The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 455
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competent soldier, an imaginative and skilled administrator, and a well-
informed and interesting man. Hazen rose to the rank of brigadier general
in the regular army, contributed to the successful solution of Indian prob-
lems on the Great Plains, advanced the army as a profession with his
study and writings on military organization, and combatted corruption
"at a time when avarice and mediocrity typified much of the military
system" (p. 168).
From experiences which ranged from fighting Indians in Oregon and
Texas as a young second lieutenant to commanding a brigade during the
Civil War and regiments on the Great Plains during the last of the Indian
wars, Hazen led the life of a soldier. It was Hazen's fortune, however, to
be assigned administrative responsibilities during much of his career, pre-
venting his earning a reputation as an aggressive blood-and-guts military
commander. These responsibilities included assignments as commander of
the Southern Indian Military District and as superintendent of Indian
affairs for the Southern Superintendency during the implementation of
the post-Civil War Indian policies, responsibilities which he fulfilled with
a keen understanding and humane consideration of the Indians' problems.
His subsequent exposal of the fraudulent trading practices at Fort Sill led
to investigations which culminated in the impeachment and resignation of
Secretary of War William W. Belknap. Part of Hazen's testimony con-
cerning Belknap led to charges that he had committed perjury, and long-
time enemies in the army pressed their complaints that Hazen had been
guilty of cowardice and poor leadership during the Civil War. In court-
martial proceedings in i879 Hazen was exonerated of those charges but
was reprimanded for conduct to the prejudice of good order and military
discipline. The reprimand was largely an outgrowth of Hazen's consistent
use of his good friend, James A. Garfield, in bypassing regular army chan-
nels. Using this influence, Hazen secured appointment to the position of
chief signal officer in I88o over other officers who had more seniority.
He held the post until his death in 1887.
Kroeker discusses the major controversies which surrounded Hazen and
submits that he was a cultured man of high ideals who could fit in well
in high society or on the frontier, but that he was strong-willed, opinion-
ated, and unyielding when discretion might have been the better part of
valor. The author gives limited attention to Hazen's personal life and
family and does not deal with his relations with his soldiers. The reader
is left wondering just how effective his leadership was relative to the rank
and file. The book, in effect, kindles an interest in Hazen and raises ques-
tions which only a full biography can answer. Nevertheless, it is a con-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/509/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.