by Carolyn Thomas Foreman.
Few army officers gave more varied and valuable service to Oklahoma than William Babcock Hazen, and yet there is no marker in the state to honor his memory. This early day hero, born in West Hartford, Vermont, September 27, 1830, the son of Stillman and Sophrona Fenno Hazen, was reared in Hiram, Ohio, where he met and became the friend of James A. Garfield, then president of Hiram Eclectic Institute. At the age of twenty-one Hazen received an appointment to the Military Academy at West Point, from which he was graduated July 1, 1855, and assigned to the Fourth Infantry as a brevet second lieutenant.
The young officer was soon on his way west to duty at Fort Reading, Shasta County, California, before going to Fort Lane in southwestern Oregon, where he was engaged in skirmishes at Applegate Creek on January 3, 1856, and at Big Kanyon the twelfth of February. Hazen conducted the Rogue River Indians to the Grande Ronde Reservation that same year, and also saw service at Fort Yamhill, Oregon, in 1856-1857,1 where he was acting assistant quartermaster of the post.
Lieut. Ed. Underwood of the Fourth Infantry wrote from Fort Lane January 8, 1856, to Capt. A. J. Smith, commandant of the post: "In compliance with Post Order No. 1, dated Jan. 1, 1856, I left the post on the 2d instant, with thirty-five men of Company D, Fourth Infantry in charge of the mountain howitzer, and proceeded to a point near Star Gulch on Applegate Creek, where the Indians were reported to be strongly fortified . . . .
"I found the Indians occupying three heavy log-houses and apparently secure in their position. . . After having selected a
1George W. Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, N. Y., New York, 1868, vol. 2, pp. 413-415; Major-General Hazen on His Post of Duty in the Great American Desert, Reviewed by an Ex-Surveyor-General [John Osborne Sargent], New York, 1874, p. 15.
position for the howitzer I put it in charge of Lieutenant Hazen, who immediately opened fire . . ." and threw two shells through the roof of one of the houses.2
Lieutenant Hazen was relieved from this post by Lieutenant Philip H. Sheridan who was ordered to take station with a detachment of dragoons on the Grande Ronde Reservation in Yamhill County, Oregon. Sheridan departed for this station April 21 by way of Portland and Oregon City, and arrived at Hazen's camp four days later. The post was located in the Coast Range Mountains, and, as it was to be permanent, Hazen had begun buildings to shelter his command; Sheridan continued the work according to plans laid out by Hazen,3 who had left to join his regiment in Texas April 20, 1857.4
Hazen was on leave of absence and awaiting orders from April to December, 1857. The next year he was still on frontier duty conducting recruits to Texas, where his headquarters were at Fort Davis, in Jeff Davis County, when he was not scouting against the Apaches. Hazen, with a command of two non-commissioned officers and twenty-eight privates of the Eighth Infantry, followed a party of Apaches on a march of 220 miles over a country destitute of water and grass, and finally came upon their ranch of fifteen lodges; in the fight which ensued at Guadeloupe Mountain on June 14, 1858, one Indian was killed, one was captured, while thirty horses and mules, which the Indians had driven off from Fort Davis, were recovered.
The year 1859 was an active period for Lieutenant Hazen, as he was engaged in scouting much of the time; on May 16, with one non-commissioned officer, nine privates, a guide and four citizens of Uvalde, Texas, all well mounted, the officer left Fort Inge, over a difficult trail, in pursuit of a party of Kickapoos who had stolen some horses. On the fourth day of the scout, Hazen attacked eight or ten Indians, killing four, while the remainder were severely wounded; property of the Indians captured included seven horses. Another fight occurred with the Kickapoos on October 5, in which Hazen participated.
On October 30, 1859, with seven enlisted men and one noncommissioned officer, Hazen went in pursuit, from Fort Inge, of some Comanches who had killed two citizens near Sabinal. The trail was followed until November 3, when the soldiers discovered an Indian camp on the headwaters of the Llano. In the charge which followed four of the Comanches were killed and three others killed or wounded. Lieutenant Hazen was severely wounded; a ball passed through his left hand, fracturing the bone of his ring finger; it then entered the right side of his chest between the
fifth and sixth ribs. The courageous young officer remained on the field for four days before he was placed upon a horse, and after two days travel he arrived back at Fort Inge. The ball was not extracted and, still suffering, Hazen was sent to San Antonio and given sick leave. While in that city a public meeting was held where resolutions of approval were passed praising the officer and a sword was presented him to show the gratitude of the citizens of the state.5
When the Civil War started Hazen was assistant instructor of infantry tactics at the Military Academy, and he was retained there until September 18, 1861. Promotion came fast to him during that year; in April he became a first lieutenant, a captain on May 14. He recruited the Forty-first Ohio Infantry a regiment of volunteers, at Cleveland, Ohio, and became its colonel on October 29. He defended the Ohio frontier and took part in operations in Kentucky. He took command of a brigade on January 6, 1862, and served with distinction at the Battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, as it was called by the Confederates, on April 6-7, 1862; he was in the siege of Corinth April 29 to June 5 of that year. In the battle of Stone's River, October 12, 1862, he protected the left wing of the army from being turned by simultaneous assaults in front and flank. In the operations resulting in the battle of Chickamauga Hazen commanded a brigade, and at Missionary Ridge he captured eighteen pieces of artillery.
In the siege of Chattanooga General "Hazen, in command of the men manning the pontoons, floated out from Chattanooga at 3 A. M. . . .
"The most delicate part of this bold maneuver was given to General Hazen, who commanded eighteen hundred men. It was their part to float the sixty pontoons down the swift stream for nine miles, in sight of the watch fires of the Confederate picketline that were burning at the edge of the water. Their only exertion was to steer close into the shadow of the bank opposite that occupied by the enemy. This daring undertaking was eminently successful. Hazen and his men reached Brown's Ferry at 5 A. M., and the brainy and gallant young officer led the attacking party that surprised and captured a picket holding a knob immediately above the ferry." General Hazen marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the sea, and later north through Columbia. In all, he participated in thirteen campaigns. He became a brigadier of volunteers November 29, 1862; a major general two years later.6
5Cullum, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 413-15; Hazen, op. cit., pp. 430-36. Hazen was brevetted for gallantry in the two Texas engagements.
