Charles Edward Hazlett, shown above, was born in Zanesville, Ohio on October 15, 1838 to Robert Hazlett and Lucy Welles Reed. He attended Kenyon College near Gambier, Ohio for a year until he was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduates from the academy in 1861 and immediately went into service with the 2nd cavalry of the Union Army as the 2nd Lieutenant. However, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant almost immediately and was put in charge of Battery D of the 5th United States Artillery.
Hazlett, now in command of his own regiment of men, led the men into battle numerous times during his time in the Civil War. Battery D used mostly the ten-pounder Parrott rifles that were commonly used as light artillery in the army. During one of his first battles as commander of the unit, his battery experienced near annihilation. That battle was the First Battle of Bull Run and it was said that Hazlett remained on Henry’s Hill as long as he possibly could before being ordered to retreat by General Hooker. Hazlett and Brigadier General Stephen Weed distinguished themselves in this battle as excellent commanders with great courage. Both continued to lead the regiment through rough battles like Antietam, Chancellorsville, and the Second Battle of Bull Run.
Their success as commanders of Battery D of the 5th United States Artillery was quite short-lived unfortunately. In attempting to take Little Round Top during the second day of battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, both men fell within minutes of each other. Battery D had been scaling to the top of the rocky hilltop, carrying the artillery equipment laboriously through the rifle fire of the Confederate soldiers. The common tale that is told is about how Weed fell mortally wounded during the battle and requested to see Hazlett to relay his final words. Hazlett arrived to hear his superior’s words but as he was leaning in to hear them he too was shot and suffered instantaneous death. He was shot in the forehead by a Confederate man just as his regiment had managed to establish control over the hill. The two men were given a monument on top of the hill where they both fell and Hazlett also received a monument in Zanesville, Ohio where he was buried.
The memorial to Charles Hazlett is not the only grave memorial in the Woodlawn Cemetery. His brother, John Hazlett, also fell in battle while serving with the 2nd Infantry just one month before Charles did. The Hazlett family saw fit to bring Charles’ body to the Woodlawn Cemetery to be buried next to his brother after the Battle of Gettysburg had ended. Both brothers received the same memorial statue, like the one pictured above. Charles’ inscription reads:
Son of R. & L.W. Hazlett
Commander of Battery D 5th Regt. USA
Born in Zanesville, O.
October 15, 1838
Graduated at West Point in May 1861
and after being preserved in Safety through 11 battlesthen killed in battle at Gettysburg, Pa.
July 2, 1863
while bending over to hear the dying words of his commanding officer
John Hazlett’s memorial reads similarly with different dates and details on how he died of a wound he sustained at the Battle of Stone River. Pictured below is the view of the Charles Hazlett memorial with the John Hazlett memorial within view in the back. Both brothers were placed close to each other, but not directly next to each other, which demonstrates how there were several funeral processions between the two brothers in the month they had separating their deaths.
Both of these memorials represent the meaning of the two brothers to their family and to the community. However, in mid 2010 there was a car accident that caused the memorials of the two brothers to suffer serious damage. As a result, the Muskingum County Civil War Association Inc. gathered funds and donations to rebuild the monuments into the pictures that have been shown thus far. Pictured below is the original vandalized monument of Charles Hazlett. The Muskingum County Civil War Association Inc. decided to encase the inscription of the new memorial for the brothers in bronze to help preserve the integrity of the inscriptions.
After years of organizing and gathering funds, the Muskingum County Civil War Association Inc. also announced the arrival of a Hazlett Day in Zanesville, Ohio. May 14th, 2011 was the set day to be Hazlett Day in Zanesville where memorial services were held for the brothers along with a cannon discharge at 2 pm. At the grave sites, a rifle volley by the infantry and a three round salute by the light artillery were given in honor of the men who gave their lives for the war effort and died heroically.