More Info on Edward Hazel War Hero

Just got a fascinating email from Deb Honor, whose research interests include our mutual ancestor Edward “Red” Hazel, who fought in both the Revolutionary War in the United States, then was rewarded for his valiant service by being sent up by the British to fight the Americans during the War of 1812.

Deb told me previously that our mutual great great great great (x 6) grandfather fought alongside Chief Tecumseh at Moraviantown the day before he died. She now sends me this information which sheds more light on this battle and Edward’s role in it. Thanks to Deb for allowing me to share it.

The following is a letter dictated by Edward and written by someone else because it appears he couldn’t read or write. It was sent to her by Doug Robinson of Chatham — a friend of his found this in Collections Canada (National Archives) while researching an 1812 reenactment. Thanks all of you for passing it on.

Here’s the letter:

Amherstburg Upper Canada 24th March 1820
On the 5th October at the Battle of Moravian Town, I (Edward Hazel) retreated with Eighteen Men of the Regular Army, to the Long Woods about Two miles from George Wards House, the next day I returned to the Plain near Moravian Town were I was taken Prisoner by a Detachment of U.S Army who conducted me to their Main Army, the same Night I made my escape from them and took Thirty six head of Cattle with me, which I drove to George Wards House but found no person in it, I then broke open the door and went in to rest my self, after which I returned to the Indian Camp, and brought Forty Warriors to the House were I gave Ten Head of the Cattle I have taken the night before from the Americans for their support. I then took Three Indians to assist me in driving the remaining Twenty Six head to our Army.
Before I left Wards House I saw the Indians plunder it of every moveable article in the House.
The Cattle was delivered to Dept. Ajt. Commisary Genl. Reynolds + Captain Elliott of the Indian Department.

Edw. X Hazel

So many questions — both Deb and I and a whole bunch of people are wondering how he managed to escape quietly while rounding up all those cattle. Any further comments appreciated, Deb, and thanks for passing this on.


Posted on August 9, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Debra Honor UE

    During the retreat up the Thames River, Alexander Wilkinson, (who was Edward Hazel’s son in law) was in charge of taking the cattle away from Amherstburg for the British. He was captured along with the cattle. Alexander lived in a cabin on Matthew Elliott’s property. I’m sure Edward Hazel would have stayed there over night at times when he was working for the British Indian Department.
    So Edward Hazel was probably taking back the same cattle that the Americans stole from Alexander. I’m thinking the cows knew Edward Hazel and just followed him.
    With Alexander being a prisoner who escaped and Edward Hazel was a prisoner who escaped, did they see each other? Neither of them mentioned the other in their stories of capture and escape.
    This is all just conjecture on my part but it makes for a good story.

    • This story keeps getting better. Another part of the story that is intriguing is that another son in law of Edward’s .. Jean Baptiste Delaurier (my ggg grandfather) fought for the Americans in the War of 1812. Did he meet his future father in law on the battlefield? How did Jean Baptiste meet Julia Hazel, Edward’s daughter? They were married in Detroit in 1819 and then lived in Mersea township on land given to the Hazel family as United Empire Loyalists. At what point did JB Delaurier decide the British weren’t so bad after all? It would have been after the war, because if he’d been a turncoat, he and Julia would not have been married in Detroit … if he’d been a deserter, he wouldn’t have been able to go back, so presumably Jean Baptiste also remained at least somewhat loyal to the US of A.

  2. Hello All’ I’m the fella that came across the note of Edward ” borrowing” lol a few cows after the Battle of Moraviantown and passed it on to Doug. The letter was written in defence of George Ward ( Wardsville) who had a number of charges brought against him during the war. One charge was of theft of the possessions after the Battle of Therese (Askin) McKee, widow of Thomas McKee who had left her property in George Wards house at his suggestion when the civilains were fleeing to Burlington Heights after the Battle was lost. As we can see Edward tells us Mr. Ward had nothing to do with it. In regards to escaping and stealing the cows we have to remember that Edwards history and work with the Indian dept. gave him certian abilities which would make slipping away and stealing cows seem very mild. Did he know the cows? who knows, but it goes without saying he would have known his way around livestock.These fellas were hardened by the life style in which they lived risking life and limb on many occasions and I have no doubt very likely he, like many, could speak or understand more then one european language along with a few 1st nations languages making those abilities as valuable as any weapon.Interesting man, of whom I’m sure you are very proud to be descended from.

