Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Charles Swett

Charles Grandiron Swett

Representing: Union


Unit History

  • United States Navy

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Charles Swett
Full Unit History

U.S.S. OHIO
Keel Laid:
1817 Brooklyn Naval Yard Brooklyn, NY
Launched: 5/30/20
Commissioned: Before 10/16/38
Decommissioned: 1875

 

U.S.S. QUAKER CITY
Keel Laid:
1854 Philadelphia, PA
Launched: Inf. Not Avail.
Commissioned: December, 1861
Decommissioned: May, 1865

 

U.S.S. ST. LAWRENCE
Keel Laid:
1826 Norfolk Navy Yard Portsmouth, VA
Launched: 1848
Commissioned: 8/17/48
Decommissioned: 12/15/65 (Final Time)

Regimental History

VESSEL HISTORY: (Ohio)

The U.S.S. Ohio that served during the American Civil War was the second vessel to carry the Ohio name. She was a sail powered ship of the line in the United States Navy.

Ohio was first launched in 1820. After a period of service she was placed into ordinary (mothballed). During this period she decayed badly. Refitted, she sailed again in 1838.

In 1840 Ohio was, became a non-seagoing receiving (induction center) ship She was recommissioned in December, 1846 during the Mexican-American War.

In 1850 in 1851 Ohio again returned to receiving ship duties. At that time she was berthed in Boston Harbor, Boston, MA. Ohio served in this capacity until 1875 when she was decommissioned for the final time. 

On 9/27/83 Ohio was sold to J.L. Snow of Rockland, Maine. The following year she burned and sank in Greenport Harbor, NY.

VESSEL HISTORY: (Quaker City)

Quaker City was a wooden side-wheel steamship. When launched she served in a civilian capacity.

Chartered (leased) by the U.S. Navy in April, 1861, Quaker City was, in August of that year, purchased by the U.S. Navy and formally converted into a warship. She was then assigned to the Federal fleet blockading the mouth of Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia. During that period she captured or took part in the capture of ten would-be Confederate blockade runners.

U.S.S. Quaker City was also sent to sea in search of the Confederate cruiser Sumter. Later, she was similarly employed when necessitated by the activities of other Rebel raiders. Quaker City did not encounter any enemy warships on the high seas, but on 12/31/63 was damaged in a fight with Southern ironclads off of Charleston, SC.

In December, 1864/January, 1865 U.S.S. Quaker City was part of the powerful Union fleet that supported the capture of Ft. Fisher in North Carolina. That capture sealed off Wilmington, NC to enemy sea commerce.

 In May, 1865 while serving in the Gulf of Mexico U.S.S. Quaker City  assisted in the chase of CSS Webb as that ship made a dramatic run in an abortive attempt to escape from the collapsing Confederacy. Decommissioned that same month, Quaker City was sold and resumed her commercial career.

In 1869 Quaker City was sold again and renamed Columbia. Then, after joining the Haitian Navy she became the Mont Organise.

Resold for a final time in February, 1871 Mont Organise was christened Republique. Later that same month Republique was lost at sea off of Bermuda.

VESSEL HISTORY: (St. Lawrence)

Although her keel was laid in 1826, a shortage of funds interrupted construction on the Brandywine class frigate that was to become U.S.S. St. Lawrence. In 1846, with the onset of the Mexican-American War, construction was resumed.

The sail powered vessel was finally launched in early 1848 and commissioned into the U.S, Navy in August of that year. During her career U.S.S. St. Lawrence decommissioned and recommissioned many times.

Between 1848 and 1850 U.S.S. St. Lawrence sailed to England and Europe. She returned to England in 1851 before joining the Pacific Squadron in which she served until 1855. Service in the Brazil Squadron followed between 1856 and 1859.

With the onset of the American Civil War in April, 1861 St. Lawrence was hurriedly prepared for action. Her first civil war assignment was with the Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Hampton Roads, VA. She then moved to Cape Hatteras, NC and on to Savannah, GA. She then returned north for a time before continuing on blockading duties along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.

On 3/6/62 U.S.S. St. Lawrence rejoined the Atlantic Blockading Squadron in Hampton Roads, VA. She was present when the Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Virginia (formerly the U.S.S. Merrimack) attacked Union warships two days later. Firing upon the Virginia, St. Lawrence's shells bounced harmlessly off of the ironclad's greased armor.

In April, 1862 St. Lawrence was reassigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron off of Florida. In July she became the flagship of that fleet. She sailed north on 5/7/63 because of a serious outbreak of yellow fever. Shortly thereafter she entered one of her periods of decommission.

During August, 1863 St. Lawrence became an ordnance ship servicing the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. In 1865 her final days in the U.S. Navy were served as a store ship at Norfolk, VA.

