William B. Hazen: The “Best-Hated Man” of the American Civil War
Noted author and cynic Ambrose Bierce once described his former Civil War commander, Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen, as 'the best-hated man' in the American Civil War. He meant it as a compliment.
Quarreling With Every Officer... Even The President In the course of his 30-year military career, Hazen managed to quarrel with various superior officers, up to and including the president of the United States. He was reprimanded, court-martialed, and removed several times from command, only to be restored when political allies such as Rutherford B. Hayes and James A. Garfield entered the White House. His courageous testimony in the trading post scandals surrounding Secretary of War William Belknap resulted in the secretary’s resignation in disgrace but earned Hazen the lasting enmity of Belknap’s patron, President Ulysses S. Grant, and Grant’s minions, including Generals William T. Sherman, Phil Sheridan, and George A. Custer. It was all in a day’s work for the contentious Hazen. A native of Vermont, Hazen graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1855. He served against Native American warriors in Oregon and Texas, and he carried a Comanche bullet in his side for the rest of his life after being shot in an ambush in 1859. Help from a Friend With the help of his boyhood friend, then-Congressman James A. Garfield, Hazen was appointed a colonel in the Union Army in November 1861. He subsequently saw severe action at Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s Georgia campaign, winning a brevet promotion to major general of volunteers at the war’s close. Following the Civil War, Hazen saw service in the Plains Indian wars, c
Join The Conversation
View All Comments
2 thoughts on “William B. Hazen: The “Best-Hated Man” of the American Civil War”
Please identify picture of painting and artist; and the officers in the photo. Thanks.