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James Swales letters

 Collection — Box: 88
Identifier: MS-SC1513

Scope and Contents

Letters to his brother David, written while at Camp Defiance and Mound City. Relates day to day activities in the camp and life in the regiment with some description of Cairo. References to boats on the river and some firing between boats. Most prominent topic is sickness and death among the soldiers. He also writes about problems within the regiment, mainly drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Relates one situation where a soldier was chained to a tree for a whole day and if left for the night would have frozen. The men took up arms against the officers and threatened violence if he was not taken down. Swales voices much respect for the officers, apart from this one incident. Also some discussion of news from home.


  • Created: August through October 1861


Biographical / Historical

Soldier with the 10th Illinois Infantry, Co. A from Jacksonville, Ill. His brother David Swales worked as a printer on the Illinois Sentinel, a Jacksonville paper.


1 folder (1 folder : .5 linear inches (.042 linear feet)) : 13 items

Language of Materials