I am sure that many individual Hazelbaker families are aware that their particular ancestors served in the Civil War. I found some great material about my German-born Great-Grandfather Abraham William Ecker who also fought in that war in the NJ Infantry. It was in the the Pension Files of the National Archives that I found some of the very best information about him. A quick look at the Index to the Pension Files shows that at least 11 former Hazelbaker soldiers or their widows who field for a disability or survivor's benefit.
Last week I visited the National Archive and photographed the Pension Files in their entirety for the eight soldiers below. ( I was only permitted to review 8 in the available time. The others remain for a future visit by someone.) There are some 850 images (4 - 5 GB) to look at. I was taking pictures non-stop for over 3 hours and barely finished by closing. I had no time to look at the details of what I copied but I have little doubt that there are some gems in there. Below is a list of the names I found in the pension index together with a few facts that were easy to spot.
- Hazelbakers who filed for Pensions in the Civil War
Andrew J, OH; marr. Minerva Copas 1860; born abt.1837; died 12 Apr 1896; 151 pages.
Andrew J, IN: wife Alice; died 14 May 1865; four children- John; George; Elisab; James; 32p.
Christopher, OH: Nebraska, & Grangeville, Idaho; Mary E; died 31 Aug 1919; 150 pages.
John, PA: born abt. 1835; Allentownship, PA; son of George, Grandson of Peter;102 p.
Peter, IN: wife Lucinsa; born 17 Dec 1844; 94 pages.
William, IN: Summitsville, IN; born 30 Dec 1830; 188 pages.
William R, OH: Benton Co., Blue Creek; born abt 1829 Adams Co.; died 17 Apr 1905; 73p.
John W, IN: born abt. 1832; died Nebraska 18 Jun 1909; 54 Pages.
I did not get the records of:
Sidney James, IL & Kansas
As a taste of what Might be in these records, I include two below. These are about John Hazelbaker, a grandson of the original Peter Hasselbacher/ Hazelbaker. Look what they have to say about the family bible and the earliest records! (Does anyone know what happened to that bible?) We are given a date of birth of July 9, 1835 which is different than in our database.
There is also a story of how we was injured on the way to fight at Gettysburg. John's other pages detail where he lived, his marriage, his children, etc. The names of his friends are scattered throughout as informants and witnesses. You will recognize some of them but others may be new to you. This is great stuff that you need to have incorporated into your collective family history.
Reference is made in the pension documents to other records held by the war department. I know little about the availability of other civil war records. Undoubtedly records exist for Hazelbakers who did not file for pensions.