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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1855

Vol. II

(Born Vt.)

William B. Hazen

(Ap'd O.)


William Babcock Hazen:
Born Sep. 27, 1830, West Hartford, VT.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, Sep. 1, 1851, to July 1, 1855, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut. of Infantry, July 1, 1855.

Served: on frontier duty at Ft. Reading, Cal., 1855, — Ft. Lane, Or.,

(Second Lieut., 8th Infantry, Sep. 4, 1855)

1855, — Scouting, 1856, being engaged in Skirmishes at Applegate Creek, Jan. 3, and Big Canyon, Feb. 12, 1856, — conducting Rogue River Indians to Grande Ronde Reservation, Or., 1856, — and at Ft. Yamhill, Or., 1856‑57; on leave of absence and awaiting orders, Apr. to Dec., 1857; on frontier duty in conducting Recruits to Texas, 1858, — Ft. Davis, Tex., 1858, — Scouting against Apache Indians, 1858, being engaged in a Skirmish at Guadalupe Mountains, June 14, 1858, — Ft. Inge, Tex., 1859, — and Scouting, 1859, being engaged in Skirmishes with Kickapoo Indians on the Nueces, May 16 and Oct. 5, and with Comanche Indians

(Bvt. First Lieut., May 16, 1859, for Gallant Conduct in two severalº Engagements with the Indians in Texas)

on the Yanno, Nov. 3, 1859, where he was severely wounded; on sick leave of absence, disabled by wounds, 1859‑61; and at the Military

(First Lieut., 8th Infantry, Apr. 1, 1861)

Academy, as Asst. Instructor of Infantry Tactics, Feb. 21 to Sep. 18, 1861.

Captain, 17th Infantry, Mar. 14, 1861: Declined.

Captain, 8th Infantry, Mar. 14, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: in Recruiting

(Colonel, 41st Ohio Volunteers, Oct. 29, 1861)

 p633  and Organizing Regiment at Cleveland, O., Sep. 18 to Oct. 29, 1861; in Defense of Ohio frontier, Nov., 1861; in Operations in Kentucky, Nov., 1861, to Feb., 1862; in the Tennessee Campaign, in command of Brigade (Army of the Ohio), Feb. to May, 1862, being engaged in the Movement, via Nashville, to Pittsburg Landing, Feb. 17 to Apr. 6, 1862, — Battle of Shiloh, Apr. 7, 1862, — and Advance on Corinth, Mis., May 10‑25, 1862; on sick leave of absence, May 25 to July 4, 1862; in Operations in Tennessee, July 4 to Sep. 25, 1862, being engaged in repairing Nashville and Decatur Railroad, July 16 to Aug. 4, 1862, — in command of Murfreesborough, Aug. 15 to Sep. 10, 1862, — and Movement to Louisville, Ky., Sep. 10‑25, 1862; on the Advance into Kentucky, being engaged in the Battle of Perryville, Oct. 8, 1862, — and in several Skirmishes, Oct. 8‑20, 1862, while in Pursuit of the Rebel Army under General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bragg in the Tennessee Campaign (Army of the Cumberland), Oct. 20, 1862, to Jan. 20, 1863, bin the March to Nashville, Oct. 20 to Nov. 16, 1862, — Skirmish near Murfreesborough,

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Nov. 29, 1862)

Dec. 25, 1862, — and Battle of Stone River, Dec. 31, 1862, to Jan. 2, 1863; on leave of absence, Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, 1863; in the Tennessee Campaign (Army of the Cumberland), Feb. 20 to Sep. 22, 1863, in numerous Skirmishes about Readyville, Feb. to June, 1863, and at Woodbury, Apr. 1 and May 12, 1863. — Advance on Tullahoma, June 24 to July 4, 1863, — in command of the troops in Tennessee Valley, Aug.‑Sep., 1863, and participating in numerous Skirmishes, — Battle of Chickamauga, Sep. 19‑20, 1863, — and Skirmish at Rossville,

(Bvt. Major, Sep. 20, 1863,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Chickamauga, Ga.)

