In January 1861, Hardee resigned his rank in the U.S. Army to join the Confederate ranks. In June, he was appointed to brigadier general, and by October, he was promoted to major general. In March 1862, he was summoned from Arkansas to join the Army of Tennessee. He served in the Kentucky campaign, and at the Battle of Murfreesboro. In October 1862, he was promoted to lieutenant general. He led a corps at the Battle of Chattanooga, and in the Atlanta campaign. He surrendered in North Carolina in April 1865.