Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Austin V. Swayze

Austin V. Swayze was born in 1838, in New Jersey, the son of William (b. 1816) and Anne.

New Jersey native William married Anne and they eventually settled in New Jersey. William brought his family to Michigan, eventually settling in Oakland County, probably Avon Township. In any case Austin may have lived in Avon at some point before the war.

Austin was 23 years old and possibly living in Muskegon County, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was apparently absent sick by early fall of 1861, when George Lemon of Company H, wrote home on September 30 that Swayze was “on the sick list and hasn't been able to do any duty since we came from Bull Run” on July 21, 1861. In fact, Austin allegedly deserted on September 10 or October 10, 1861, at Fort Richardson, Virginia, or on January 9, 1862, at Alexandria, Virginia.

There is no further record, and no pension seems to be available.

It appears, however that Austin returned to his home in Michigan and by 1870 he was described as “at home” living with his father and stepmother (?) Eliza in Avon, Oakland County.

He may have been the same Austin Swayze who by 1880 was working as a stone mason and living with his wife and children in Commerce, Oakland County. This would mean that he was living with his wife Ellen and their daughter in Avon, Oakland County in 1870 as well.

He was apparently living in Disco, Macomb County in 1888. (And there was a civil war veteran named Austin Swayze reportedly living in Midland’s First ward, Midland County in 1894.)

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