Descendants of Edward Swann

Blount County, Alabama

December 16, 1998

Submitted by: Verbon (Gene) Swann
PO Box 8891, Bossier City, LA 71113

Edward Swann is believed to have been born in 1795. There is evidence to indicate that Edward immigrated to the United States around 1810. Evidence suggests that he married around 1815 in the Pendleton District of South Carolina. Pendleton District, South Carolina existed from 1798 to 1826. It is now the present day counties of Oconee, Pickens and Anderson. Edward bought land in adjoining Franklin County, Georgia in 1816 showing up on the Franklin tax lists of 1818. Both the western frontier and Indian lands bordered Franklin County at that time indicating that Edward was migrating west with the frontier.

Edward married Hannah McCollum in 1830 in Campbell County, Georgia. Born in Georgia were John in 1830, Edward K. in 1832 and Jacob in 1835. Later in Alabama, Martha was born in 1838, George W. in 1840, Nancy in 1842 and Jeremiah (Jerrie) in 1845. Campbell County had only recently been formed in 1828 from Indian lands. By 1836, all of the remaining Indian lands

were given up in west Georgia and east Alabama opening the way to Blount County, Alabama for westward expansion of settlers from Georgia. Edward moved his family by covered wagon from Georgia to Blount County, Alabama at that time. He made his first recorded land purchase at the Huntsville Land Office in 1836 where he bought 40 acres for the sum of One dollar and 25 cents an acre.

Edward Swann was a farmer. His land in Blount County was bordered by land owned by Francis Swann, William Swann and Josiah McCollum. William Swann is identified on the 1850 census as William Leroy Swann. Both Francis, born 1826 and William, born 1819, are believed to be sons of Edward from a previous first marriage around 1815 because Edward already had a family as shown by the 1830 Campbell County, Georgia census when he married Hannah McCollum in 1830.

The 1830 Campbell County, Georgia census shows the Edward Swann household with Hannah and 7 children, 2 males 0/5 years old, 2 males 5/10 years old, 1 male 30/40 years old, 1 female 0/5 years old, 1 female 5/10 years old, 1 female 10/15 years old and 1 female 20/30 years old. The oldest girl 10/15 probably is Edward's since we know that Hannah was previously married to William Goddard on 15 October 1822. William Leroy Swann would fit one of the 2 males 5/10 being he is 10 years old. Francis would fit in the 0/5 category since he gives his age as 24 on the 1850 Blount County census as well as being born in Georgia. William Leroy Swann also fits the 1 male 20/30 years of age in Edward's household on the 1840 Blount census.

We know from the descendants of William Leggette Lewis that he married Rebecca Swann. On the 1850 census of Blount County, we find Wm. L. Lewis, age 34, physician, as head of household residing in dwelling #32 on page 122 of the census. There is next his wife, Rebecca, age 34, born in South Carolina. Rebecca Swann's birthdate 1816 and place of birth SC makes her a perfect fit for Edward's oldest girl, 10 to 15, on the 1830 census.

Edward apparently was a properous farmer. General Land Office records at Huntsville, Alabama show he bought land in 1836, 1838, 1839, 1857 and 1858 in Blount County. Records show that Francis M. Swann, his son, bought 80 acres next to Edward on the same day that Edward made his last purchase on 1 March 1858. Records also show that William L. Swann bought 120 acres the same day as Edward bought land on 2 April 1857. This could all be just a coincidence or it could have been friendly competition between father and sons. The acquisition of land was known to be a measure of a man's worth.

It is said that Edward's wife, Hannah, died in 1857 and is buried in a Knoxville, Tennessee cemetery. Edward, at least 60, marries Avaline Hodges, age 29, on 14 January 1859. On the marriage certificate, it is written that Edward was "known to be a widower" at the time. One can only speculate as to the reason of this spring-fall marriage but on the 1860 census, there is a 3-year-old child in Edward's household by the name of Micajah Swann.

In later years, Edward K. Swann moves to Shelby County, Texas in 1859, with his wife, Rhoda, and 3 kids, Jesse, age 5, Louisan, age 2, Clark, age 1.

Edward R. Swann is born in 1861 in Shelby County. Records show that Edward enlisted as a Private, Co. H, 11th Regiment Texas Infantry, CSA, from Shelby County, Texas. He died 14 July 1863 near Trenton, Phillips, Arkansas and is buried in an unmarked grave.

The 11th Texas Regiment was part of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi Department headquartered at Little Rock, Arkansas. It was commanded by Colonel O.M. Roberts. It was one of four regiments of the Second Brigade.

William Leroy Swann was a farmer. He married Letitia Elms. Their children were William C., Rachel, Elijah A., Sidney Fielding, Hannah, Amelia, James, Vanhusen and Ulysses S. Grant Swann. Records show that William served with the U.S. 1st Alabama Cavalry from July 1862 to July 1865. William Leroy Swann was with the U.S. 1st Alabama Cavalry when it participated in "Streight's Raid". William became sick and was left behind where he was captured by the Confederates at Day's Gap, 1 May 1863.

On the 8th of April, 1863, General Rosecrans notified Col. A.D. Streight, Fifty-first Indiana volunteers, that he had been assigned to the command of an independent provisional brigade, including his own and the Seventy-third Indiana, Eightieth Illinois, Third Ohio and two companies of the First Middle Tennessee Cavalry ( 1st Alabama Cavalry USA) raised in north Alabama, with orders to prevent troops being sent by that route to the Army of Tennessee. Streight was supplied with a pack-train of commissary stores and ammunition, and his command 1,700 strong was mounted generally from horses and mules taken from citizens.

After elaborate preparations, Streight moved out from Moulton, Alabama, on the night of the 28th of April. The next day he marched to Day's Gap, 35 miles, and found himself in the midst of "devoted Union people" with no foe to molest him. But very soon an unexpected enemy attacked his rear guard and the "boom of artillery was heard." "I soon learned," he said, "that the enemy had moved through the gaps on my right and left." Forrest was upon him. At Driver's gap, of Sand Mountain, he fought the Federals day and night, with two regiments, with a loss of 5 killed and 50 wounded. Streight left on the field 50 killed and 150 wounded, burned his wagons, turned loose 250 mules and 150 Negroes. On the 3rd of May, between Gadsden and Rome, after five days and nights of fighting and marching, General Forrest captured Streight's entire command with arms and horses. (Account taken from "Confederate Military History" by Gen. Clement A. Evans)

Francis Marion Swann was a farmer. He married Milly. Their children were William R, 1846, AL, Peter, May 1847, AL, Rebecca, 1850, AL, Marion, 1852, AL, Jeannie, 1854, AL, Mary, Feb 1860, AL. Records show Francis was with Co. E, 44th Georgia Infantry Volunteers. The 44th Georgia Infantry was commanded by Colonel Robert A. Smith. The 44th was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia where it served through many long and hard campaigns from the spring of 1862 to the surrender at Appomattox, Virginia on April 9, 1965. The Army of Northern Virginia was commanded by Robert E. Lee.

Jacob Swann was a farmer. He married Panning Reed. His children were Reuben, born 1859, Clark, born 1862, Blount, born 1867, Georgia, born 1867, Addie, born 1868, Adeline, born 1869, George, born 1877, William and Sylvester. Records show that Jacob enlisted in Co. K, 1st Alabama Cavalry, CSA.

The 1st Alabama Cavalry, CSA, was organized at Montgomery, November, 1861 under Col. J.H. Clanton. It was ordered to Tennessee and was at Jackson, Tennessee, March 6, 1862; ordered to Monterey March 31st, 1862, and opened the battle of Shiloh. It moved into Kentucky and was distinguished at Munfordville, Perryville and the many cavalry battles fought by Wheeler's Corp in the Kentucky campaign. It also fought with him at Nashville, Stewart's Creek bridge and various skirmishes preceding and incident to the battle of Murfreesboro. It was also part of the rear guard which protected the retreat from Tullahoma and Chattanooga, losing severely at Duck river; fought at Chickamauga, Clinton, and Knoxville and took a brilliant part in the Sequatchee raid, in which nearly 2,000 prisoners and a train of 1,000 provision wagons were captured. The 1st Alabama Cavalry was daily engaged in retarding Sherman's advance in the Dalton-Atlanta campaign. It was in fights at or near Middleton, Fosterville, Lafayette, Marietta, Noonday creek and Big Sandy. (Source: Confederate Military History by Gen. Clement A. Evans)

Rebecca Swann married William Leggette Lewis, a physician. The 1850 census lists their children as: Mary, age 7, born Alabama; Martha, age 2, born Alabama; Dixon H., age 1, born Alabama. Decendants of William Lewis include other children, Marshall Dee, Sidney, Leecy and Taylor.

