Hardee, William Joseph was born on October 12, 1815 in Camden County, Georgia, United States. Son of John and Sarah (Ellis) Hardee.
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1838.
First lieutenant 2d Dragoons, 1839, captain, 1844, accompanied General Taylor across Rio Grande, commissioned lieutenant colonel, 1848. Published Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics (known as Hardee’s Tactics, adopted as textbook by Army), 1855. Senior major 2d Cavalry, 1855.
Lieutenant colonel, commandant of cadets United States Military Academy, 1856. Commissioned brigadier general Confederate Army, 1861, major general, 1861. Commanded corps at Battle of Shiloh, 1862.
Commanded left wing Confederate Army at Battle of Perryville, 1862. Organized original Arkansas Brigade (known as Hardee’s Brigade). Commissioned Lieutenant general, 1862.
Commanded military departments of South Carolina., Georgia and Florida, 1864. Commanded army defending Savannah (Georgia) against General Sherman, 1864.