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Hazen, William Babcock (1830–1887)

Carolyn Hyman Biography Entry

William Babcock Hazen, United States Army general and author, was born in Vermont in 1830. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in July 1855, twenty-eighth in a class of thirty-four, and was commissioned second lieutenant in the Eighth United States Infantry. After serving tours of duty in California and Oregon, he was transferred to the Texas frontier in 1858. On July 4 he led a punitive and exploring expedition from Fort Davis, Jeff Davis County, against the Mescalero Apaches in the Guadalupe Mountains. In 1859 he led two expeditions from Fort Inge, the first on September 29 and the second on October 30. Hazen was wounded during the latter campaign, but he stayed in command of his men until the Indians had been defeated. He remained in the army, received prompt promotions, and was cited for gallant and meritorious services during the Civil War, during which he commanded Northern units at battles including those at Shiloh, Corinth, Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga. He was brevetted to major general and served for a time on the frontier in actions to quell hostile Indians. In 1880 he was promoted to brigadier general and made chief signal officer. He wrote School and Army of France and Germany (1870) and Barren Lands of the Interior of the United States (1874). Hazen died on January 16, 1887.

Mark Mayo Boatner, Civil War Dictionary (New York: David McKay, 1959). George W. Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York (8 vols., New York [etc.]: D. Van Nostrand [etc.], 1868–1940). M. L. Crimmins, "Lt. William B. Hazen, Eighth Infantry, in Texas," Frontier Times, September 1932.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Carolyn Hyman, “Hazen, William Babcock,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 20, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.