William B. Hazen

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William Hazen a military leader in the Army of the United States in the American Civil War and after.

Hazen was born on September 27, 1830, at West Hartford, Vermont. In 1833, the Hazen family moved to Hiram, Ohio, where they became farmers. The patriarch of the family emphasized education, and all of his children were educated in Ohio’s common schools. In 1851, William Hazen received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1855, and was assigned to a unit serving in California. He spent the next six years staging offensives against American Indians in Oregon, Texas, and New Mexico. He attained the rank of captain for his bravery and leadership in these conflicts.

In February 1861, Hazen received an appointment as assistant professor of infantry tactics at West Point. As soon as fighting broke out between the North and the South, he requested to be reassigned to a field command, but military officials repeatedly refused him. In September 1861, Hazen received a leave of absence from the regular military and accepted a commission from his home state of Ohio to serve as colonel of the Forty-First Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Hazen’s men protected Ohio’s southeastern border. In November 1861, he was dispatched to Louisville, Kentucky, to join Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio.

During 1862, Hazen had numerous opportunities to prove himself on the battlefield, participating in the Battles of Nashville, Shiloh, Perrysville, and Stone’s River. For his bravery at Stone’s River, Hazen was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. In 1863, Hazen operated in Tennessee, trying to drive Confederate forces from the state. He participated in the Battle of Chickamauga, where his soldiers covered the Northern retreat from the battlefield. Hazen and his command were also responsible for opening a supply line to Chattanooga, allowing fresh soldiers and supplies to reach the men defeated at the Battle of Chickamauga and setting the stage for the Battle of Chattanooga.

Following the Battle of Chattanooga, Hazen’s command sought to drive Confederate soldiers from eastern Tennessee. In 1864, Hazen’s men participated in William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign and the March to the Sea. In 1865, Hazen accompanied Sherman on his march through the Carolinas. He attained the rank of major general by the war’s conclusion. Following the Civil War, he remained in the United States Army, dying in Washington, DC, on January 16, 1887.

See Also


  1. Dee, Christine, ed. Ohio's War: The Civil War in Documents. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007.  
  2. Hazen, William Babcock. A Narrative of Military Service. Huntington, WV: Blue Acorn Press, 1993.  
  3. Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of Rebellion, 1861-1866. Akron, OH: The Werner Company, 1893.  
  4. Reid, Whitelaw. Ohio in the War: Her Statesmen, Generals and Soldiers. Cincinnati, OH: Clarke, 1895.
  5. Roseboom, Eugene H. The Civil War Era: 1850-1873. Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1944.