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William Babcock Hazen Papers

Creator:
Belknap, William W. (William Worth), 1829-1890  Search this
Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881  Search this
Greely, Adolphus Washington  Search this
Hayes, Rutherford Birchard, 1822-1893  Search this
Hazen, William Babcock, 1830-1887  Search this
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865  Search this
Sheridan, Philip Henry, 1831-1888  Search this
Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891  Search this
Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852  Search this
Names:
Lincoln, Robert Todd  Search this
Extent:
4 Cubic feet (11 boxes)
Culture:
Inuit -- Greenland  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cartes-de-visite
Correspondence
Diplomas
Legal documents
Military commissions
Place:
Greenland -- Exploration
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
Date:
1855-1909
Summary:
Papers document General William Babcock Hazen's military career, primarily through correspondence, photographs, and publications.
Scope and Contents:
The General William Babcock Hazen Collection, 1856-1905, consists of approximately four cubic feet of material. Collection materials include biographical, correspondence (military and family), documents on the Greely Arctic Expedition, photographs, stereographs, and material on General Hazen's book, A Narrative of Military Service.
Arrangement:
This collection is divided into six series.

Series 1, Biographical Materials, 1885-1867

Series 2, Correspondence and Military Forms 1856-1886 and undated

Series 3, Correspondence to General William Babcock Hazen, 1861-1887

Series 4, Correspondence of Hazen Family, 1858-1909

Series 5, Photographs, 1864-1881

Series 6, Publications, 1865-1886
Biographical / Historical:
General William Babcock Hazen was born September 27, 1830 in West Hartford, Vermont. Four years later, the family moved to a farm outside Hiram, Portage County, Ohio where he attended school with James A. Garfield. Hazen's goal was service in the Army, and he wrote his congressman for admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Hazen graduated in 1855, twenty-eighth out of a class of thirty-four.

After graduation, General Hazen was assigned as Brevet Second Lieutenant, Company D, Fourth Infantry, Redding, California. After arriving in California, he was ordered to Fort Lane in the Oregon Territory. Lieutenant Hazen was authorized to establish a command at Grand Ronde and build a blockhouse that became the post Fort Yamhill, located west of Portland, Oregon. On April 20, 1857, he was transferred to Fort Jones, California, and then ordered to join the Eighth Infantry, Fort Davis, Texas. Hazen was transferred to Fort Inge, Texas, to protect a road from San Antonio to Eagle Pass. During a chase, Hazen was wounded by a bullet that was not removed. The lingering effect of the bullet wound would cause him frequent pain.

During the period of service in Texas, Hazen reportedly gained leadership experience, practical military knowledge, and considerable confidence in his own abilities. Following twelve months of convalescence, Hazen was nominated assistant instructor of military tactics at West Point on January 28, 1861. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on April 1861 and captain on May 14, 1861. Colonel James A. Garfield influenced the appointment of Hazen as colonel in command of the newly organized forty-first Ohio Volunteer Regiment. Hazen quickly transformed the regiment's inexperienced personnel into a firmly disciplined body. The intensive training paid large dividends later in the war, and he always held the regiment in high regard.

As brigade and division commander, General Hazen led troops in many important battles and campaigns: Shiloh (Place of Peace), Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta, Resaca, Picketts Mill, Jonesboro, Fort McAllister, and Bentonville. On December 13, 1864, Hazen was appointed a major general of volunteers in recognition of long and faithful service and the capture of Fort McAllister. It was after the performance of his troops at Fort McAllister that a friendly relationship developed with General William T. Sherman. With the capitulation of the Confederate armies in spring of 1865, Hazen's division and the Army of the Tennessee left North Carolina where they saw their last fighting. The destination was Washington, D.C., site of a two-day grand review of the victorious Union Armies. On May 19, 1865 Hazen was elevated to commander of the Fifteenth Corps. After a thirty day furlough, he held command of the District of Middle Tennessee until the following summer. In July 1866, Hazen returned west.

In August 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant granted Hazen indefinite leave to observe the Franco-Prussian War. He viewed several battles and personally interviewed Otto von Bismarck and General Helmut von Moltke. Observations and research convinced Hazen that the United States Army was mismanaged and lacked tactical and logistical organization.

