. Soon moving to
Selma, he served as president of the Selma
and Meridian Railroad and also pursued
other business interests.

General Hardee died while on vacation in
West Virginia in 1873 and is buried at Old
Live Oak Cemetery in Selma.
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