|Birth: ||Feb. 9, 1848|
|Death: ||Apr. 12, 1918|
A Short Biography
by Greg W. Lasley & Jack D. Elliott, Jr.
William Hardy was born February 9, 1848, probably on his family's farm near Siloam, (present-day) Clay Co., Mississippi. He was the son of Joshua T. and Anna Hardy. This land had only recently been ceded by the Chickasaw Indians to the United States in 1832, so the Hardys had only been living on the farm for a few years when William was born. He presumably grew like many farm boys working at farm chores, in which his father, like most others in the area was engaged in the production of cotton, corn, and garden crops and livestock.
William was only thirteen when the Civil War began in April, 1861, and was too young to fight. However, within three years he did enlist in March, 1864--at the ripe old age of sixteen--in Company I of the 16th Confederate Cavalry, also known as the 12th Mississippi Cavalry, where he served under Captain J. D. Lynch. Lynch, a resident of West Point, would later gain some fame by virtue of being named the poet laureate of the 1893 Columbian Exposition which was held in Chicago. William's company fought at Pine Barren, Eight-Mile Creek (also known as Whistler's Bridge) and Blakeley, all in Alabama. He was captured by Union soldiers in May, 1865 and briefly imprisoned at Gainesville, Alabama, but paroled later that month.
On December 20, 1871, William Hardy married Priscilla Florence Exum at the Clay Co. home of her parents--Benjamin and Sarah Exum. The couple had three children; John Edward Hardy (1876-1877), Sallie Ila Hardy (1878-1962), and Piercis Blanche Hardy (1880-ca 1960). In 1880 William and his family were apparently living in the Siloam community where he was listed as being a farmer. He also, like his father, did carpentry work and was said to have constructed a new church building for the Siloam Baptist Church at about this time. His wife, Priscilla, died in 1882 (at the age of 29) and was buried in the Exum lot in Greenwood Cemetery in West Point. His two daughters were then taken to West Point, Mississippi, where they were kept in the home of his brother-in-law, Titus Carr Exum, until William remarried on December 10, 1885. His second wife was Emma Virginia Ramey (1854-1936). It was recalled that during the 1880s and 1890s that William resided in the Henryville and Mhoon Valley communities and that he belonged to the Hebron Baptist Church at Henryville during this time. However, the family also apparently resided for a time in Webster County, adjacent to the western edge of Clay County, for this is where William and Emma's one child, William Henry Hardy (1891-1974) was born. Henry Hardy or "Lou" as he was nicknamed was a veteran of Pershing's incursion into Mexico in 1916-1917 and was the chief of the West Point Fire Department for many years.
On December 31, 1899 the William Hardys moved into West Point where they initially resided on the south side of town in the old brick Mhoon house. William later purchased a lot on the northwest corner Stonewall and Cul-de-Sac Streets and built a two-story frame house there. He eventually helped his daughter Sallie Ila and her husband Jim Lasley to build a house on the corner lot immediately behind his lot.
To our knowledge there is but a single photo of William Hardy which was taken ca 1910. In the photo a deep scar on William's forehead is clearly visible. Family oral history tells us that this scar was caused during the Civil War while William was in the process of firing a weapon. The breech of the firearm exploded in his face causing a nasty wound.
William Hardy died on April 12, 1918. The April 15, 1918 account in the West Point Leader newspaper read "Long Illness fatal to William Hardy. A Confederate Veteran and Worthy Citizen has gone from Among us. Another 'boy of the sixties' answered the last roll-call Friday evening when William Hardy passed away at his home in this city after a long and painful illness. Mr. Hardy was seventy years of age and had spent his long life in service to his God, his country, and his fellow man. Of friends he possessed a host, of enemies none but that could say, "he is a man." Surviving him are his wife and three children, Henry Hardy and Mmes. James Lasley and Roy Snider all of this city, besides a number of relatives. Funeral services, conducted by Rev. E. J. Caswell, were held Sunday morning from the First Baptist Church, following interment in Greenwood Cemetery. A delegation from a local camp of United Confederate Veterans of which he was a member, acted as pallbearers." His simple gravestone reads only "William Hardy, 12th Miss. Cav., Co. I., C.S.A."
for more information about the 12th Mississippi cavalry.
His widow continued to live in the Hardy house with her son Henry until her 1936 death when she was buried in the Hebron Baptist Church cemetery, presumably because of family associations. Her grave is unmarked except by an uninscribed rock.
Joshua Taylor Hardy (1807 - 1871)
Anna Hardy (1816 - 1857)
Emma Virginia Ramey Hardy (1854 - 1936)*
Priscilla Florence Exum Hardy (1852 - 1882)*
Sallie Ila Hardy Lasley (1878 - 1962)*
William Henry Hardy (1891 - 1974)*
Martha Ann Hardy (1837 - 1858)*
Unity Elizabeth Hardy Ball (1838 - 1859)*
Mary Mewborn Hardy (1840 - 1857)*
William Hardy (1848 - 1918)
Charles Henry Hardy (1854 - 1855)*
Lemuel Sutton Hardy (1857 - 1857)*
William Hardy, Company I, 12th Miss. Cav. C.S.A.
Created by: Greg Lasley
Record added: Mar 15, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18426088
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Added: Dec. 14, 2014
Added: Jul. 24, 2011