    Kindest Regards,

    G. Neilands

    • That is truly fascinating, Gerry. Thanks for sharing. I think what I love about history is that there are so many great stories. I didn’t know a thing about Edward Hazel until Deb Honor wrote to me about him.. No idea that we had UEL roots … or that Edward was such a big part of both the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. So many fascinating things to speculate about. Thanks for sharing the facts that you found so that all this history isn’t all mystery. That story about Edward and those cows would make a great scene in a film …

  3. I would like to thank Gerry too. Edward Hazel never put in a claim for losses during the war. He only gave testimony for others like George Ward and the McGregor brothers. There is no index for all of those who gave testimony, only for those who sent in claims.
    So thank you, Gerry for finding another piece of the historical puzzle of Edward Hazel.
    I know Doug will use it to his best ability when he portrays our ancestor at the Battle of the Thames on October 5th.

    • Your very welcome, there’s an old saying that goes the only thing stranger then fiction is the truth and these fellas time and time again seem to have lived,witnessed and done incredible things. I’ve always been a little puzzeled by a letter in refer. to Edward which seems to imply his special talents were valueable even during the war of 1812. in a letter to Sir John Johnson from HQ’s in Montreal it reads,,,

      ” Montreal 18th July 1814, Sir’ I have had the honor to lay your letter of the 14th last before the Comd. of the Forces, you will be pleased to (?) forward as soon as possible the requesititions for presents and the Establishment of your Department for Upper Canada as (?) as they can be made up. I beg to return to you the manuscripts and papers of MR. EDWARD HAZEL, His Excy. approves of your supplying this person from the Stores of the Department with the means of returning to Upper Canada whence there would be no objection to his being employee’d in such a situation as Genl. Drummond may think him fit for(?).” The archives has other mentions of Edward which I’m sure you are aware of but having never done a full study of the man I do recall(?) was there not a connection to the Senneca?

      Can’t wait for the Battle of the Thames to sit around the campfire with Shaymus aka Doug to listen to stories in a way that only he can tell them!

      • Has the Battle of the Thames happened yet? If anybody is playing the part of Edward Hazel, I’d love to interview him in character!

      • I just re read previous posts .. good luck on October 5th at the Battle of the Thames. Hope our side wins again. And I would love to hear from Doug about how he developed the character of our illustrious great great great great grandfather!

      • Doug and I met the first year I retired from teaching, 2008 at a Loyalist meeting in Kingsville. He was the guest speaker and I had just found out that Edward Hazel was my ancestor. He was interested in all the information I had found and was gracious enough to listen to my excitement.
        Then last year, Doug asked if he could use my research to portray Edward Hazel. His character of Shaymus was not an historical character. I agreed and told him I would be honored.
        We know that Edward Hazel was with Tecumseh the day before the Battle of the Thames. Doug playing Edward and David Morris playing Tecumseh was a great fit.
        I’m really looking forward to hearing his take on the life of Edward Hazel.


      • Victoria, go to you tube and look for Doug Robinson as Edward Hazel. He is on a small video portraying him.

      • Hi Gerry,
        Can you tell me where you found this reference? I haven’t seen this one before. My files on Edward Hazel are overflowing a three inch binder now! I still get excited when I find another reference to him though.
        Thanks for sharing.

  4. The letter written by Noah Freer Secr. of War iirc can be found in the RG 8 C series of the LAC Archives, I’ll get you the exact vol. and page when I get a few mins.. The rest of the letter talks about Thomas McKee and reads,,

    ” Major McKee may be allowed to return to Upper Canada and resume his duties at such station as may be pointed out by Lt. Gen. Drummond, and of his future conduct and usefulness gives him claim to consideration his salary will be increased. His Exclly. has been pleased to approve of his son being promoted to that of Capt. from the 25th June in consequence of your recommendation.
    Noah Freer ”
    Thomas McKee would die later in the fall of the same year on his way back home, his son Alexander shows up on the list of Indian Dept. employee’s but to date I can’t find Edwards name listed either slightly before or even during the war? This leads me to wonder if he wasn’t ( dare I say it ) a spy. History records the Girty’s and Mckee’s, the Elliotts and Ironsides but those who were employee’d as working under cover leave very little for future generations. How old would Edward have been at the outbreak of the war? I’ve seen est.s of birthdates from 1750 to 1760 making him either early sixties or early fifties.No spring chicken but as can be seen more then able to aid the British. One can only imagine the people he knew from days gone by both British and 1st Nations, that could aid him,,, guys like White Peter Klingensmith etc.. Anyway, we’ll get that info to you shortly, will we see you at the Battle of the Thames?

    • Hi Gerry,
      Yes I will be at the Battle of the Thames. I am the Director of Region One of the Ontario Genealogical Society and my three branches are planning on having a table at the event.
      Thank you so much for this information. I never considered that Edward Hazel could be a spy! Interesting!
      My email is

  5. Debra, that letter can be found in C series vol. 1224, pages 116-117, if you send me an email I can send you a link to the page or a copy of the letter.

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