Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 870 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
R. M. SWEARINGEN,
Dr. Richard M. Swearingen was born in Noxubu
County, Miss., on the 26th day of September, 1838.
He is the lineal descendant of Garrett Van Swearingen,
who emigrated from Holland to Maryland in
1645, and the son of Dr. R. J. Swearingen and
Margaret M. Swearingen, who settled in Washington
County, Texas, in 1848.
His father was a pioneer in the cause of education,
and was the projector of the splendid schools
that, in ante-bellum days, made Chappel Hill
famous throughout the State. His mother was the
daughter of Maj. Boley Conner, of Irish descent,
who was an officer under Jackson in the War of
1812. She was a lady of gentle manners, marked
individuality and deep piety. In the new town,
made by their efforts and a few congenial friends a
center of wealth, culture and refinement, their
children, Sarah Frances, Patrick Henry, Helen
Marr, Richard Montgomery, John Thomas, and
Mary Gertrude, were raised and educated.
R. M. Swearingen was growing into manhood
when the political excitement of 1860-61 began to
shake the foundation of the government. Fiery
denunciation of Northern aggression and stormy
oratory was the order of the day. Reason gave way
to passion, and men seemed driven by inexorable
forces on to an inevitable destiny.
The voice of Sam Houston rang through the land
like an inspired prophet, but was drowned in the
whirlwind that heralded the impending war.
The subject of this sketch, nearly thirty years
after the guns of Fort Sumpter sounded the death
knell of peace, with satisfaction records the fact
that he was one among the few who stood with the
immortal Houston in opposing and voting against
the ordinance of secession. When, however, his
State, by an overwhelming majority, went out of the
Union, he felt in duty bound to give his allegiance
to her, and responded to the first call ever made
On the 28th day of February, 1861, he embarked
at Galveston, under Gen. McLeod's command, for
the lower Rio Grande. After a six months' campaign
in the regiment of that well-known and gallant
old frontiersman, Col. John S. Ford, the young
soldier returned to his home in Chappel Hill. After
resting a few days, information having been received
that his younger brother, J. T. Swearingen,
was sick at Cumberland Gap, Tenn., he started for
J. T. Swearingen had left the State some months
before, with troops bound for Virginia, but having
been refused enrollment on account of extreme
youth, left them at Knoxville, Tenn., and volunteered
in Brazelton's battalion of Tennessee cavalry.
The brave boy had served under the ill-fated
Zollicoffer, in Kentucky, and had won the admiration
of his comrades, but the rough campaign had
too severely taxed his physical powers, and rest
was imperatively demanded. The ordinary methods
to secure his discharge having failed, the older
brother took his place in the ranks, and for the
second time donned the uniform of a Confederate
The new company joined was commanded by
Capt. A. M. Gofarth, who, a few months later, was
promoted Major of the regiment, and who fell at
its head, sword in hand, leading a desperate
About two months after the brothers had changed
places, the company was reorganized, and the generous
Tennesseeans elected the only Texian in the
company their First Lieutenant, and in less than
six months promoted him to the Captaincy. For
nearly three years he commanded this noted company;
noted, not only for faithful and arduous
services rendered during the war, but for the brilliant
successes made by some of its members after
the war had closed. Pryor Gammon, of Waxahachie,
Texas, was First Lieutenant; George Moore,
Louisiana, was second; and Sam. M. Inman, of
Atlanta, Ga., was third. Mr. D. C. Williams, of
Collinsville, Ala., and James Swann, of the firm of
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/870/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .