Hobart was born on January 31, 1815 in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. Eventually he would move to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and later to Chilton, Wisconsin. He passed away on January 23, 1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1847 Hobart served in the Legislative Assembly of the Wisconsin Territory. After Wisconsin became a state he would serve in the Wisconsin State Senate in 1848 and the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1849 and 1859. At the start of the American Civil War he joined the Union Army and served as a Captain in the 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment. Later he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the 21st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was taken as a prisoner of war at the Battle of Chickamauga and was sent to Libby Prison. However, in 1864 he would take part in the infamous Libby Prison Escape and would soon re-join the Army. In September of 1864 he was promoted to Colonel and was a brigade commander in the XIV Corps and participated in Sherman's March to the Sea. He was brevetted Brigadier General in 1865. After the war's end that same year he ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Wisconsin. He served in the State Assembly for a final time in 1867.