6Dictionary of American Biography, vol. 8, p. 478; Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, Washington, 1903, vol. 1, p. 517; ibid., vol. 2, p. 24; Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, New York, 1888, vol. 3, pp. 150-51; Adjutant General's Office, H. 282. C. B. 1866; Donn Piatt, General George H. Thomas, A Critical Biography, Cincinnati, 1893, pp. 374, 382, 387, 397, 416, 455.
Hazen was recommended as a brigadier general by Gen. W. S. Rosecrans in his report of the Stone River campaign. He was "specially mentioned for courage and skill in handling his troops, and for maintaining an important position" at that time; his brigade "nobly vindicated their courage."7 He was brevetted after the battle of Chickamauga, the battle of Chattanooga, in the capture of Atlanta, after his capture of Fort McAllister, and on March 13, 1865, he became a major general by brevet.8
In August, 1864, Hazen had been appointed to command the Second Division in Sherman's well-trained corps; he was divided between admiration for its fighting abilities and despair because of its intense democracy. He ordered the soldiers to abandon "their vicious and almost mutinous habit, if rations were late of calling "Hard-tack," to general officers" who chanced to ride near them. He tried in vain to teach the men to have their hair cut so that they would not look like frontier Leather Stockings.9
General Sherman had made a complete investigation of the City of Savannah by December 12 and his way to the shore was barred only by Fort McAllister. The men of Hazen's division were the first to reach the Savannah River, from where they could see the smoke of the Federal gunboats and transports which were bringing much-needed supplies of food. But between the troops and the provisions were the earthworks of Fort McAllister, so it was necessary to capture that point before the lean and hungry men could be fed. General Sherman asked Hazen: "Can your boys take those works?" The answer was that they were obliged to do so.10
Gen. O. O. Howard, after consulting with Sherman, directed General Hazen's second division of the Fifteenth Corps to cross the Ogeechee River by the King's Bridge, and march rapidly down the south bank of the stream against Fort McAllister; Sherman calculated that the place was strong on the sea side, but weak on the land side.
Hazen's advance, under Col. Wells S. Jones, arrived at a point only half a mile from the fort early in the afternoon, but it was five o'clock before the force was sufficiently large to make an assault. General Sherman and General Howard rode down the north side of the river to watch the fight; as the sun began to sink with no sign of an attack, Sherman signalled impatiently for Hazen to hurry; the General replied that he was about prepared, and his troops moved from the woods, "the lines dressed as on parade, with colors flying" bore down on the fort, which was
7War of the Rebellion Official Records, Series I, Vol XX, Part 1, Reports, Washington, 1887, pp. 198, 202, 265.
8Heitman, op. cit., val 1, p. 517; Harper's Encyclopaedia of United States History, New York, 1902, vol. 4, p. 368.
strongly fortified with palisades, abatis and ditches; streams and marshes covered its flanks. The Federals were immediately enveloped in dense clouds of smoke from the guns in the fort, but in a short time the parapets were blue with Hazen's men. In fifteen minutes the fight was over, the garrison captured and the Stars and Stripes were unfurled on December 13, 1864.11
General Hazen reported the capture of twenty-four pieces of ordnance, with their equipment, forty tons of ammunition, with the small arms of the command, and a month's supply of food.12 In the grand review of the Federal army in Washington on May 24, 1865, General Hazen marched at the head of the Fifteenth Corps of the Army of the Tennessee.13
In 1865 conditions on the Great Plains had become so disturbed by the turbulent state of the Indians that congress sent a committee to make an investigation; as a result a "piece commission" was selected to visit all of the western tribes to make new treaties and distribute food supplies and blankets among them. Gen. William T. Sherman was provided, by an act of Congress, with ample funds to be used for the Indians. The Great Plains area was divided by Sherman into two districts, with Brigadier General W. S. Harney in charge of the northern portion, and Brevet Brigadier General Hazen of the southern. These officers were furnished with liberal sums to carry on the work.14
The Indians in the southwestern part of Indian Territory made frequent raids into Texas to steal horses and mules, and they sometimes committed shocking depredations; this was especially the case of the Kiowas and Comanches, "who were probably the worst Indians east of the rocky Mountains."15
According to Hazen's record he was stationed in Washington for a time after the Civil War, organized a regiment at Jefferson Barracks, and on July 28, 1866, became colonel of the Thirty-eighth Infantry.
Under orders from General Sherman the newly appointed Indian superintendent attended the Medicine Lodge peace commission. He was directed to use his influence to bring about the removal of the plains Indians to the area which became Oklahoma. Sheridan and Hazen prevailed upon the Kiowas, Apaches and a small band of Comanches at Medicine Lodge to go to Fort Cobb, where they would be away from danger in case of difficulties with
11B. H. Lidddell Hart, Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American, New York, 1929, p. 343; W. Fletcher Johnson, Life of Wm. Tecumseh Sherman, Chicago, 1891, p. 390; The Photographic History of the Civil War, vol. 3, p. 231.
14Carl Coke Rister, Border Captives the Traffic in Prisoners by Southern Plains Indians, 1835-1875, Norman, 1940, pp. 135-36.
