Hazen, William Babcock was born on September 27, 1830 in West Hartford, Vermont, United States. Son of Stillman and Sophrona (Fonno) Hazen.
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1855.
Captain infantry United States Army, 1861. Colonel 41st Ohio Volunteers, 1862, major general, 1865. Commanded 15th Corps, Army of Tennessee, 1865, commander division in Sherman’s march to the sea, opened up communications between army and fleet.
Served at battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga. Commissioned colonel United States Army, 1868, responsible for forcing Custer not to attack friendly Kiowa Indian camp, 1868. Military observer with German armies in War of 1870.
Wrote articles in New York papers pointing out corruption in administration of post-trader system of West and false claims of railroad promoters regarding real value of their land. 1872; chief signal officer United States War Department, 1880. Organized scientific expedition under Lieutenant Greely sent to Lady, Franklin’s Bay, 1881.
Reprimanded for criticizing what he felt to be negligent inaction in War Department in sending relief expeditions to Fort Greely, 1885.