Theodore Laurent Hazelman was born on August 14, l840 in Luxembourg,
Belgium; later migrating with his family to the United States.
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,
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”
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.
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
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.
thirteen children of Theodore Laurent & Eliza Hazelman
(William Theodore) 1879-1949
1881 (died 6 wks)
(John Thomas) 1885-1934
1889 (died 1yr)
(Joseph James) 1890-1944
Mary Louisa (Mary
(Francis Andrew) 1895-1968
Paul Eugene Camp,
University of south Florida, Spec. Coll. Library
Ray Parsons, Kyabram
Rosters of Florida's Confederate and Union Soliders 1861-1865,
David W. Hartman,
6 vols., 1995
Military History, Evans, Clement A., editor
Department of the
Navy, Office of the Auditor
Department of the
Navy, Naval Historical Center
Kyabram Free Press
Soldiers of Florida
in the Seminole Indian-Civil and Spanish-American Wars, Live
Oak: Democrat Book and Job Print. 1903.
Hazelman, Pension Records