Before returning to the Sixth Infantry command, Hazen married Mildred McLean, the twenty-one year-old daughter of prominent Cincinnati Enquirer owner Washington McLean. A son John was born in 1876, but died at the age of twenty-two in 1898.

In June 1877, Hazen was appointed military attaché to the United States Legation in Vienna, Austria, and assigned as military observer of the Russo-Turkish War that had started in April 1877.

In 1878 Colonel Stanley accused Colonel Hazen of perjury and cowardice in the Civil War and requested a court-martial. Colonel Hazen retaliated by formally requesting that Stanley be arraigned by a court-martial on charges of publishing and circulating libelous material against him. On March 19, 1879, General Sherman reluctantly recommended that both generals be arraigned by the same court-martial. The New York Tribune reported "inasmuch as by the decisions of the court-martial Hazen has secured a substantial vindication." Hazen returned to Fort Buford.

While on detached service in Washington, D.C., Hazen actively campaigned for James A. Garfield for president. On August 24, 1880, General Albert James Myer, Chief of the Army Signal Corps, died, opening up a staff position subject to presidential appointment. President Rutherford B. Hayes, after consulting with President-elect Garfield, announced the promotion of Hazen to the rank of brigadier general and appointment as chief signal officer. One of Hazen's lasting legacies in this new role was advancing the development of meteorological science in the Army Signal Corps.

In May 1880, Lady Franklin Bay in northern Canada was chosen as the site for a signal service polar station, one of several conducted by eleven nations for the first International Polar Year (1882-1883). The initial two-year expedition set out in 1881 under the command of Regular Army First Lieutenant Adolphus W. Greely, a Civil War veteran from Massachusetts. The twenty-five man party did not get relief from the long winter in 1882, and a second rescue attempt was disrupted by ice. In September 1883, Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln, decided it was too late to send another relief party and they were left to spend a third winter in the Arctic. The demoralized party was forced to march south in search of supplies and landed at Cape Sabine, spending the next eight months in desperate circumstances. In June 1884, rescuers finally reached them and found only Greely and seven others alive. The remaining expedition members froze or starved to death.

Hazen never forgave Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln for his inaction with the Greely Arctic Expedition, and in 1884 Lincoln censured Hazen for his criticism. Hazen replied to Lincoln by letter, which was returned with a warning to keep the matter private. Hazen went to the press and stated in a published account that he wrote such a letter. He immediately found himself ordered before another court-martial, resulting in a reprimand by President Chester A. Arthur for "unwarranted and captious criticism." Greely supported Hazen's position. In 1885, Hazen produced A Narrative of Military Service, a report devoted to the defense of his Civil War record and personal reputation.

Health problems-diabetes and recurring pain from his bullet wound-forced Hazen to obtain a 12-month leave of absence from his military service. On January 13, 1887, he attended a White House reception where he caught a cold. He died on January 16, 1887, at the age of fifty-six.
Provenance:
In 1985, the Smithsonian received from the Estate of Fredrick McLean Bugher, grandnephew of General Hazen's wife Mildred McLean Hazen, manuscripts and letters concerning General Hazen. Part of the collection was rescued by a private individual from a Lorton, Virginia land fill and sold to the Smithsonian in 1987 in two sections. The first section contained material about the career of General William Babcock Hazen as chief signal officer of the United States Army. The second section contained manuscript materials related to Hazen's duties on the frontier and Indian tribes covering the period of 1855 to 1860, and from 1866 to 1880. Also included are family letters and land holdings in the Midwest.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Rights situation uncertain, but most of the collection is probably in the public domain due to its age.
Topic:
Arctic regions -- Discovery and exploration -- 1880-1890  Search this
Eskimos -- Greenland  Search this
Genre/Form:
Cartes-de-visite
Correspondence -- 1850-1900
Diplomas
Legal documents
Military commissions
Citation:
William B. Hazen Papers, 1855-1909, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0427
See more items in:
William Babcock Hazen Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep867016537-49d3-4a96-8de1-9147aeba33c3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0427
Online Media:

