My 3rd great-grandfather, Patrick Henry Swain was born in Jackson County, Illinois, on August 24, 1836. His father John Swain moved with his wife, Mary Ormes Swain, from Tennessee to Jackson County, Illinois, sometime before 1830. John Swain is listed in the 1830 and 1840 census in Jackson County, Illinois, before relocating to Franklin County, Illinois before 1850 when the family is shown living just a few houses down from the Barnett McGlasson family in the 1850 census. On August 17, 1856, six days before Henry’s 20th birthday, he married Perilla McGlasson, daughter of Barnett and Susannah McGlasson. Their first son, Cornelius, named for Henry’s grandfather, a revolutionary war patriot, was born in June the following year. The couple went on to have 12 children, 9 of whom survived to adulthood.
- Cornelius F Swain 1857 –
Susanna Ardelia Swain Clayton 1860 – 1930
(My 2nd great-grandmother)
Barnett Luster Swain 1861 – 1913
Ella Swain 1863 –
George Taylor Swain 1864 – 1932
Robert Swain 1867 – 1935
Johnson Swain 1868 –
Emma Swain Dreyden 1871 –
Evan Ormes Swain 1874 – after 1930
Richard H Swain 1875 –
Nina Lulu Swain Spinden Love 1880 – 1974
Henry enlisted on September 26, 1862, at Camp Butler, Illinois, and was mustered into the service of the United States as a private in Company A, 128th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. At that time he was 26 years old, stood 5 feet, 8 inches high, had dark hair, grey eyes and a dark complexion and had previously been working as a farmer. In a book called “A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion” author Frederick Dyer writes of the 128th Regiment the following:
Organized at Camp Butler, Ill., and mustered in November 4, 1862. Attached to District of Columbus, Ky., 16th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee. Disbanded April 1, 1863, by order of Gen. Grant, having lost in 5 months over 700 men, principally by desertion, and the Officers having proved themselves utterly incompetent, were mustered out of service. The few remaining men were consolidated into a Detachment and consolidated with 9th Illinois Infantry April 1, 1863.
Henry Swain was honorably discharged, but it is not known if he was one of the 700 deserters. It is worth noting that the desertions that occurred at that time were in response to the release of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Henry and Perilla continued to raise their family and farm in Franklin County until after 1900. By 1910, they have moved to Jackson County and are shown living off their “own income” rather than farming. In 1912, due to the infirmities of old age, he was admitted into residence at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ home in Quincy, Illinois. In 1916, Perilla had become totally blind and was eligible to join him in residence at the home where they lived together until Henry’s death on March 6, 1917 at age 80. His funeral was held at the home and he was buried in the Sunset Cemetery on the grounds of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home (now called the Quincy Veterans’ Home.) On the way from Lippincott hall to the cemtery the band played “Nearer My God to Thee.”
Perilla at that time moved to Stockton, California, to live with their oldest son, Cornelius. By 1920 she had moved to Oakland to live with their youngest daughter Nina Lulu Swain Spinden. Perilla died in Oakland on December 9, 1924 at age 87.