Death of Pvt. Ernest Hazlett
A News Clipping
From Phebe CAMPBELL Hoyt's Scrapbook,
Elkland Journal, undated, Prob. Sept. 1898

Transcribed by her great-grandson, Wm. Thompson, Mar. 29, 2012


Death of Ernest Hazlett.

    On Wednesday morning, E. H. Hazlett of Nelson, received the following ominous and startling telegram: "Your son died this morning at 3 a.m. Shall we send the remains home?" Signed Clark, surgeon, and dated Chickamauga Park, August 30, 1898.
    Ernest H. Hazlett, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Hazlett, of Nelson, was a young man well known in the Cowanesque valley and was born in Nelson twenty-six years ago on the 30th of June last.
    When it was known that Capt. Gambell of Wellsboro, was raising a company of men to defend the honor of our nation he was one of the first to enroll, successfully passed the medical examination and was mustered into the service as a private in Co. K, 5th Regt., Pa. Vols. The company was immediately ordered to report at Chickamauga Park and in the later part of July, arrived at that pest-hole of our otherwise glorious nation. What has followed has become a matter of history. Our sons and brothers are being sent home dead or physical wrecks and all because of the incompetency, ignorance and carelessness of men who have precious lives in their charge.
    The country has fixed the responsibility. The people and the press of the land lay the condition of affairs where it belongs, to the secretary of war and the adjutant-general. Secretary Alger says that the men receive as good fare as he himself. Alger stops at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York while visiting Camp Wikoff, while the men are complaining of their hard tack, beans, and putrid meat. Mr. McKinley is commander-in-chief of the army and the people look anxiously to him to tell us who is right, Alger or the soldiers.
    Why were not these men sent home at the signing of the protocol on furloughs, instead of being allowed to remain in these disease-breeding camps? The answer to this question is easy: The officers desired to remain and show their uniforms to admiring excursionists, even at the expense of the lives of their men.
    A full account of Pvt. Hazlett's funeral and burial will appear in next week's [Elkland] JOURNAL.
    At a meeting of the citizens held in Blanchard's furniture rooms on Wednesday evening, the following resolutions were adopted:
    Whereas, God in his mysterious Providence has seen fit to remove from our midst our esteemed fellow townsman, Ernest H. Hazlett, a private in Co. K, 5th Regt, Pa. Vols., and
    Whereas, We deeply appreciate his services as a representative of our town in upholding the glory of our peerless flag and offering to his country the greatest sacrifice that man can give, his life, and truly "greater love hath no man:" therefore be it
    Resolved, That we, a committee appointed at a meeting of the citizens on Nelson, held on Wednesday evening, August 31, 1898, realizing the loss the community has sustained in his untimely death, take this manner of expressing our grief, and to the family of the bereaved we extend our kindest sympathy and commend them to the care of Him who "doeth all things well;" And be it further
    Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to two or more local papers for publication, and a copy suitably engrossed be presented to the parents of the deceased.
                            W. H. STEVENS, M.D.
                            E. C. BLACKWELL
                            E. L. MUDGE
                                        Committee.

[Note: From a contemporary perspective, it seems curious that the committee felt that publishing their resolution in the Elkland Journal and the Mansfield Advertizer or the Wellsboro Agitator, was an effective way to address the Ernest's tragic death. The resolution does adequately convey the community's sympathy to the parents. But aside from that, what are they trying to accomplish? What result do they expect or hope to accomplish?  They are not demanding an inquiry, or that any action be taken. And they are not taking their complaint to their congressman, US senators, president, secretary of war, or military officials --- they are just going on record as being upset about what happened to their relative or neighbor. The reporter expressed much more indignation. -wbt]

Copyright 2012 by Wm. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

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