15Lawrie Tatum, Our Red Brothers and the Peace Policy of President Ulysses S. Grant, Philadelphia, 1899, p. 25.
the soldiers. There were no troops to escort General Hazen when he was ready to leave for Fort Cobb and it was necessary for him to make a long journey by way of Forts Gibson and Arbuckle. He reached Fort Cobb November 8, 1868, where he found 1700 Indians congregated. There were also present two troops of the Tenth Cavalry under Lieut. J. T. Lee. Hazen faced a tremendous problem in feeding these Indians as well as others who began to arrive.16
The sympathetic attitude of General Hazen, and his understanding of their affairs, drew the Indians to him. Some of the older chiefs had become interested in the plans he explained that the government was making for their safety. "Relations between the Indians and Whites would not have been so strained if the other soldier chiefs understood the red men as well as did most of the agents the Great White Father had sent out to deal with them such as Hazen, Leavenworth, Wynkoop."17
Pursuant to the treaty of 1866, two commissioners were appointed on July 21, 1869, to make a list of the Creeks who had remained loyal to the United States government during the Civil War; these men were General Hazen and Capt. Francis Almon Field,18 who also made an inventory of property lost by them and valued it for the commissioner of Indian affairs. The Indians had presented a claim for $5,000,000 worth of property, but the award of the army officers amounted to $1,800,000 in round numbers. This sum was never challenged and was never debated; the award was approved by the commissioner of Indian affairs, and on September 5, 1870, the Secretary of the Interior concurred to the extent of $100,000.19
On October 1, 1868, from the Wichita Agency, Indian Agent Henry Shanklin wrote to Col. L. N. Robinson, superintendent of Indian affairs at the Creek Agency, that he was anxiously awaiting the arrival of General Hazen, as he hoped to prevail upon him
16Grant Foreman, A History of Oklahoma, Norman, 1942, p. 159; Capt. W. S. Nye, Carbine and Lance, the Story of Old Fort Sill, Norman, 1937, pp. 71-2.
18Francis Almon Field, who was born in Ohio, served as a private and first sergeant in the Eighth Infantry from 1859 to May, 1862, when he was appointed a second lieutenant in the Eleventh Infantry; the next year he was advanced a grade and on December 5, 1863, became regimental adjutant; he reached his captaincy in 1868. Captain Field was brevetted for gallant and meritorious service at the Battle of Gettysburg and was honorably discharged, at his own request, October 1, 1870. He died August 4, 1900.
19Senate Document No. 420, Fifty-seventh Congress, First session; Angie Debo, The Road to Disappearance, Norman, 1941, 189. After thirty-seven years, in a message to the National Council, in extraordinary session, on May 19, 1903, Pleasant Porter, Principal Chief of the Muskogee Nation, addressed the Honorable House of Kings and Warriors regarding the fulfilling of treaty stipulations with the various Indian tribes and calling attention to an appropriation of $600,000 to pay the Loyal Creek claims.
to include the Wichitas in the order issued by General Sherman relative to feeding wild Indians, and thus prevent much suffering. Shanklin said that it was unfortunate for the Wichitas that the former agent of the Kiowas and Comanches had located his charges in the immediate neighborhood of the Wichita village, bringing into their midst four or five thousand of the "very worst plains Indians—some of whom had never before visited an Agency. . .." They almost ruined the crops of corn and beans planted by the Wichitas, broke down fences, and turned herds of ponies into their fields. He recommended that the government affiliate them with a more advanced tribe.20
Gov. Samuel J. Crawford of Kansas considered the work of the Peace Commission in trying to induce the Indians to return to their reservations in the Indian Territory was a failure. The redskins "wanted more scalps, horses, mules, and other valuables ....and having been supplied with arms, ammunition, provisions, clothing and war paint by the Government and the Indian traders, they were now ready for the Warpath."21
General Hazen discovered that the Indians had been trifling with him when they appeared at Fort Cobb in full dress and ready for an autumn campaign. He notified General Sheridan, who telegraphed Governor Crawford from Fort Hays on October 8, 1868: "Gen. Hazen has informed me that the friendly overtures which were made to the Kiowas and Comanches at Larned on the nineteenth and twentieth of September, 1868, have failed to secure peace with them, or removal to their reservations; and I am authorized to muster in one regiment of cavalry from your State for a period of six months. . ." Governor Crawford, who had been expecting this development, stated that people who were familiar with the character and habits of the wild tribes knew that the young Comanches and Kiowas had been with the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and Apaches on the war path ever since they had drawn their arms and ammunition from the government in August.
"General Hazen should have known it, but he was good-natured, easy victim for the treacherous Indians." Within three days after the Indians received their arms at Larned they were on the Smoky Hill and along the Kansas Pacific Railroad robbing, murdering and scalping the white people. On the fourteenth of August they attacked settlements in the Saline, Solomon and Republican valleys, leaving a trail of blood and smoking ruins. Hazen should have been convinced that they could not be trusted, but he still had faith in them. After two months of fighting, the red savages ran out of ammunition and returned to Fort Larned with the scalps of their victims hanging to their belts. They asked for "more ammunition with which to kill game for food while en route
to their reservations." Again they were supplied, and again they were on the war-path. Hence General Hazen's dispatch to Sheridan.22
Crawford resigned as governor on November 4, 1868, and the same day became colonel of the Nineteenth Kansas Cavalry; the regiment left Topeka for Camp Supply the next day, and crossed the Arkansas River on November 14. "It was a bold dash into the wilderness with a regiment of one thousand officers and men, at the approach of winter." Part of the regiment was left in a camp on the Cimarron River, while the remainder pushed on, arriving at Supply on November 26.23
People in the East were incensed when the report of the peace commission became public, and a meeting was held at Cooper Institute in New York on July 14, 1868, to protest the corruption in Indian affairs. General Hazen, from his post at Fort Cobb, on November 10, 1868, wrote to Peter Cooper, who was deeply interested in the improvement of the condition of the red men. Hazen related that there were eight or ten thousand Kiowas, Comanches, and other wild tribes gathering around him in order for him to feed and settle them on reservations, "where the evils so loudly condemned in the East could no longer exist, and where they would be self-supporting from the cultivation of the soil." He urged Cooper to delegate a member of the New York Indian Commission to spend the winter as his guest, where he could study the condition of the Indians at first hand. He also begged that missionaries, house-builders, farmers and cattle-raisers be sent to help the Indians fit themselves for the life the government desired them to adopt.24
Vincent Colyer was chosen by the Indian Commission to accept General Hazen's invitation; he served without salary, and the commission subscribed the necessary funds to defray his expenses. General Grant issued an order for his escort and transportation, and he departed on his journey in the middle of February, 1869. Colyer traveled by way of Fort Leavenworth and while in Kansas was greeted with some "very loud curses" by a Kansas official as an "Indian peace commissioner." He arrived at the Wichita Agency, Indian Territory, on March 29, 1869, having traveled from Fort Arbuckle, which he described as "the most desolate and by far the most interesting of any I had traveled over. The wild character of the scenery, so barren, and, in a large part, so entirely uninhabited; the quality of game, wild ducks, geese, plover, quail, prairie chickens, swans, antelope, deer, &c., constantly in sight, made it particularly exciting.
