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F.W. Swift

F.W. Swift

Federal (USV)


Frederick William Swift

(1831 - 1916)

Home State: Michigan

Command Billet: Company Officer

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 17th Michigan Infantry

Before Antietam

From Connecticut he moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1847 at age 16, and began work in the shoe business. He later started a drug business with his brother.1 In June 1862 he joined the 17th Michigan Infantry, and was appointed Captain, Company F.2,3

The rest of the War

He was at Fredericksburg (December 1862), then went west with the 9th Corps, seeing service at Vicksburg (to July 1863).1 He was in action at Lenoire Station, Tennessee, 16 November 1863, for which he was later awarded the Medal of Honor, and was promoted Colonel of the Regiment shortly after.1

He was captured in action at at Spottsylvania, Virginia on 12 May 1864, but was exchanged on 3 August 1864 from Charleston, South Carolina.1

He was honored by brevet to Brigadier General of Volunteers on 13 Mar 1865, and honorably mustered out of service on 3 June 1865.2

After the War

He returned to Detroit where he was in business and the Postmaster (1866-74).1 He wrote reminiscences of his time as a Prisoner of War in My Experiences as a Prisoner of War (in the War Papers, MOLLUS, Michigan, Vol. 1, Paper 3 - index), published in 1893.

References & notes

The photograph above is from Uriguen.4


01/30/1831; Mansfield, CT


01/30/1916; burial in Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI


1   Biography of Frederick W. Swift.
Historic Elmwood Foundation, Elmwood Historic Cemetery, Detroit, MI, Published c.2005, first accessed 01 July 2006, <>, Source page: /pages/swift.html  [AotW citation 542]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, pg. 941  [AotW citation 543]

3   Roster: Company F, 17th Michigan Infantry.
Harvey, Don, and Lois Harvey and Patti Norton, Michigan in the Civil War, Published c. 1998, first accessed 01 January 2005, <>, Source page: /infantry/17compf.htm  [AotW citation 544]

4   Uriguen, Mikel, Photo Gallery (Generals and Brevet Generals), Generals of the Civil War, Published c. 1998, first accessed 01 January 1998, <>, Source page: /bs/bs10.htm  [AotW citation 545]