Ga., Sep. 21, 1863; in Operations about Chattanooga, Sep. 22 to Nov. 25, 1863, being engaged in the Movement with 52 pontons to Brown's Ferry, Oct. 26, 1863, with which a bridge across the Tennessee River was formed, Lookout Valley seized after a severe Skirmish, Oct. 27, 1863, and the line of supplies of the Army reopened, — Capture of 19th Alabama Regiment at Orchard Knob, Nov. 23, 1863, — and Battle of Missionary Ridge,

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Nov. 24, 1863,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Chattanooga, Ten.)

Nov. 25, 1863; in East Tennessee Campaign, Nov. 28, 1863, to Mar. 5, 1864, being engaged in Operations against General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Longstreet's Rebel forces, Dec., 1863, to Jan., 1864, — in command at Lenoir, Jan. 24 to Feb. 16, 1864, — and Pursuit of Longstreet from Knoxville to Morristown, and back to Newmarket, Feb. 16 to Mar. 2, 1864; of leave of absence, Mar. 5 to Apr. 5, 1864; in the Invasion of Georgia, May 3 to Dec. 21, 1864, being engaged in the Demonstration against Rocky-Face Ridge, May 9, 1864, — Battle of Resaca, May 15, 1864, — Actions at Adairsville, May 17, at Cassville, May 19, at Pickett's Mills, May 27, and near Kenesaw Mountain, June 17, 1864, — Battles of Kenesaw Mountain, June 21‑23, 1864, — Skirmishing on the Chattahoochee-are, July 5, 1864, — Combat of Peach Tree Creek, July 19, 1864, — Siege of Atlanta,

(Bvt. Colonel, Sep. 1, 1864,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Capture of Atlanta, Ga.)

July 22 to Sep. 2, 1864, — in command of 2d Division, 15th Army Corps, Aug. 17, 1864, — Battle of Jonesborough, Aug. 31, 1864, — at East Point, Sep. 5 to Oct. 4, 1864, — Pursuit of General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hood's Rebel Army to Gadsden, Ala., Oct. 5‑25, 1864, — March to the Sea, from Atlanta to Savannah, Nov. 16 to Dec. 13, 1864, participating in Skirmishes at Clinton, Nov. 21, at Oconee River, Nov. 25, the Statesborough, Dec. 4, and at Cannouchee River, Dec. 7, 1864, — and Assault and Capture of Ft. McAllister,  p634 Dec. 13, 1864; in the Invasion of the Carolinas, Jan. 15 to

(Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Dec. 13, 1864)

Apr. 26, 1865, being engaged in constructing road from Beaufort to Port Royal Ferry, Jan. 24‑27, 1865, — Skirmishing from Salkahatchie to Broad River, Feb., 1865, — Building Trestle Bridge in 18 hours, over Lynch's Creek (1,200 feet long), Feb. 28, 1865, — Battle of Bentonville, Mar. 20‑21,

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Capture of Ft. McAllister, Ga.)

(Bvt. Major-General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Field during the Rebellion)

1865, — Movement to Goldsborough and Raleigh, Mar. 22 to Apr. 13, 1865, — and Surrender of the Rebel Army, under Gen. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.J. E. Johnston, at Durham Station, N. C., Apr. 26, 1865; on the March to Richmond, Va., and Washington, D. C., Apr. 29 to May 20, 1865; in command of 15th Army Corps, May 19 to Aug. 1, 1865, being engaged in the Movement to Louisville, Ky., June, 1865; on leave of absence, Sep. 5 to Oct. 5, 1865; in command of District of Middle Tennessee, Oct. 12, 1865, to Jan. 24, 1866; absent sick, Jan. 27 to Mar. 8, 1866; and as Member

(Mustered out of Volunteer Service, Jan. 15, 1866)

of Board of Officers to recommend Brevet Promotions, at Washington, D. C., Mar. 10 to May 24, 1866.

