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Theodore Laurent Hazelman was born on August 14, l840 in Luxembourg, Belgium; later migrating with his family to the United States.

At the age of eighteen Hazelman became an able bodied seaman and according to his pension application, the outbreak of the American Civil war found him aboard the coal ship “John Carver” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; loading coal for shipment to Key West, Florida.

Once loaded, the “John Carver” set sail for Key West and was within 100 miles of reaching her destination when attacked and captured by the Confederate ship of war, the CSS Jefferson Davis.   The “Jefferson” Davis was a 187-ton brig built in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1845, originally as the merchant vessel “Putnam”. Later, as the slaver “Echo”, she was captured off Cuba on  August 21, 1858 by the USS “Dolphin” and sold by the U.S. Government in January 1859, to a Charleston, South Carolina owner, who renamed her the  “Putnam” again.

 

In May 1861, after the outbreak of the Civil War, the “Putnam” was renamed the “Jefferson Davis” and commissioned as a Confederate privateer in mid-June;  leaving Charleston later that month to begin a commerce-raiding cruise off the U.S. east coast; capturing nine merchant sailing vessels.

Once the “John Carver” was set afire to burn, the “Jefferson Davis” transported her prisoners in chains to St. Augustine, Florida where they were turned over to officials at Fort Marion.

Kept in the dungeon of the fort for some ten weeks, they were finally taken out and transported to Jacksonville, Florida to the north and from there to Fernandina, in the Florida panhandle. Upon reaching Fernandina, the crew, Hazelman included, were forced to join the Confederate Army and were inducted into Company F of the 8th Florida Infantry; on October 5, 1861.

His name on the roster, however, was misspelt as “Haselman”.

Additionally, Hazelman’s service records reveal he served extra duty on December 1, 1861 in a detachment of artillery commanded by Captain Simmons, for Coast Guard Service at Fernandina, Florida; for a period of twelve months.  Upon returning to the regiment, that detachment continued with the 8th Florida as Captain Simmons Company. Afterwards, the 8th Florida marched to Tallahassee, Florida, the state capital, were then transported to Savannah, Georgia, on to Augusta, Georgia, from there to Columbia, South Carolina and finally to Richmond, Virginia.

After being in Richmond for about a week, the 8th participated in the Battle of Richmond, then marched to Malvern Hill, Virginia; on to New York Town, from there to Chickahominy, Virginia, on to the Potomac and to the Battles of Bull Run. Hazelman remained with the 8th continually until May 17, 1862 at which time he was reported as being sick in a Lake City, Florida hospital.  It is reported that after the Second Battle of Bull Run, which began on June 25, 1862, Hazelman deserted from military service; on June 30, 1862. The Florida rosters for the 8th Florida Infantry, however, list Theodore Haselman as having mustered out on May 17, 1862 and another as his having been captured in Maryland; assumed to be during the Second Battle of Bull Run. Though there seems to be a conflict of dates, there was only one “Theodore” in the 8th Florida and only one Haselman, or Hazelman; and since we know from pension records that Theodore L. Hazelman did serve in the 8th Florida, it has to be accepted that the listing of “Haselman” was an error for the spelling Hazelman and that perhaps the dates could be in error as such records were being kept by many with little or no education.

 
At any rate, Hazelman was not through with the war, but he did want to get back to the sea. After leaving the battlefield behind him, Hazelman proceeded to New York City; by way of New Castle, Philadelphia and New Jersey. Upon arriving in New York and relaxing for a couple of weeks, he crossed over to Brooklyn, New York and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Hazelman stated in a letter to the commissioner of pensions in 1909, at the age of 69,  that he had signed aboard the “Fort Jackson”; which shortly left for her base in the Bermuda Islands, off the Florida coast. The USS “Fort Jackson” was a 1850-ton wooden side-wheel cruiser, built at New York City in 1862 as the civilian steamship “Union”. She was purchased by the U.S. Navy in July 1863 and after converting her to a warship, she was placed in commission as USS “Fort Jackson” in August 1863. In late 1863, the USS “Fort Jackson” joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and during the next year enforced the blockade of the Confederate Atlantic coastline. He further stated that shortly after leaving on one her voyages out of Bermuda, there was an accident and the wooden ship caught fire, during which he was burnt. Though the ship was saved, he had to be transported back to the Navy Hospital in Brooklyn, New York for treatment of his burns. After several weeks of treatment, he said, the doctors came to the conclusion he would not be fit for sea duty for a considerable amount of time and was offered a medical discharge; which he took, remaining in New York until the conclusion of the war.

