The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 229
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Richard Montgomery Swearingen.
in their camp for weeks, with the prospect of death before him un-
less he could procure a money ransom. His wife meanwhile sought
to effect his release by exchanging for him some of the bushwhack-
ers who had been captured by the Confederate troops. Accom-
panied only by her little brother, she undertook toilsome and peril-
ous journeys on foot to the Confederate camp in order to get as-
sistance from the officers in accomplishing her object. 'Twice she
reached the spot where the camp had been located, only to learn
that it was moved. Finally she went to her husband himself, but
after a short interview she was forced to leave him in the hands
of his captors.1 Every means of saving his life had now appar-
ently been exhausted, and the day for his execution was appointed;
but it may have been that this was intended only as the final test
of the resources of his friends. At any rate, the captain of the
gang, who was under strong personal obligations to Mr. Jessee,
instead of carrying out the sentence, himself escorted Captain
Swearingen safely to the home of his wife.
When the war was over, after a little exciting experience as a
schoolteacher in West Virginia, Captain Swearingen returned to
his old home at Chappell Hill, Texas. Taking up again the thread
of his normal life where it had been broken off in 1860, he resumed
his work at the New Orleans Medical College and finished his
course there in 1867.
The professional knowledge and skill of the young physician
were immediately put to the test by one of those calls which he
was always quick to heed for their employment in the service of
humanity. The occasion referred to was the spread of yellow fever
through southeast Texas in the summer of 1867. On the outbreak
of the disease in Chappell Hill, Dr. Swearingen at once threw him-
self into the struggle against it with exhaustless courage and energy.
He and his wife and their baby daughter were all stricken
with the fever, and the little one died, but the father and mother
Eleven years later Dr. Swearingen answered an appeal for like
humanitarian service in another state. Meanwhile-in 1875-he
xWhether anything was done to raise the money needed for a ransom
the available accounts do not show. Under the circumstances, that was
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/236/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.