Peter Hardeman, planter, Confederate officer, exile to Brazil, and youngest child of Anna (Bunch) and Blackstone Hardeman, Sr., was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, on May 28, 1831. His father and grandfather were pioneer settlers in back-country North Carolina and Tennessee. In 1835 Hardeman's family moved to Washington County, Texas. They subsequently lived in Nacogdoches, Gonzales, and Guadalupe counties. On September 18, 1850, Hardeman married Nancy Caroline Keese of Caldwell County. After several moves they settled on a plantation near Gilleland Creek in Travis County. They had four children.
After the Secession Convention Hardeman was commissioned by Governor Edward Clark to raise a company of mounted volunteers. He and his ninety-man Company A, Second Regiment of Texas Mounted Rifles, served under Col. John Robert Baylor in the New Mexico campaign. Hardeman's was the only outfit "engaged with the enemy" in the rout and capture of Union major Isaac Lynde's force of 700 men at Mesilla and near Fort Fillmore in July 1861. After taking part in other New Mexico expeditions, Hardeman was transferred to the command of the Arizona Brigade and, later, Hardeman's Texas Battalion, in the western border region near the Missouri and Arkansas boundaries. On Rocky Creek, Choctaw Nation, he stealthily surrounded William C. Quantrill, some of whose men had been seen with what turned out to be captured Union regalia. A battle was forestalled when, at the last moment, the units recognized that they were allies.
After the Civil War Hardeman took his family and a sawmill to Brazil, where he spent the remainder of his life rather than take the oath of allegiance to the Union. He died at Cillo, near Americana, São Paulo, in 1882. In 1977 his descendants still lived in Brazil.
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Nicholas P. Hardeman, Wilderness Calling: The Hardeman Family in the American Westward Movement, 1750–1900 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1977).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Nicholas P. Hardeman,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
January 1, 1995
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: