Summary

Conflict Period:
Civil War (Union) 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Major General 2
Rank:
Lieutenant Colonel 1
Birth:
10 Nov 1834 2
Columbus OH 2
Ohio 1
Death:
18 Dec 1902 2
New York City NY 2
More…

Related Pages

+
View more similar pages

Pictures & Records (5)

Add Show More

Personal Details

Edit
Full Name:
Wager Swayne 1
Birth:
10 Nov 1834 2
Columbus OH 2
Ohio 1
Death:
18 Dec 1902 2
New York City NY 2
Edit

Civil War (Union) 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Major General 2
Rank:
Lieutenant Colonel 1
Enlistment Location:
Ohio 1
Date:
04 Oct 1862 1
Location:
At Corinth, Miss 1
Military Unit:
43d Ohio Infantry 1

Looking for more information about Wager Swayne?

Search through millions of records to find out more.

Sources

  1. Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-2013 [See image]
  2. Contributed by bruceyrock632
Add

Stories

Conspicuous gallantry in restoring order at a critical moment and leading his regiment in a charge.

 

 

1867-1868

 

Wager Swayne was born on November 10, 1834, in Columbus, Ohio. His father was Noah Haynes Swayne, a member of the United States Supreme Court. Wager Swayne graduated from Yale College in 1856 and then attended Cincinnati Law School, graduating from this institution in 1859. He returned to Columbus and began practicing law with his father. On August 31, 1861, Governor William Dennison appointed Swayne as major in the Forty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Swayne helped organize the regiment at Mount Vernon, Ohio and accompanied his men into battle in February 1862. The Forty-Third Ohio served under General John Pope and participated in several battles in 1862, including attacks on Island NumberTen, New Madrid, and Cornith, Mississippi. Swayne became a colonel in the Forty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry upon the death of his colonel at the Battle of Corinth.

 

During 1863, the Forty-Third Ohio served on garrison duty. Assigned first to Memphis, Tennessee, and then Prospect, Tennessee, Swayne served with the Provost Marshal's office. In late 1863, the Forty-Third Ohio received furlough back to Ohio. Most of the men quickly reenlisted, including Swayne.

 

During 1864 and 1865, the Forty-Third Ohio served under William Tecumseh Sherman and participated in the capture of Atlanta, Georgia, the March to the Sea, and Sherman's invasion of South Carolina. While the Forty-Third Ohio was crossing the Salkehatchie River in South Carolina on February 22, 1865, Confederate soldiers shelled the Union troops. Shrapnel from a Confederate shell struck Swayne in his right leg.

 

Surgeons amputated Swayne's leg above the knee. Swayne received the Congressional Medal of Honor for rallying his men and leading them in an attack of the Confederate position at Salkehatchie River. Two weeks before being wounded, Swayne had received appointment to the rank of brigadier-general. Because of his wound, Swayne did not see any additional combat in the Civil War, which ended two months following his injury.

 

Following the Civil War, Swayne remained in the United States Army. In 1865, General Oliver O. Howard, head of the Freedman's Bureau, appointed Swayne to oversee the agency's activities in Alabama. Swayne played a major role in establishing schools for African Americans, including high schools in Selma, Montgomery, and Mobile. He also helped organize Talladega College. He eventually was promoted to major general. He retired from the Freedman's Bureau and the army in 1870.

 

Upon completing his military service, Swayne established a law practice in Toledo, Ohio. He moved to New York City in 1881, where he established a prominent law firm, representing primarily telegraph and railroad companies. He died on December 18, 1902.

About this Memorial Page

Anyone can contribute to this page. Please sign in or sign up—it's free.

Created:
Modified:
Page Views:
259 total (16 this week)

×