Rebecca is said to have had a sister Elizabeth that also married a Lewis.

It is said that Rebecca was named after her grandmother Rebecca Swann who appears on the 1820 census of Laurens County, South Carolina. Her two sisters Mary and Elizabeth were named after their mother, Mary Elizabeth.

Martha Swann married James McMurry, a farmer. The 1870 census shows their children as John, age 3, Alabama, age 2, and Rhoda, age 2. The census also shows them living next to the Jacob Swann family.

George Washington Swann was a farmer. He married Elmira Jane Jett.

Their children were Joseph, born 1861, Coleman, born 1865, William, 1867, James Houston, 1869, Prudence 1871, Thomas Clark, 1873, Julius 1873, George, 1877, Hannah, 1879, Rhoda, 1881, Carrie, 1885, Willis, 1888, and Willie, 1888. George enlisted in Company A, Armstead Brigade, Cavalry Battalion in July 1862. George continued in service until the surrender at Decatur, Alabama in May 1865.

Lewis' battalion, Alabama Cavalry, served in central Alabama and Georgia during the summer and fall of 1864, and until the close of the war. It consisted of five companies under Captains Harrell, Brooks, Morrison, Barnes and May. The gallant Major Lewis was killed while leading the battalion at Lafayette, Georgia. He was succeeded by Maj. William V. Harrell.

Extracts from official war records -- One killed, 5 wounded at Lafayette, GA, June 24, 1864. In Armistead's brigade, districts of Central and Northern Alabama, commanded by Brig. Gen. D.W. Adams, August 21, 1864.

Present for duty, 104, Talladega, Alabama, September 1st. In Armistead's brigade, under Maj. William V. Harrell, central Alabama, November 20, 1864. In same brigade, Army of Mobile, March 10, 1865. (Account taken from Confederate Military History by Gen. Clement A. Evans).

Nancy Swann, age 34, born AL, appears on the 1880 census of Blount County, AL, with two children, Roxie, age 12, born AL, and Vana, age 9, born AL. It is presumed that her husband has died since there is no spouse.

Some records show Nancy Swann marrying John J. Morris, 26 June 1867.

Jeremiah Swann was a farmer. He was only 15 when he left home to join Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederate Cavalry as a scout. He entered service at Danville, Alabama and served until the surrender at Decatur, Alabama in May 1865. After the war, he walked to Perry County, Alabama where he went to work as a farm laborer. At the age of 20, he married Virilla Rogers Mitchell. Their children were: Edward, 1869, Robert Francis, 1871, Tiletha Lee, 1873, Lucy Elizabeth, 1875, Eugenia, 1877, Virilla, 1879, Julius Kendericks, 1880, Critt Seth, 1883, Clara Eunice, 1885, Melendez, 1887, Estelle, 1888, and Anna Inez, 1890. Jeremiah later owned a plantation. He is buried in the family cemetery near Sprott, Alabama, a small community 12 miles east of Marion, Perry County, Alabama.

General Nathan Bedford Forrest was ordered on June 1862 by General Beauregard to assume command of the cavalry of north Alabama and middle Tennessee. General Forrest took Murfreesboro, July 13, 1862; Lexington December 18, 1862; Trenton, December 19, 1862; Rutherford Station and Union City on December 21, 1862. Throughout 1863 and 1864, Forrest was successful in preventing the Union Army from raiding into Alabama to cut lines of communications. By January 1865, Forrest had been transferred to the Mississippi-Louisiana department. In March 1865, Forrest was charged with the defense of Selma, Alabama. He no longer had the divisions that he once had and after a fierce battle, he had to withdraw from the city. (Account taken from Confederate Military History by Gen. Clement A. Evans).

Of the remaining child, John, born 1830, little is known about him. He does not appear in any of the later records. One can only speculate that he must have died. We know from the 1850 Blount County, Alabama census that he lived to be at least 20 years old.

The Alabama Legislature enacted an old age pension for its Confederate soldiers in 1911. George Washington Swann applied and was awarded a pension for his Confederate service. William L. Swann died in 1885. Letitia Swann, his widow, was awarded a pension in 1885 for his service in the U.S. Calvary. As of this date, research is still continuing to find records of the birthplace of Edward Swann.