23Ibid., pp. 20-23. For a thrilling account of the march of the Nineteenth Kansas Cavalry see Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, 1900, vol. 6, pp. 38-40.
"The wolves were very bold, being frequently within musket range and surrounding our lonely camp at night with their watchful cries . . . General Hazen kindly prepared a tent, with fireplace, bed, &c., for my comfort, and Major General Grierson, who commands the military of this department, (General Hazen's duties being really only those of Indian agent, &c.,), received me, as did all the other army officers, most cordially."
Colyer described the many uncivilized and warlike Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Comanches, Apaches, and affiliated bands who were encamped about his tent; some of the women and men were half naked; others wore blankets and buffalo robes and carried revolvers, carbines or bows and arrows. Almost all were mounted on ponies and appeared awkward when dismounted. Colyer thought them the finest riders in the world, and when they rode, garbed in bright blankets, they presented a most picturesque sight. The children were bright and intelligent looking.
While General Hazan and Colyer were at dinner, three members of the Cheyenne tribe appeared at the officer's tent door; they were the first to arrive since the attack of General Custer at Washita. General Hazen was delighted to see them and they proved to be the advance party of a band of six hundred to arrive in a day or two. These men were over six feet tall, wiry and tough in build, grave and dignified in manner.
The Indian chiefs, Little Big-Mouth, Roman Nose, Old Storm and Yellow Bear, arrived on April 5, 1869, with six hundred of their Arapahoes, who were prepared to go to their new reservation north of the Cimarron River. Colyer, at the suggestion of Hazen, talked with the principal chief, Roman Nose; he told the Indian that the president would favor all efforts to civilize the Indians and asked if the Arapahoes would like to learn to read and write, plow fields, plant corn, and live in cabins. The chief replied that his people desired to follow the face of the white man and learn his ways; they would welcome teachers and treat them as brothers.
General Hazen, Col. Albert Gallatin Boone and Colyer visited the farms of the agency, selected a place for the mission school and set the plows to work. The farms occupied a beautiful plateau of about 200 acres of rich bottom land, surrounded by Cache Creek and one of its branches. On April 7 Colyer visited the agency of the affiliated bands; these people numbered about 700 and were the remnants of the important Wichitas, Kechies, Caddoes, Wacoes, among others. Their agency was twenty-two miles north of Camp Wichita in the beautiful and fertile Eureka Valley. The party was made up of General Hazen, Colonel Boone, Jones as interpreter, Colyer and Captain Gray, and the night was passed in the ambulance of the General.
The Indians arrived in small groups; they were gay in bright colors and shining ornaments and all were mounted. After the tribes had all arrived the goods were given to them in separate lots, the transaction being witnessed by Captain Gray, as was required by law, to vouch for the correctness of the issue; Philip McCusky, the interpreter, informed General Hazen that the chiefs wished to speak with him and Mr. Colyer, and they asked Hazen to make the first talk.
The General informed them that the goods he had brought were not part of their regular annuity, but were given to them because they were peaceful and industrious. He had brought plows and garden seed for them, employed farmers to teach them, and said he would continue to keep watch over their interests. After speeches by Agent Boone and Colyer, Good Buffalo, chief of the Wacoes, said he was glad to see their faces, that the Great Spirit had made the white man wiser than the Indian and told him to guide the red people and show them the way; the land about them had belonged to their fathers; the bones of his people were in the ground where the post was built. The chief of the Caddoes called attention to their poverty to Colyer, who promised to report the matter to the Great Father at Washington.
After the talk the squaws distributed the goods to the other women and children who sat in a circle. When the white men left the agency they went to the Wichita village; the eastern visitor was intrigued by the fine grass houses, neat fences, well cultivated fields and melon patches.25
Hazen faced the stupendous task of settling the Comanches, Kiowas, Caddoes and Witchitas, as well as the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, lately driven from their homes far in the west, and training them to an entirely new way of life; in this he showed himself a great executive, and Oklahoma reached a state of civilization years sooner than it would have without his peace efforts.
On the North Fork of the Canadian River was the newly built Camp Supply, and in the autumn of 1868 several columns of troops advanced from Fort Lyon, Colorado, from New Mexico, and from Fort Hays, Kansas; from the last named place the Fifth Cavalry was led by Major General George A. Custer. The peaceful and friendly Kiowas had congregated at Fort Cobb, by order of Hazen, for rations and also for protection from hostile Indians, whom the officer had commanded to stay away; Black Kettle, however, went to Fort Cobb towards the end of November, but Hazen would not receive him and he was ordered from the post. Hazen prevented Custer from destroying the friendly Kiowa and the latter officer was most critical of the peace policies of Indian agents in his book, Life on the Plains; he did not spare Hazen, who is-
sued a pamphlet containing a statement in defense of his record while a special Indian agent.26
From Fort Cobb, December 16, 1868, General Hazen wrote: "To the Officer Commanding Troops in the Field: Indians have just brought in word that our troops have reached the Washita some twenty miles above here. I send this to say that all camps this side of the point reported to have been reached are friendly, and have not been on the warpath this season. If this reaches you, it would be well to communicate with Satanta or Black Eagle, chiefs of the Kiowas, near where you are, who will readily inform you of the position of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, also of my camp."27
Calling Fort Cobb "a hell of a place," General Sheridan ordered Colonel Grierson to make a reconnaissance of a camp he had occupied at Medicine Bluff, as he wished a full report on it as a site to replace Fort Cobb and Fort Arbuckle. Grierson's party consisted of Colonel Hazen, Col. James W. Forsyth, Capt. John Walter Clous of the Thirty-eighth Infantry, Lieut. Samuel Lippincott Woodward, Adjutant of the Tenth Cavalry, and Mr. De B. Randolph Keim, a newspaper man. They left Cobb December 28, 1868, with an escort of forty men of the Tenth Cavalry, and rode down the north bank of the Washita; they crossed the river and the next day arrived at Medicine Bluff with Mount Scott eight miles away.