The North Pole galop composed by Horace De'Quincey

Author:
De Quincey, Horace  Search this
Nixon, F  Search this
Bella C. Landauer Collection of Aeronautical Sheet Music (Smithsonian Institution. Libraries) DSI  Search this
Subject:
Cheyne, John P. 1826-1902  Search this
Liebig's Extract of Meat Company Associated items  Search this
Physical description:
5 pages of music 35 cm
Type:
Songs and music
Sheet music covers
Sheet music
Place:
England
Arctic regions
North Pole
Arctic Ocean
Arctic Regions
Date:
1880
To 1901
1880-1890
Topic:
Ballooning  Search this
Galops  Search this
John Bull (Symbolic character)  Search this
Piano music  Search this
Popular instrumental music  Search this
Alcoholic beverages  Search this
Balloons (Aircraft)  Search this
Canned foods  Search this
Checks  Search this
Compasses (Direction indicators)  Search this
Dancers  Search this
Discoveries in geography  Search this
Dogs  Search this
Flags--British  Search this
Flutes  Search this
Ice  Search this
Maps  Search this
Men  Search this
Mountains  Search this
Oats  Search this
Polar bears  Search this
Sextants  Search this
Sleds & sleighs  Search this
Snow  Search this
Telescopes  Search this
Violins  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
British  Search this
Call number:
M1 .B4
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_982714
Online Media:

Journal of a second voyage for the discovery of a north-west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific performed in the years 1821-22-23, in His Majesty's ships Fury and Hecla, under the orders of Captain William Edward Parry : illustrated by numerous plates

Title:
Captain Parry's journal DSI
Second voyage for the discovery of a north-west passage
Author:
Parry, William Edward Sir 1790-1855  Search this
Engraver:
Finden, Edward Francis 1791-1857  Search this
Illustrator:
Lyon, G. F (George Francis) 1795-1832  Search this
Contributor:
Melville, Robert Saunders Dundas Viscount 1771-1851  Search this
Subject:
Parry, William Edward Sir 1790-1855 Travel  Search this
Physical description:
[8], xxx, [2], 571, [1] pages, [39] leaves of plates (8 folded) illustrations, maps 27 cm
Type:
Electronic resources
Place:
Canada
Arctic regions
Northwest Passage
Arctic Ocean
Date:
1824
19th century
Topic:
Eskimos--Social life and customs  Search this
Eskimos  Search this
Inuit--Social life and customs  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
British  Search this
Call number:
G650 1821 .P264 1824
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1004704
Online Media:

The coldest crucible : Arctic exploration and American culture / Michael F. Robinson

Author:
Robinson, Michael F (Michael Frederick) 1966-  Search this
Physical description:
xii, 206 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Arctic regions
Date:
2006
19th century
Topic:
Explorers--History  Search this
Scientists--History  Search this
Science--History  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
American  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_824122

Journal of a second voyage for the discovery of a north-west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific : performed in the years 1821-22-23, in His Majesty's ships Fury and Hecla, under the orders of Captain William Edward Parry, and commander of the expedition

Title:
Second voyage for the discovery of a north-west passage
Author:
Parry, William Edward Sir 1790-1855  Search this
Subject:
Parry, William Edward Sir 1790-1855 Travel  Search this
Hecla (Ship)  Search this
Fury (Ship)  Search this
Physical description:
[8], xx, 464 p., [1] leaf of plates : tables. ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Arctic regions
Canada
Northwest Passage
Date:
1824
19th century
Topic:
Scientific expeditions  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Eskimos--Social life and customs  Search this
Inuit--Social life and customs  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
British  Search this
Call number:
G650 1821 .P264b 1824
G650 1821.P21X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_263356

Sir John Franklin and the Arctic regions / P.L. Simmonds

Author:
Simmonds, P. L (Peter Lund) 1814-1897  Search this
Subject:
Franklin, John 1786-1847  Search this
Erebus (Ship)  Search this
Terror (Ship)  Search this
Physical description:
313 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
Great Britain
Arctic regions
Date:
2005
19th century
Topic:
Explorers--History  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
Call number:
G625 .S556 2005
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1051923

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