JOHN HARDY, Danville Mounted Riflemen


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

John Hardy was born in 1808 in South Carolina. One source says he was born in Edgefield District. By 1850, he was living in Lowndes County, Alabama, enumerated as John Hardy, Jr., with his wife, Sarah, and six children, all born in Alabama, the oldest in 1831. One descendant gives his parents' names as William and Mary Cartledge Hardy and his wife's name as Sarah Wilson.

John is listed in the 1850 Lowndes County slave schedules with seventeen slaves ranging in age from three months to forty years.

John migrated from Alabama to Walker County, Texas, in about 1854 with his wife Sarah, and at least five children and the family servants. He first rendered his taxable property in 1855, at which time he owned 305 acres in the Mills Whitley Survey on the San Jacinto River, worth $2100. He also owned nineteen slaves worth $9850, seven horses, and no cattle. John's brother, Robert, preceded him to Texas, first rendering his taxable property in 1853. More than one branch of the Traylor family also migrated from Lowndes County, Alabama, to the Montgomery and Walker County areas. The Hardy and Traylor families seem to have had connections to one another in Alabama, and in later years, three of the Hardy children married Traylors.

The two oldest Hardy girls, Lucinda and Sarah, were not present in the family in Texas in 1860. John's occupation was given as farmer, and he owned land and personal property valued at more than $34,000, quite a large sum in those days. The family lived near Danville in 1860 but they were in the section that was enumerated with Walker County that year. And in fact, John's land was probably all in Walker County, as he did not render his taxes in Montgomery County.

The 1860 slave schedules show that he owned twenty-two slaves. Ten were males, aged ten through forty-five years. There were twelve females, aged four months through forty-two years.

Two two-year-old children were enumerated with the family in 1860.

One of these, William D. Adams, was the son of William G. Adams. The little boy's mother had died, and he was being cared for by the Hardy family. Whether William G. Adams was related to the Hardys is unknown.

The other two-year-old enumerated with the family, Sarah J. Lindley, is shown by the sketch of a hand next to her name to belong in the James Lindley family (enumerated just before the Hardys) between Elizabeth A. and William H. Lindley.

John Hardy joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen under Capt. Samuel D. Wooldridge, M. D., in early 1861, and his name was on the muster roll and incorporation document of September 13, 1861. The Danville Mounted Riflemen was a Montgomery County militia unit of the Seventeenth Brigade, Texas State Troops, under Captain Wooldridge.

John's name does not appear on the rolls of Second Texas Lancers, Co. B 24th Texas Cavalry, CSA, with the other men who fought under Capt. Wooldridge, He, therefore, did not ride off to war when they left the county in May of 1862. However, he was over age for service in the CSA troops and was not required by law to join the regular army.

After the war resulted in the freeing of the slaves, John Hardy became a member of the Waverly Immigration Society, formed on September 19, 1866, for the purpose of bringing foreigners to work on members' farms. The planters would advance funds for transportation and would supply comfortable cabins to the immigrants in return for three years' labor. As a result, a number of Polish families immigrated to Texas and settled in Walker and Montgomery Counties. A fellow Rifleman who was also a member of the Waverly Immigration Society was Samuel L. Kelsey. (Thanks to Clara Malak for her 2007 article, The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul Danville, Texas.)

The town of Waverly was by-passed by the railroad in 1870 in favor of a new location, which became New Waverly. Some of the Polish settlers populated the new town, once their contracts were satisfied.

Photo of New Waverly train station from the website All Across Texas

John and Sarah were still living in Walker County in 1880. He was seventy-seven years of age. According to a descendant, Sarah died at Old Waverly in Walker County on December 18, 1882, and John died there on September 1, 1884. Their graves are not listed in the Walker County cemetery books.

The above was compiled from county and census records, from the information in Ancestry Trees, and from records in the Texas State Archives. Thanks to Elsa Vorwerk for interpreting the hand sketched into the margin of the 1860 census, thus enabling us to positively identify the Lindley child. Also, thanks to Elsa for discovering the Traylor connections to the Hardys.

For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at or by contacting Frank at

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© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

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Counter June 14, 2007