(1827 - 1903)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 50th Pennsylvania Infantry
Before the Antietam Campaign:
He enlisted in Company A, 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, and mustered in on 19 August 1861 as Sergeant.
In the Antietam Campaign:
He was slightly wounded in the scalp in action on 17 September 1862. He later wrote his family:
Camp 3 miles south of Sharpsburg, Maryland September 21, 1862
Dear wife, children, brothers, sister and all my friends,
I take once more the pleasure to write you a few lines and I will let you know that we were in hard fighting since I wrote you the last letter. The first day our Regt. Was in was on the 14th. William Bliles got wounded on his thumb and on the 17th Edward Harner got killed by a cannon ball and a bullet went in my cap and cut the skin a little on my head and one ball hit my rifle. O God the dead and wounded lay by hundreds and thousands on the field the next day. Our company is very much crippled and many are sick. Since the 13th of August we have marched and fought nearly every day
and many nights we have sometimes 4 days rations in our haversacks to carry and no tents to sleep. O that the almighty God in heaven would make an end of this war. We drove the Rebels out of Maryland. They are on the other shore of the Potomac on the Virginia side. I received a letter since I wrote last. It was dated August 17th. This is the first day we had time to write. I did see in the letter that you would like to have the strut hores...I do believe it is too late in the fall for this summer, but you might ask J. Folk if it is not too cold, then you might get him cut and about the money, you might do just what you think would make a little interest and about...Shadle. I see in the letter how you fixed it. That is right enough. I can't tell you how you should do it, just do how you think and further I let you know that I am well. I was able to go with the Regt. The whole time, but I must say our boys look very hard worn down...we had in our company are sick. Dear wife, how do you think the citizens in Maryland feel that the Rebels destroyed everything, burn the buildings down and steal what they can get. Corn & buckwheat and everything's tramped down on the ground. The line of battle was twice as broad as our valley at home. The wives and children hardly knew where to go so they wouldn't get shot. The name where the battle was on the 14th was near Middletown, on the Blue Ridge & on the 17th near Sharpsburg. You might think how I did feel when I saw so many boys fall out of our Regt. All I have to say is to take good care of our children. O my dear children, whatever you do don't curse nor sear so if I can't see you any more in this world, that we can meet in heaven where no war and no fighting can be anymore. I nearly forgot to write you that I see E.W. Klinger about a week ago...Ossman...Bull Run fight and Philip Wiest since we left Culpepper. I will come to a close. I hope that these few lines find you all in good health. May the Lord bless you all. Excuse me for not writing more and all the mistakes. I will send my love to you Elizabeth Schwalm.
From your husband,
The remainder of the War:
He mustered out on 29 September 1864 at the expiration of his term of service.
References, Sources, and other notes:
Basic information from Bates1. Thanks to a blog post by Britt Isenberg for the photo of his Great Grandfather and text of the letter above, taken from The Civil War Letters and Experiences of Samuel Schwalm of the 50th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment (2011, Introduction by John Hoptak). Life dates from his gravesite on Findagrave.
|Birth Date: 07/13/1827 |
Death Date: 02/25/1903 Burial Place: Saint Andrew's Cemetery, Valley View, PA
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871, 50th Pennsylvania, Company A roster [AotW citation 15325]
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