• [Civil War Battle of Stones River] Chief Signal Officer Hazen Responds to Future President McKinley

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    WILLIAM BABCOCK HAZEN (September 27, 1830 – January 16, 1887) served in the Indian Wars, as a Union General in the Civil War and as Chief Signal Officer in the U.S. Army.  His most famous service was defending “Hell’s Half Acre” at the Battle of Stones River in 1862. 

    Hazen spent his boyhood in the town of Hiramand, Ohio, where he formed a close personal friendship with future President James A. Garfield.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1855 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Infantry. Prior to the Civil War, he served in the Pacific Northwest and Texas, where he was wounded severely on November 3, 1859, during a fight with the Comanches along Llano River.

    Hazen was promoted to captain of the 8th U.S. Infantry shortly after the fall of Fort Sumter and by October 39, 1861, he became colonel of the 41st Ohio Infantry.  In January 1862, he began commanding a brigade in the Army of the Ohio, under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell. His first major battle was Shiloh, where Buell’s army arrived on the second day in time to counterattack the Confederate Army and score a Union victory. His brigade was reorganized into the XIV Corps, later known as the Army of the Cumberland, under Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans. In this organization, Hazens served in his most famous engagement, the Battle of Stones River.

    WILLIAM MCKINLEY, JR. was a Representative from Ohio and the 25th President of the United States. He was shot by an assassin in Buffalo, NY, on September 6, 1901 and died on September 14. 

    McKinley was the first man in Poland, Ohio, to volunteer in the Civil War, joining the twenty-third Ohio Infantry, which was commanded by Rutherford B. Hayes. During the fighting at Antietam in 1862, McKinley displayed bravery in combat when he brought food and coffee to his regiment under heavy enemy fire.

    One-page, 5” x 8”, LS by Hazens to McKinley as a Congressman, March 13, 1886,  on Office of the Chief Signal Office, Washington, DC.

    “My Dear Sir:

    “In reply to your note forwarding the request of Mr. George Paul, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for a copy of Signal Service Notes No. IX, ‘Weather Proverbs,’ I beg to inform you that a copy was sent Mr. Paul on the 11th inst as desired.

    “I am, Very respectfully

    “Your obedient servant

    “W.B. Hazen

    “Chief Signal Office, USA

    “Hon. Wm. McKinley

    “House of Representatives”

    Folds and toning. Sun spot on left margin.

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