A Civil War Biography

Edward Hatch

Hatch was born 22 December 1832 in Bangor, Maine. After studying for a time at Norwich University in Vermont, he heading west and established himself as a lumber dealer in Iowa. He also spent sometime as a merchant seaman.

When the war started Hatch joined the 2nd Iowa cavalry as a captain on 12 August 1861. Promotions came quickly: major on 5 September 1861, lieutenant colonel on 11 December 1861, and colonel on 13 June 1862. He saw action at Island No.10 and at the 1862 battle at Corinth, Mississippi commanded a brigade in John K. Mizner's cavalry division. As a brigade commander Hatch took part in Benjamin H. Grierson's Raid through Tennessee and Mississippi. Hatch was wounded in December 1863 at Moscow, Tennessee while conducting a raid in Northern Mississippi and Tennessee. He was assigned command of the cavalry depot in St. Louis, Missouri while he recuperated. He was promoted to brigadier general to rank from 27 April 1864 and operated mainly from Memphis, Tennessee in northern Mississippi and middle Tennessee in operations against Nathan B. Forrest. Hatch commanded the 5th division in James H. Wilson's cavalry corps at Franklin and Nashville. After Nashville Hatch saw no further combat service. He was officially mustered out of the volunteer service on 15 January 1866.

Following the war Hatch decided to stay in the regular army. He was commissioned colonel of the 9th US cavalry. The 9th, one of the famous African American cavalry units which became known as the Buffalo Soldiers, was assigned to the southwestern frontier. Hatch commanded the Department of the Southwest briefly. He was involved in a major dispute with the Ute Indians over a reservation treaty and unsuccessfully pursued Chief Victorio when the Mescalaro Apache chief led his tribe in an escape from government land. Hatch was brevetted brigadier and major general in the regular army on 2 May 1867 in recognition of his service during the Civil War. He remained in the army until his death on 11 April 1889 at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.

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