Letter Written by Private Wm. B. Swigart, Co. K, 16th Iowa Infantry


Letter Written by Private Wm. B. Swigart, Co. K, 16th Iowa Infantry -This four page soldier’s letter was penned by Private William B. Swigart, Co. K, 16th Iowa Infantry. Private Swigart wrote this letter in April of 1865, while in North Carolina. In the letter, written in a homespun style replete with phonetic spelling, Swigart recounts a number of significant, late or end of war events including Lincoln’s assassination, the capture of Jefferson Davis, seeing Gen. Sherman, seeing many of Gen. Lee’s men on their way home from Appomattox and the surrender of Gen. Joe Johnston’s army. Our transcription of the entire letter will accompany it, as will voluminous research covering Swigart and the 16th Iowa. Private Swigart enlisted in the 16th Iowa in 1862, and he remained in that unit until the end of the war, when he was mustered out in July of 1865. The 16th Iowa was engaged in many significant battles and war time events including Shiloh, Corinth, Port Gibson, Raymond, Champion’s Hill, Big Black River, the Siege of Vicksburg, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro and Sherman’s March to the Sea. This is an excellent letter, detailing, in a wonderful descriptive, period style, several important late and post war occurrences.  The letter is in overall good condition, written in ink and quite readable; there are splits along the old fold lines, but the letter displays well in an acid-free, mylar sheet, or it could be readily framed. SOLD

 William B. Swigart

Birth:  1841 ; Marriage:  14 May 1880  – Dewitt, ILLINOIS, USA  ;Death:  08 Feb 1908 (8 Feb 1908) – Los Angeles County (Los Angeles), California, USA ; Spouse:  Clarrilla A. Edmiston


William B Swigart



Age at Enlistment:


Enlistment Date:

19 Feb 1862

Rank at enlistment:


State Served:


Survived the War?:


Service Record:

Enlisted in Company K, Iowa 16th Infantry Regiment on 24 Mar 1862.Mustered out on 19 Jul 1865 at Louisville, KY.


April the 23     1865

Camp three miles from Rolleigh  North Carolina

Dear Brother  i once more take the present oportunity of siting me in my pup tent to informe you that i am well at present   Ime hoping that wen these few lines come to handit may find you well and all the rest of the familywe left Golesboro the Mondaythe 10 of April on a march for Rolleigh  – the third morning thare was a dispatch came that old lee had Surrendered you better think thare was some cheering don then the Boys all felt glad to here Such news  we cood march a good deal better after that we got to Rolleigh one Friday the 14 about three oclock in the afternoon but the Jonnies had all but left wen we got there     old killpatrick was ahed of us charging them with his cavalry  .  then we marched about 4 miles one the other side of town and went into camp for that nite but the next morning we started about sun up and it was raining as hard as it cood poore it down   we got as wet as drenched cats wen we got about five miles from the plase ware we had camped we got the news that that old Jonson had stopt and was going to surrender and that thare was an armistus for five days then we stoped and went in to camp and staid there five days   then we started and marched back within about 3 miles of Rolleigh  ware we ar now in camp   the boys thinks wen we leve here we will start for home   i think my selfe we will but i think we will have too or three hundred miles to march   i  think the ware is plaid out for wen they had the five days armistus old Sherman went down from Rolleigh one the train   too days hard  rain ware old Jonsons army and ours army laid and they say that old Jeff was thare with Jonson and i think thay fixed the thing up all rite   we can see lots of old lee and Jonsons men going home every day i was sorry to here about the boys being drafted   but i dont think thay will have to go out of thare own state   you wanted to know how many of us was together thare is only seven here out of our township   George Grove and W. H. long and david Smih and Issac sellers and David Heminger and Peter Volly and my selfe and you wanted to know wether i drawed my pay yet   i did not draw any yet  and i don’t think i will till i git mustered out .  i expect you herd about of Abe lincon being killed   he was killed in washington at a theator  you can tell Ed that I think i will turn my cote  yet for a few days  i dont think i cood see it by this lite   i gess i must bring my few lines to a close for this time no more at present  my best respects from S  B Swigart  to         to all

S    H   Swigart     rite soon

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