Her sailing years behind her, from 1867 to 1875 St. Lawrence served as a barracks ship at Norfolk, VA. She was sold on 12/31/75. Her fate after that date is not known.

Soldier History

 SAILOR: (Ohio)
Residence:
Dedham Norfolk Co., MA   Age:
Enlisted/Enrolled:    Rank:  Landsman
Mustered In:
Transferred Out:
Highest Rank:
Ordinary Seaman
Rank At Transfer: Ordinary Seaman

SAILOR: (Quaker City)
Residence
: Dedham Norfolk Co., MA   Age:
Transferred In:   Rank:
Ordinary Seaman
Transferred Out:
Highest Rank:
Ordinary Seaman
Rank At Transfer: Ordinary Seaman

SAILOR: (St. Lawrence)
Residence:
Dedham Norfolk Co., MA   Age:
Transferred In:   Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Mustered Out:
Highest Rank:
Ordinary Seaman
Rank At Discharge: Ordinary Seaman

Family History

PERSONAL/FAMILY HISTORY:

 

 

NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Charles G. Swett was created in February, 2021 during the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
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Charles Grandiron Swett was born 3/20/39. His place of birth was Dedham Norfolk County, MA. 

 

Parenting Charles were John Sprague (b. 4/10/11 Boston Suffolk County, MA - d. 10/6/72 Dedham Norfolk County, MA) and Nancy Newman (nee Hopkins b. 1814 Wellfleet Barnstable County, MA) Swett. The Swetts were a farm family. 

 

As best as can be determined, Charles was eldest of nine children. His younger siblings were: Harriett Elizabeth Swett (b. 4/11/41 Hanover Plymouth County, MA), Alonzo Swett (b. 12/7/43 Hanover Plymouth County, MA), Samuel Horatio (b. 2/23/46 Hanover Plymouth County, MA), George H. (b. 5/16/48 Dedham Norfolk County, MA), John Edward (b. 77/9/50 Dedham Norfolk County, MA), Laura P. (b. 7/6/53 Dedham Norfolk County, MA), Laura Jane (b. 3/13/56 Dedham Norfolk County, MA) and William H. (b. 11/6/58 Dedham Norfolk County, MA).  The children’s' birthplaces denote that John and Nancy spent their child bearing/rearing years within the Massachusetts counties of Plymouth and Norfolk.

 

Based on available documents, it appears Charles stayed under his parent’s roof until he entered navy in 1861. Exactly when that was, however will remain an unknown until his military service records can be accessed. Other unknowns are the dates he was assigned to the three vessels on which he served.  

 

Without obtaining Seaman Swett's service records we do know that Charles survived The War and returned to civilian life. Whether that return was to the home of his parents or another location we do not know.

 

Sometime in the 1870s Charles married. His wife was apparently named Lillian. Her surname is not known.

 

It appears Charles and Lillian produced one child, a son they named Fred.  Freddie was born in New Hampshire during 1876. He died in 1878. Lillian's fate is an unknown. 

 

By the spring of 1891 Charles had made way to Seattle, WA. What had drawn him to the Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest is not known. What is known is that on 6/4/92 in Seattle he remarried to the previously wed Mary S. H. (nee Boyington b. 3/22/47 Wellfleet, MA) Bell.

 

After their marriage Charles and Mary settled into farming in the rural Sunnydale area of south King County. The U.S. Census tallies for both 1900 and 1910 found them there in what is now a part of the city of Burien.

 

As best as can be determined, by her 1st marriage Mary had birthed three children. Two of the three were living in 1910. Charles and Mary produced no children of their own.

4/30/17 Charles, by then having retired from farming, died. The cause of his passing was heart Pericarditis (heart failure). At the time of his death he was 78 yrs., 1 month and 10 days of age. Burial was/is in the Riverton Crest Cemetery located south of Seattle in the King County community of Tukwila.

 

On 4/8/91 after arriving in Washington State Charles had applied for and been granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his Civil War service in the U.S. Navy. Unfortunately without access to Mr. Swett's pension file it is difficult to say much about the details of his monthly stipend. However, we can say that on 6/12/7 following Charles' death Mary petitioned the U.S. Government to continue receiving at least a portion of his pension. That request was granted.

 

Following her husband's passing Mary remained in the Puget Sound area. She died on 5/2/21 and was/is buried with Charles in the Riverton Crest Cemetery.
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  • Until military service records are obtain it cannot be determined when Charles entered and exited the U.S. Navy.

** Until military service records are obtained it cannot be determined on which of these vessels Seaman Swett first served.

Cemetery

Buried at Riverton Crest Cemetery

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