A week later Hazen and Maj. Meredith Helm Kidd of the Tenth, with Keim, Philip McCusker an interpreter, and a Comanche Indian guide, set out to explore the Wichita Mountains and to make an ascent of Mount Scott; they had an exciting time, as they lost their horses and were compelled to return to camp in a pouring rain. The horses were found by the guide the next morning. The prominent peaks of the Wichitas were used by the Indians for signalling. While the party was on the top of the mountain Hazen and Keim set fire to the dry grass and cedar branches they gathered, and in a short time the entire summit was ablaze, to the great alarm of the savages for miles.
In February, Hazen, Lieut. Col. Joseph Crain Audenried, aide de camp to General Sherman, and Keim set out with an Indian guide, an orderly and a camping outfit for an elk hunt. They made camp near Mount Sheridan, which they ascended.28
In January, 1869, General Hazen removed his agency to the new post called "Camp Washita," which had been selected by Col. Benjamin H. Grierson. The name of the garrison was changed
26W. B. Hazen, Some Corrections of "Life on the Plains," St. Paul, Minn., 1874; Forty-first Congress, Second Session, House Executive Document No. 240, "Difficulties with Indian Tribes," pp. 146-49; The Chronicles of Oklahoma, December, 1925, p. 295ff; Frederick L. Paxon, History of the American Frontier, Boston, 1924, p. 507.
28De B. Randolph Keim, Sheridan's Troopers on the Borders: A Winter Campaign on the Plains, Philadelphia, 1885, pp. 231-32, 257-58.
in July to Fort Sill. On March 15, 1869, Hazen was transferred to the Sixth Infantry as colonel of that regiment. From "Headquarters Southern Indian District Medicine Bluff Creek, Indian Territory," on March 31, 1869, Hazen advertised for proposals to furnish supplies for the Comanche, Kiowa, Apache, Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Caddo, Wichita, and affiliated bands of Indians for six months, commencing June 1, 1869. Bids were to be received at his post until May 10, when they would be opened and the contracts awarded.
"The following are about the amounts that will be required daily, viz: 10,000 pounds of Beef, 5,000 pounds of Flour, Corn Meal, or Corn, 200 pounds Brown Sugar, 100 pounds of Coffee, 100 pounds Salt, 100 pounds Soap."29 By previous agreement with the Indians General Hazen issued an order April 12, 1869, from Camp Wichita that farmers of the different tribes were to have one-fourth instead of one-tenth of the crops they raised.30 From Camp Wichita, June 20, 1869, Colonel Hazen notified Gen. J. D. Cox, Secretary of the Interior, that he had issued bids for furnishing Indian food, but had awarded contracts only for beef, "which I get for 2 89/100 c pr. lb. while to C. S. pays 4¾ c."
Lawrie Tatum was living on a farm in Iowa when he read of his appointment as agent for the Kiowas, Comanches, Wichitas and affiliated bands, all located in the southwestern section of Indian Territory. He was soon notified of his appointment officially and directed to meet General Hazen at Junction City, Kansas, on May 20, 1869, in order for the officer to escort him to his agency. He took with him his friend James G. Southwick, who was to serve in some capacity at the agency. In the then small village of Junction City these two good friends met General Hazen, who conveyed them in his ambulance, drawn by four mules, in a southerly direction for about 350 miles; they slept in a tent, and Tatum wrote that they did not see a house from Junction City to where Wichita is now located; there they saw several grass lodges that had been built by the Wichitas during the Civil War, and two or three stockade houses. No other buildings were seen until the party reached Fort Sill. General Hazen had ordered the construction for the agency of an adobe house three or four miles from the fort.
The General had several small tracts plowed and employed a man to show the Indians how to plant and cultivate the crops. The women drove stakes in the ground around the plowed areas and tied small poles to them with pieces of bark in an attempt to keep their ponies from the corn, melons and pumpkins, but the "squaw fences" were too frail to last until the corn was gathered and the ponies had to be watched to keep them out of the fields.
Agent Tatum assumed charge of the agency July 1, 1869; there were 2,500 Comanches, 1,900 Kiowas, 500 Apaches and 1,200 of the Wichita and affiliated bands. General Hazen had two hundred acres in the Washita valley plowed for the use of thirty Delaware Indians in Tatum's agency.31
While the Quaker, Thomas C. Battey, was teaching among the Kiowas he was informed by Stumbling Bear, a chief of that tribe, that he had killed and scalped five men, and Kicking Bird seven, while General Hazen was their agent.32
From Fort Scott, Kansas, on August 21, 1869, General Hazen wrote Agent Tatum: "I now have military command of the country occupied by the Indians of your Agency, and will be glad to give you aid in farthering your work. I had believed that it might be necessary to remove certain persons out of the Indian country from a disposition I have expected to see manifested of opposition to the new Indian policy. I wish you would write me freely in case you observe causes of irritation that can and ought to be abated. Be pleased to write me . . . what has been authorized by Commissioner Parker . . . as I have some money to apply for the benefit of your people when it is best known how to do so."33
General Hazen was on special service in the Indian Territory with the Sixth Infantry and as superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern Superintendency until September 2, 1869; he commanded the District of Lower Arkansas to December 9, 1869. Hazen wrote from New York City, April 2, 1870, to the Rev. Enoch Hoag, superintendent of Indian Affairs, at Lawrence, Kansas, that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, on February 26, had asked him to take preliminary steps to establish a permanent reservation for the Wichitas and affiliated bands. He had directed Lieutenant Jocelyn, who assisted him in Indian work, to go to Fort Sill to confer with Agent Tatum and try to learn the wishes of the Indians; to see where best to locate the reservation, reporting fully to him.
