February 5, 2016

William C. Swearingen

William C. Swearingen, soldier of the Republic of Texas, enlisted at Velasco on February 13, 1836, "for two years or the duration of the war." He joined Sam Houston's army on the Colorado River, and at the battle of San Jacinto he fought in Capt. Amasa Turner's Company B of Lt. Col. Henry W. Millard's Regular Infantry battalion. From the battlefield on April 23 Swearingen wrote a lengthy and detailed account of the campaign and battle to his brother Lemuel in Scottsville, Kentucky. The letter ends with the poignant request that his brother "kiss William for me and tell him pappy will be there in the fall and stay with him always."

With the reorganization of the army after San Jacinto, Swearingen was transferred to Company A of the First Regiment, Regular Infantry, under Capt. John Smith, formerly Millard's first sergeant. He was posted to Galveston Island but served a part of his enlistment period on detached duty aboard the schooner Apollo out of Cedar Bayou. He received a promotion to sergeant on March 17 and resigned from the army on November 4, 1836, but reappeared on the muster roll of February 28, 1837. He died in Houston on December 24, 1839. Swearingen was most likely a kinsman of Elemeleck Swearingen, who also fought in Turner's company at San Jacinto, and of Elemeleck's brother V.W. Swearingen, who served in Capt. John York's company at the siege of Bexar and with Capt. Moseley Baker's company at San Jacinto. He subsequently took part in the Mier expedition and was incarcerated at Perote prison. Elemeleck and V.W. Swearingen moved from Kentucky to Milheim, Austin County, Texas, in 1830.

Note
This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.436, -095° 22.769


Founders Memorial Park
Houston

No comments:

Post a Comment