Served: as Acting Inspector-General of the Department of the Platte, May 24 to Oct. 20, 1866; and in Organizing Regiment at Jefferson Barracks,

(Colonel, 38th Infantry, July 28, 1866)

Mo., Feb. to June, 1867; on leave of absence in Europe, June to Nov., 1867; on Regimental Recruiting service, to Jan., 1868; on Inspection duty at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., to Apr., 1868; in command of regiment at Ft. Craig, N. M., Apr. 29 to Aug., 1868; on Special Indian service, at Ft. Cobb, I. T., Aug., 1868, to July, 1869; in command of

(Transferred to 6th Infantry, Mar. 15, 1869)

regiment at Ft. Sill, I. T., July to Sep., 1869; on leave of absence to Europe, Sep. to Nov., 1869, being present with the Prussian Army during its investment of Paris; on frontier duty at Ft. Smith, Ark., to Dec. 29, 1869; as Superintendent of Indian Affairs to Aug. 22, 1870; on leave of absence to Jan., 1871; in command of regiment at Ft. Gibson, I. T., Jan. 29 to Sep. 30, 1871, — at Ft. Hays, Kan., Oct. 3, 1871, to May 10, 1872, — and at Ft. Buford, Dak., June 21 to Oct. 9, 1872; on leave of absence and absent sick, in Cuba, the May, 1873; on frontier duty at Ft. Buford, Dak., in command of regiment, May 25, 1873, to Oct. 24, 1875, except while on Court Martial at St. Paul, Min., May 9 to Aug. 10, 1874; on sick leave of absence in Mexico, Oct. 24, 1875, to Apr. 30, 1876; as Witness before U. S. Senate, to July, 1876; in command of regiment at Ft. Buford, Dak., Aug. 5, 1876, to July 18, 1877; as Military Attaché to U. S. Legation, Vienna, Austria, Aug., 1877, to June 24, 1878; and on delay and leave of absence, June 24, 1878, to July 1, 1879; in command of regiment and Ft. Buford, Dak., July 20, 1879, to July 12, 1880; as Member of Board on Codification of Army Regulations to Sep. 7, 1880; on delay and leave of absence to Nov. 20, 1880; in command

(Brig.‑General, Staff — Chief Signal Officer, Dec. 15, 1880)

of Regiment and Camp on White River, Col., to Dec. 1, 1880; in charge of the Signal Office, War Department, Washington, D. C., and commanding the Signal Corps, Dec. 16, 1880 (on special duty in Europe attending session of the International Committee on Meteorology in Paris, and the meeting of the Italian Meteorological Society at Florence, Italy, June 30 to Oct. 6, 1885), to Jan. 16, 1887.

 p635  Civil History. — Author of "School and Army of France and Germany," 1870; and of "Barren Lands of the Interior of the United States," 1874.

Died, Jan. 16, 1887, at Washington, D. C.: Aged 56.

Buried, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.​a

Obituary Order.

Upon the death of General Hazen, the War Department issued the following order:—​b

General Hazen entered the military service as a cadet at West Point in 1851, and soon after his graduation and assignment to a regiment, in 1855, distinguished himself in an encounter with Indians in Texas, thus giving evidence in his youth of the possession of those military traits which enabled him to do valuable service for his country in the late war, when he earned the gratitude of his countrymen. As a recognition of these services he was rapidly promoted to be a Colonel in the permanent establishment, and finally to be Chief Signal Officer of the Army, the duties of which he conscientiously discharged.

Thayer's Notes:

a Gen. Hazen's page at Arlington National Cemetery, though not showing his grave there, has much additional information, including photographs of him and of the William B. Hazen Brigade Monument at Stone River, TN.

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b The cold and perfunctory obituary, complete with its innuendoes, is a blot on those who wrote it, and a great credit to the man it belittles: Gen. Hazen was publicly critical of his superiors, including the Secretary of War, for not sending prompt relief to Greely's Arctic Expedition of 1881. The twenty-five men, eighteen of whom died — the story is sketchily told in A Short History of the United States Navy, pp416‑418 but see also my note there — were under the General's command, and he did what any decent commanding officer does: he stood up for them, even if it meant being reprimanded by the President of the United States.

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Page updated: 17 Sep 16