In a consultation upon the subject of the Wichitas with Commissioner Parker, he had promised Hazen to appoint for them a sub-agent and furnish them with about $5,000 a quarter. General Hazen thought if that sum were judiciously applied it would soon set the tribe in a way to manage alone. Hoag was asked to name a suitable person for sub-agent from among the Friends—a practical and conscientious man who would be free to manage his trust in the way that seemed best to him, because he was not to be bound by treaty stipulations; his salary would be about $1200.00 a year.34 In April, 1870, Hazen was reported in Baxter en route
34Hazen gave his address for the time being as Garrettsville, Ohio. Oklahoma Historical Society, Indian Archives, Kiowa-Wichita Indians.
to Fort Gibson. "His Department, that of the Lower Arkansas, has broken up, and he appointed Superintendent of various Indian tribes in the nation . . . his policy of treating them has been generally successful."35 Hazen had sent his final report to General Sherman from Camp Wichita on June 30, 1869.36
On August 29, 1870, General Hazen was granted leave of absence for the purpose of going abroad as military observer with the German army during the Franco-Prussian War. General Sheridan, in his Personal Memoirs, wrote, on September 22, 1870: "We arrived at Versailles about 7 o'clock that evening and settled ourselves in the Hotel Resevoir . . . This American circle was enlarged a few days later by the arrival of Gen. Wm. B. Hazen, of our army, Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside and Mr. Paul Forbes." At Brussels, September 22, 1870, Hazen was given permission to join the German armies by Lord Chancellor Count Bismarck.37 Hazen's leave expired January 20, 1871, and he took command at Fort Gibson ten days later.38
Several railroads were racing to be the first to construct a line across the northern boundary of Indian Territory in a southern direction, and Levi Parsons, president of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company telegraphed the Secretary of the Interior on June 8, 1870, that his line had arrived at the border with a completed road two days previously; General Hazen and Enoch Hoag were appointed commissioners to investigate this claim, found it to be true and so reported to Secretary Cox on June 13, since no other road was nearer than sixteen miles of the line.39 On June 21, 1871, Hazen, then colonel of the Sixth Infantry and commandant at Fort Gibson, wrote to Fort Leavenworth in regard to straightening the road from his post to Fort Sill. "The main points were to improve the road between this point and Fort Davis, a point about six miles from here, where the railroad company intend to establish their depot."40
The coming of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway brought hordes of gamblers, whiskey sellers and thieves to the Indian Territory, and at the time when the road reached Gibson Station and troops were most needed, General Pope ordered Fort Gibson abandoned; on September 25, 1871, the four companies of the Sixth Infantry left the post for Fort Hays, and General Hazen formally evacuated the fort five days later.41
37B'v't Maj.-Gen'l W. B. Hazen, U.S.A. Colonel Sixth Infantry, The School and the Army in Germany and France, with a Diary of Siege Life at Versailles, New York, 1872, pp. lv, 9. The introduction of this work was dated Fort Hays, Kans.
38Adjutant General's Office, "Old Records Division," Fort Gibson Letter Book 21, p. 119; Dictionary of American Biography.
General Hazen married Miss Mildred McLean, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Washington McLean of Cincinnati, and sister of John R. McLean, editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Miss McLean had been educated by governesses and at the Ursulin Convent; she was very accomplished, speaking French, German and Italian. The Hazens occupied the large stone headquarters house at Fort Gibson, and the arrival of the bride caused quite a sensation in the frontier village. Accounts of persons living there at the time say Mrs. Hazen was accompanied by a French maid to care for her and her ten trunks of finery. She is said to have been the most stylish woman who ever lived at that post. She mingled freely with the women of Fort Gibson and was popular. She was a fine horse woman and frequently went on hunts for deer and turkey; at times she even hunted bear and buffalo.42
Hazen was in command of Fort Gibson from January 30, to September 30, 1871. The Cherokee Advocate, October 14, 1871, contains a letter dated Fort Gibson, September 30, 1871, from Brevet Major General Hazen (Colonel Sixth Infantry) to the citizens of the Indian Territory, in which he says: "It is now three years since I came among you, first at Fort Cobb, clothed with almost regal power, to do such things as seemed best calculated for the good of your wild brethren located there. I was recalled in less than a year, after inaugurating plans, which if permitted to carry out, would have forever settled the differences which still result in the death of many innocent people, much pillage, and a constant condition of war in northern Texas.
"I was then made your Superintendent, but without any power to act in your behalf. I have made your welfare one of my main subjects of thought for sixteen years, the most of which has been spent among your people from Oregon to Texas, and not without arriving at convictions upon all the main points connected with your welfare.
"In parting I have only to say, 'accept the inevitable,' and lose no time in securing your full rights in the soil of your country. These lands were given for a valuable consideration of broad and rich acres surrendered by you in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. But so long as they are held in common, they are liable to become the rich prey of the various wealthy corporations, through a well intentioned but misinformed National Congress.
"You should then seek at once to give individual rights in the soil which will be inviolable, and sell the remaining land for your own advantage, else the powerful rail road corporations uninvited by you, will possess themselves of these rights.
"There is no evasion of this 'inevitable,' it is controlled by unrelenting nature, the same that has peopled and made productive the countries of the east.
"It is not the work of your leaders but when they tell you of what I am now telling you, they only say what their superior foresight has enabled them to clearly see.
"Neither is it the work of parties and Congress, but laws of nature that control us all. So when you speak of assasination and violence, you speak wickedly and ignorantly.
"For a hundred years you have been associated with the white man, and should know by this time that his ways, and not yours control the land, and the quicker you adopt his ways, and assimilate your system to his, the better for you, and in no other way have you a hope of long and prosperous life.
"The wild men of the western plains yet require a closer surveilance and must learn the lessons you have already learned. There is no city or community in the world however civilized but require its jail and police and a system for wild men dispensing with both, cannot succeed. Their real need is the sternest force associated with the best humanity, which will ensure unyielding justice, the same hand dealing chastisement to the vicious that confers benefits upon the deserving."
General Hazen addressed a note to Elias Boudinot, editor of the Advocate, saying he would be grateful if he would publish his letter and regretting that he had not met him during his sojourn in the Indian Territory. Boudinot printed the communication under the heading:
"ONE MORE WARNING.
