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A Selection of Gen'l. Hazen's Orders to the 41st OVI

Colonel William B. Hazen (later General Hazen) was the initial organizer and commander of the 41st OVI regiment. Shortly after the regiment was Federalized in late 1861, Col. Hazen was placed in charge of the brigade in which the 41st was assigned. Though the brigade that Hazen commanded was reorganized several times over the next couple of years, the 41st always was an important part of it. As a former instructor at West Point, Hazen was known for his strong desire for military discipline within the troops he commanded. You can read some of these typical orders to the 41st and it's brigade to see for yourself.

[March Discipline] [Training] [Sentinal Duty] [Foraging]

General March and Combat Discipline

In camp near Murfreesboro, Tenn., Sept. 20, 1862
I. On the march to-morrow no straggling will be allowed. Colonels will attend to this; they can prevent it if they will. Halts will be made for filling canteens as often as practicable.
II. All clerks, orderlies, servants, and cooks will take arms and go in ranks. In case there is not a sufficient supply of arms on hand, they will nevertheless go in ranks, depending on the battlefield to supply the deficiency.
III. Ten men, the most distinguished for bravery and good conduct in each regiment, will be placed ten paces in rear of the regiments in action, with special instructions regarding men falling to the rear unnecessarily. The wounded will receive attention after the fight is over, excepting only such as can be given by the surgeons' corps.
IV. No officer will use a gun in action, but will perform the higher duty for which he was commissioned, of keeping his men in their places, and seeing that they perform their duties correctly.
V. Each commandant of a regiment will take with him a drummer in action, to sound the roll to cease firing, and will be careful to see that his men do not waste their ammunition.
VI. Colonels will be particular to see that every officer is publicly disgraced who leaves his post unnecessarily in action, or fails to exert every effort to execute his duty efficiently.
VII. Colonels will call together the officers of their commands, and impress upon them the fact that everything depends upon the proper performance of their duties, and that they must exercise absolute power over their men, who are always ready to do their duty.


Readyville, Tenn., March 4, 1863
A general school for instruction will be opened in this brigade as follows: -
Lieutenant-Colonel Wiley, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, instructor. The entire brigade, including staff and headquarters, to be instructed and consolidated as the instructor may decide. Theoretical instruction will commence immediately, with Hardee's "Tactics". All commissioned officers are to recite daily from 10 to 11:30 A.M. A complete report of recitations will be submitted daily. Practical instruction will also begin immediately. The brigade is to be consolidated in one battalion, and divided by the instructor in subdivisions for exercise in all the drills as he may direct, including bayonet exercise at such hours before noon each day, Sundays excepted, as he may designate; and for exercise in one or more battalions, for battalion and brigade drill, in the afternoon of the same days. The Forty-first Ohio Volunteers will be carried through the course already prescribed as rapidly as possible; then beginning with Jomini's "Art of War", and reading in Napier's "Peninsular War". The officers of this regiment are informed that it is expected that they will keep up the course of study and reading that they have entered upon, as long as they remain in the service.
The foregoing school is in view of an examination by a board of officers, before which it is purposed to bring every officer of the command.

McDonald's station, East Tenn., April 26, 1864.
Hereafter at target-practice the system furnished and prescribed by the War Department will be strictly observed.
The general commanding the brigade was much annoyed this morning to notice that with many regiments the practice was permitted to run into a meaningless fusilade, and was suprised that officers who had been in service so long should have learned so little of some portion of their duties. The book of Practice has often been furnished the troops of this command, but, judging from this morning's exercises, has probably never received much attention, and I am now able to find only three copies in the entire command. One will be given to each two battalions, and will be left with the odd numbered one.
Colonels will at once attend to the making of targets, rests, etc., and make every preparation necessary to carry out the system. No firing will be practised until further orders from these headquarters, but preparations leading to it will be rigorously observed. Colonels will in person superintend these instructions.

Sentinal Duty

Manchester, Tenn., July 21, 1863
Instructions for Sentinels.-Take charge of this post; salute all officers according to rank; present arms to all general officers, field-officers, and to the officer of the day; carry, or shoulder arms, to all captains and lieutenants. In saluting, face always outward from camp. Permit no enlisted man or citizen to pass your post, going to or from camp, without an order to do so from an officer of non-commissioned officer of the guard. Hold no conversation with any one not necessary for the proper discharge of your duty. Never sit down, stand still, or bring your piece to an order, but walk your post briskly. If you wish to be relieved for any necessary purpose, call, "Corporal of the guard!" adding the number of your post. Commit these instructions to memory and turn them over to your successor.
Night Instructions for Sentinels.-In addition to the day instructions, challenge all persons approaching your post. If answered, "Friends with the countersign", command, "Halt, friend", or "friends", and call, "Corporal of the guard!" adding the number of your post. Never allow any one to approach nearer than the point of your bayonet until you have received the countersign, or he has been examined by an officer or non-commissioned officer of the guard; and never let any more than one approach you until you satisfy yourself that the party is what is represented.


Eastern Tenn., Dec. 4, 1863.
Foraging, except as prescribed below, is prohibited.
A trusty officer and five men from each regiment will at once be detailed to procure food. They will receive their instructions from and make all their reports to Lieutenant Chilton, Acting Commissary of Subsistence of the brigade, and at once, and until further orders, proceed to procure rations for their regiments. They are directed to impress transportation. Each regiment will need one good team, and riding animals for the party. The name, political status, and amount received will be reported in each case, and memorandum receipts given. The parties will go armed, and take every precaution against bushwhackers. All other foraging, except as may be personally directed by commanders for their own messes, is prohibited. All officers are directed to assist in the enforcement of this order. Proper remuneration will always be given where foraging is procured for officers' messes, unless they take advantage of the regimental party.

These orders were transcribed from selections in General Hazen's memoirs of the war, A Narrative of Military Service. As such they represent Hazen's own choices of representative orders, and may as a result be a little skewed.

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Date last updated 08/22/98

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