Stephen A. Hurlbut (November 29, 1815 - March 27, 1882), was a politician, diplomat, and commander of the U.S. Army of the Gulf in the American Civil War.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Hurlbut studied law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1837. During the Second Seminole War, Hurlbut served as adjutant of a South Carolina regiment. In 1845, Hurlbut moved to Illinois and was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1859. When the Civil War erupted, Hurlbut joined the Union Army and became a brigadier-general in 1861 and a major general in 1862. He commanded the 4th Division of Army of the Tennessee at the Battle of Shiloh and in the advance towards Corinth and its subsequent siege. It has been suggested by the historian Bertram Korn that, during his garrison duty at Memphis, Tennessee, Hurlbut issued antisemitic orders confiscating Jewish property and preventing Jews from trading (American Jewry and the Civil War, p. 154). Hurlbut subsequently commanded the Department of the Gulf.
After mustering out of the Union Army on June 20, 1865, Hurlbut was one of the founding fathers of the Grand Army of the Republic, of which he served as commander in chief from 1866 to 1868. He was appointed ambassador to Colombia in 1869, where he served three years. In 1872, Hurlbut was elected as Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives, reelected in 1874, he was defeated for reelection in 1876. Hurlbut was made ambassador to Peru in 1881, where he served until his death in Lima.