"The following letter to the Indians of this Territory is worth careful attention, coming as it does from an intelligent officer high in the favor of the Government, and one who has made Indian matters his study. So far as the allotment of our lands is concerned we are not one whit more interested than any other citizen and do not care a 'chaw of tobacco' for any personal advantage accruing to us beyond what will be shared by all alike. We are fully aware that it is the class who are most opposed to the measure who would be most benefitted by it. While we deplore their indifference we look forward to the time not far distant when our opinions and advice on the subject will be justified by events. But it is useless to talk. The warning of Gen. Hazen a repetition of that of others no less anxious than he that the Indians should do what they can in time to save themselves. — The situation is clearly and candidly described, and the advice founded on it is evidently prompted by no possible motive except an impulse of good feeling and perhaps pity.
"Lest any one should indulge in unworthy suspicions in regard to the origin of the letter, we print the note which accompanied it."
At the end of Hazen's letter Boudinot inserted a "Remark. —We deny that after a division there could or should be any 'remainder.' "
Hazen was next reported from his station at Fort Hays on Big Creek, Kansas, in April, 1872. In 1874 he was in command of Fort Buford, North Dakota, near the mouth of the Yellowstone River.
General Hazen wrote an article for the North American Review, January, 1875, concerning the Great American Desert, which he felt well qualified to describe after his long residence in that territory. This was the most scientific description of the area in print to that date. He did not agree with other observers that there would be a damming of the tide of immigration on the frontier in the middle of Kansas and Nebraska; he contended that the land agents and railroads had greatly exaggerated the agricultural possibilities of the country.
Hazen stated that 200 miles from Omaha good agricultural land was found, but west of there only barrenness. The western limit of farming land had been reached by settlers along the frontier from the Rio Grande to the forty-ninth parallel of latitude. He considered the western half of Kansas unfit for agriculture and settlement. He estimated that the possible arable land in Arizona and New Mexico did not exceed one million acres each, while there were two millions in Colorado.
A conclusion is reached by Hazen in the following: "The phenomena of the formation and rapid growth of new, rich and populous states will no more be seen in our present generation, and we must soon face a condition of facts utterly new in they condition of the country, when not new but old states must make room for the increase of population, and thus receive a fresh impulse."43
From his western post General Hazen was sent as military attache to Austria; he made his headquarters at Vienna from September 1, 1877, to 1878. During the time he was abroad he served as observer during the Turko-Russian War [1876-77].44
President Rutherford B. Hayes, on November 3, 1880, appointed Hazen chief signal officer with headquarters in the War Department, where he served from December 15, 1880, to January 16, 1887. For this important branch of the service "he employed scientists as observers, introducing cold wave signals and suggested the standard-time meridians at present in use." He established the use of local and railway weather signals, organized special observations for cotton producing states and warnings of frost.45
43Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society, 1905-1906, "The History of the Desert," by Frank W. Blackmar, pp. 106-08; Dictionary of American Biography, vol. 8, pp. 478-79.
While at Fort Buford Hazen wrote a letter to General Garfield exposing frauds of post traders, which led to an investigation and revelations damaging to Secretary of War Belknap, who resigned from his cabinet position in March, 1876. During the trial of Belknap General Hazen was called as a witness. During his period of duty in Dakota Hazen wrote a treatise upon the unfitness for agricultural purposes of the area between the One Hundredth Meridian, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and extending from the Canadian frontier to Mexico.46
Although General Hazen had been absent from the Indian Territory for years he appears not to have lost his interest in his former wards, and on April 14, 1883, he wrote from Washington to Secretary of the Interior Henry M. Teller:
"Sir: I have the honor to most respectfully call your attention to the subject of the Wichita Indians and the bands affiliated with them. These most deserving people who have so far as I know, always been at peace with and friendly to the whites: who originally owned a large tract of country in the Indian Territory along the river and about the mountains that now bear their name, have seen their lands appropriated by the United States and given to other Indians who were at war against the Government as an inducement to cease from war, till there is left to the Wichitas and affiliated bands not a foot of ground nor a blade of grass.
"I feel specially interested in this question, having been their superintendent and having without any intention aided in bringing about what I now desire to see corrected.
"In 1869, being superintendent of the wild Indians in the southwest, and having been assigned the duty of locating and keeping the peace with these Indians, I repaired to old Fort Cobb, on the Upper Wichita, finding already there, living by agriculture and in good thatched houses, the Indians now in question, upon the lands they have ever since inhabited and which I wish to see confirmed to them as a permanent home.
"In locating and assigning to the various tribes of wild Indians their reservations, the Arapahoes and Cheyennes were given the country between the southern line of Kansas and the Red Fork of the Arkansas or Cimarron, without knowing its character. It was found to be entirely unfit for agricultural purposes, and after their agent, Mr. Darlington, and myself, had personally inspected this reservation, and the Indians had entered a reasonable and proper protest against going on it, Mr. Superintendent Hoag and myself joined in a petition to have the reservation of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes changed, so as to include the country between the Red Fork of the Arkansas or Cimarron, and the South Fork or main Canadian, and the Indians being already there, never having
gone on their first-named reservation, Mr. Darlington, the agent, at once removed his agency to the immediate north bank of the Canadian River where it has been located ever since. . . W. B. Hazen."47
General Hazen's administration was marked by the celebrated expeditions of Lieut. Adolphus Washington Greely to Lady Franklin Bay, Grinnell Land,48 to make meteorological and other observations; a plan of the International Geographical Congress held in Hamburg in 1879. Greely sailed aboard the steam sealer Proteus from St. John's, Newfoundland, July 7, 1881.
With his party of twenty-five, the Lieutenant landed at Discovery Harbor on August 12, 1881. In Grinnell Land, in the summer of 1882, Lieutenant Greely discovered a lake sixty miles long, which he named Lake Hazen. The General's name was also perpetuated by Hazen Land in North Greenland, and Hazen Coast was mentioned in the report of the expedition which contains Hazen's orders and instructions to Greely.