In reality, according to the Office of the Auditor for the U. S. Navy, Hazelman in fact did not enlist on August 14, 1863 aboard the USS “Fort Jackson”, but aboard the USS “North Carolina”, a receiving ship, on which he served until August 18, 1863; at which time he boarded the USS “Fort Jackson” and remained until December 5, 1863. The record further shows Hazelman then served aboard the USS “North Carolina” again, until June 30, 1864. The only conclusion for the discrepancies that can be ascertained is that due to his age and disabilities, his memory of the events had become confused.

The “North Carolina” was a ship of the line whose keel was laid in 1818 in the Philadelphia Navy Yard where she was built. She was launched in 1820 after being "fitted out" in the Norfolk Navy Yard and commissioned in June 1824. She was 196 feet 3 inches long, 53 feet 6 inches wide at her beam, weighed 2,633 tons, carried 74 guns, 32 pounders and 42 pounders and had a complement of 820 men.  

From April 1825 until May 1827, she served in the Mediterranean fleet as Commodore John Roger’s flagship and again in South America in May 1837. Her great size limited the number of ports she could be of service to and she returned to New York Navy Yard and served as a receiving ship for new sailors until 1866. She was sold for scrap at New York on October 1, 1867 for $30,000.

Records reveal Hazelman arrived in Australia in July 1864, arriving at Sandridge, Victoria, and living for a number of years at Lowerton before moving to Mt. Scobie, near Kyabram, Victoria.

Theodore Hazelman married Eliza Blunt and the two of them made their home in the Kyabram area while he worked at a number of jobs, including being a boundary rider, a stockman, a labourer and a farmer.

Hazelman became a naturalized citizen of Australia in 1913 and at the time had ten children listed as still living.  

 
Theodore Laurent Hazelman died on June 21, 1934 at the age of ninety four.

He was buried in the Kyabram Cemetery. The original house constructed by Hazelman at Mt Scobie is today used as an historic museum by the Kyabram Historical Society; having been moved, according to the Kybram Historical Society, to the Kyabram location from Mt. Scobie in the 1980’s.

 

The thirteen children of Theodore Laurent & Eliza Hazelman

Florence Marguerite  1876-1908

Eliza Josephine  1878-1929

Theodore Laurent  (William Theodore)  1879-1949

Thomas Henry  1881  (died 6 wks)

George Henry  1882  1927

John Laurent  (John Thomas)  1885-1934

Edward James  1887-1959

Nellie Sophia  1889  (died 1yr)

Joseph William (Joseph James)  1890-1944

Mary Louisa (Mary Elizabeth)  1892-1976

Frank Laurence (Francis Andrew)  1895-1968

Kathleen Josephine  1897-1958

Leopold Thomas  1901-1968

 

Heather Hazelman, descendant

Paul Eugene Camp, University of south Florida, Spec. Coll. Library

Ray Parsons, Kyabram Cemetery Trust

Biographical Rosters of Florida's Confederate and Union Soliders 1861-1865,

 David W. Hartman,  6 vols., 1995

Confederate Military History, Evans, Clement A., editor   

Department of the Navy, Office of the Auditor

 Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center

Dot Gillies, Victoria

Kyabram Free Press

Kyabram Historical Society

Soldiers of Florida in the Seminole Indian-Civil and Spanish-American Wars, Live

      Oak: Democrat Book and Job Print. 1903.

 Theodore L. Hazelman, Pension Records

 

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