When Greely did not return a relief expedition was dispatched under the command of Lieut. Ernest A. Garlington, Seventh Cavalry; this proved unsuccessful and in September, 1883, General Hazen urged Secretary of War Robert T. Lincoln to send a sealer immediately to rescue the party; when his recommendation was not acted upon he criticised the Secretary very severely. Greely's vessel had become ice bound and the members of the expedition suffered a horrible existence for two years. Sixteen of the party starved, one was drowned, and one man shot when he was found stealing food. Greely and five other men were finally rescued by a relief party under Capt. Winfield S. Schley on June 22, 1884. If the rescuers had arrived one day later not one member of the party would have been alive.49
A spirited controversy followed between Secretary Lincoln and General Hazen, and on March 11, 1885, he was ordered before a court martial "charged with conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline in officially and publicly criticising the action" of the Secretary of War "in not following his recommendations to send a relief expedition to the arctic for Lieutenant Greely in September, 1883." The court, which sat in the red parlor of the Ebbit
48Report of the International Polar Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska, in Response to the Resolution of the House of Representatives of December 11, 1884. Washington, 1885. This is the report made by First Lieutenant P. H. Ray, Eighth Infantry, A. S. O., commanding the expedition, to General Hazen, Chief Signal Officer, U. S. A. Hazen's letter of transmittal, page 3; Hazen's orders to officers and scientists of the expedition, page 7; instructions from Hazen, pages 8-17.
49Appletons' Cyclopaedia, vol 2, pp. 741-42; ibid., vol. 3, pp. 150-51; Harper's Encyclopaedia of United States History, New York, 1902, p. 165; ibid., vol. I, p. 197; United States House of Representatives, Miscellaneous Document No. 393, Forty-ninth Congress, first session, Report on the Proceedings of the United States Expedition to Lady Franklin Bay, Grinnell Land, by Adolphus W. Greely, Washington, 1888, vol. 1, pp. 21-23, 243, map opposite page 186; orders 99-109.
House in Washington, was composed of Major General Winfield S. Hancock; Major General John M. Scofield; Brigadier General O. O. Howard; Brigadier General Alfred H. Terry; Brig. Gen. Christopher C. Augur; Brig. Gen. Robert Macfeely; Brig. Gen. Wm. B. Rochester; Brig. Gen. S. B. Holabird ; Brig. Gen. John Newton; Col. George L. Andrews; Col. Wesley Merritt; Col. Henry M. Black; Capt. John W. Clows, Twenty-fourth Infantry, was judge advocate, and Hazen had for his counsel Messrs. T. J. Mackey and N. Dumont.
Hazen, when arraigned, plead not guilty and when placed on the witness stand testified that he had been blamed and criticised for failure of the expedition to rescue Lieutenant Greely's party from the arctic and that he wrote a letter to Secretary Lincoln to exculpate himself. The room was crowded all through the trial and the distinguished members of the court were kept busy when they first took their seats writing in autograph albums. The trial was ended March 20, and Hazen was reprimanded by President Cleveland for "unwarranted and captious criticism" of his superior.50 According to a recent biography of General Hazen the general feeling regarding the matter was that he had been right in his contention.
When the Hazens went to Washington they built a handsome residence at the northwest corner of Sixteenth and K streets, in which they lived until December, 1886, when Mrs. Hazen and their ten year old son, John McLean Hazen, went abroad; they rented the home and General Hazen took up quarters in rooms at 1307 F Street N. W. The death of General Hazen, announced on Monday, January 17, 1887, was a terrible shock to his friends, as he had been in better health than usual for some time. The Thursday before his death he attended the diplomatic reception at the White House, where he caught a slight cold which aggravated a diabetic condition. He was attended by his mother-in-law, Mrs. McLean, his sister, Mrs. Bugher, and Captain Adolph Washington Greely, who were with him until death closed his career. The sad news was cabled to Mrs. Hazen in France.51
General Hazen was buried in Arlington National Cemetery; his monument recites: "William B. Hazen Major General U.S.V. and Brigadier General U.S.A. September 27, 1830—January 16, 1887." The monument also marks the grave of his son John McLean Hazen, who was born October 24, 1876, and died September 25, 1898.
50The Evening Star (Washington, D. C.), March 11, 1885, p. 1, col. 6; ibid., March 16, 1885, p. 1, col. 5; ibid., March 20, 1885, p. 1, col. 5; Dictionary of American Biography; AGO, H. 282. C. B. 1866; The Hazen Court-Martial: The Responsibility for the Disaster to the Lady Franklin Bay Polar Expedition Definitely Established by T. J. Mackey, Counsel for Brigadier-General W. B. Hazen, Chief Signal Officer, U. S. A., New York, 1885.
51The Washington Post, January 17, 1887, p. 1, col. 3; New York Daily Tribune, January 17, 1887, p. 5, col. 4.
When General Hazen's son was a small boy he attended dancing school in Washington where he took particular delight in teasing twin sisters who were also students in the dancing academy. Exasperated, one of the little girls admonished her sister: "Don't pay any attention to him, dear, he is only the son of the man who makes the weather."
Metropolitan newspapers carried long accounts of General Hazen at the time of his death; he was a descendant of Gen. Moses Hazen, who took part in the attack on Louisburg in 1758; distinguished himself with Wolfe at Quebec the next year; as a half-pay British officer he was living near St. John, Canada, when the American Revolution started. He furnished supplies to Montgomery's troops, and later became a brigadier general in the Continental army.
On November 9, 1899, Mrs. Hazen was married to the hero of Manila Bay, Admiral George Dewey, who was then sixty-one. The ceremony was performed by Father Mackin in the rectory of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Washington; after a wedding breakfast at the residence of Mrs. McLean the Admiral and his new wife departed for New York. For her second wedding the bride was attired in pearl gray silk, over which she wore a long black wrap trimmed in silver fox. After their wedding journey the Deweys lived at 1747 Rhode Island Avenue, N. W., Washington; this was the home which had been given to the Admiral by the nation and which he deeded to his new wife, much to the indignation of the general public.52
52The Washington Post, Friday, November 10, 1899, p. 7, cols. 3-6; Dictionary of American Biography, vol. 5, p. 271. It gives the writer great pleasure to acknowledge the efficient aid given by Mrs. Rella Little Looney, archivist of the Oklahoma Historical Society, in collecting material concerning the career of General Hazen in western Oklahoma. Mrs. Messenbaugh of the newspaper section, and the staff of the library also contributed interesting data.