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important! identified Spanish American War – UNIFORM , JOURNAL & PERSONAL GROUPING



Now fully operational from the beautiful Pacific North West, we encourage all to keep a close eye as we unpack posted offerings and continue what will be an ongoing effort of unpacking the collection while taking stock with an eye toward thinning out our accumulation of treasures. After years of seeking out and acquiring all manner of quality antique Americana from simple but seldom surviving items of special interest to historically important treasures, Janet and I look forward to offering the fruits of our years of seeking out such to new and appreciative homes.

Visitors will also enjoy our museum site at

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Your Price: $ 1650.00
Item Number: 6356

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This desirable grouping is of Spanish American War veteran Pvt. Ernest M. Swett of Co. D, 1st Maine Volunteer Infantry. The group consists of the following military issue and personal items: Pvt. Swett’s uniform CAP, 5 button SACK COAT, issue TROUSERS, issue LEGGINGS and his issue DRESS GLOVES. Swett’s personal items include: his service period Journal, knit wool Socks, shaving Mirror, lab / Scalpel Kit, period map of Cuba, his Presidential Service Certificate, family Bible Registry Pages and news clippings to include a mustering in roster of Swett’s Co. D, an account of mustering out and other miscellaneous related paper.
Best described here by our photo illustrations, suffice it to say Pvt. Swett’s regulation issue uniform cap, sack coat, trousers and leggings remain in all original and pleasing condition, without mothing or other objectionable condition issues while offering good evidence of period use and age. Like these items, a look at our illustrations will best describe Swett’s personal relics with the exception of his journal offering a firsthand account of the horrors Georgia’s Camp Thomas. Swett’s journal content is highlighted here:
Covering his primary period of service from the April 25, 1898 decision to go to war to his discouraged July 25 entry dirt and dust, no use writing anymore then a single August 21, 1898 notation expressing the dejection of a postponement of leaving the Chickamauga camp, Swett’s penciled journal is easily read as it offers the reader a sample snap-shot of a simple time in American history. A time not too unlike the Civil War military camp experience. Foraging for food one of the fellows got us a goose, heat of the South, a packages of goodies from home, drilling, more drill, eagerness to get into the fight, sickness, death, fighting among troops in camp, court martial and execution, more sickness, then more military life despair at Spanish American War, Camp Thomas, Georgia near the old Chickamauga Civil War battlefield. In his simple, short on words, country style, Pvt. Swett chronicles the atrocious living conditions in a place that would become known in American history as one of the most abusive military facilities ever to be maintained in this country. As related to camp life worse conditions than experienced by troops of the Civil War. Swett notes drinking water so dirty that one could not see the bottom of his dipper. Hard-tack and rotten meat was the usual mess. Overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions result in camp wide dysentery. Pvt. Swett sets up at night with his ailing Captain while he himself suffers from the same malady. Recording the death and shipment home of his Captain’s body Swett seems to fall to despair as he weakens in his own battle to survive. At one point (July 25, 1898) he is so weak and discouraged that closes his daily record with No news, dirt and dust, no use writing anymore. It is not until Aug 16th that Pvt. Swett is moved to write in his journal Tomorrow we are to have the largest review since the Civil War. There will be over 40,000 soldiers in line. Shortly after, a train with 178 sick boys of the 1st Maine will be sent home. Swett’s entries become sparse after this with rumors of being sent home, typhoid fever. Finally on Sunday, August 21 the discouraged soldier makes his last journal entry, They say we are not going home until Thurs. Probably something will come up to prevent us going then. It is offal hot here now. Earlier notations in the back of the little book leave record of the serial number of his issue Mod. 1884 Springfield trap-door rifle, a list of letters received, addresses and the like.
A newspaper clipping, hand dated Oct. 31 1898, records the mustering out of Pvt. Swett’s Co. D, 1st Maine Volunteer Infantry at its home armory in Norway, Maine. The paper records our Pvt. Swett as unable to be present on account of sickness.
One could consider Pvt Ernest Swett a casualty of a war he never got to serve in directly as he seems never to have regained the young man’s health and vigor lost at Camp Thomas, Georgia. Records of the National Soldiers Home at Togus, Maine document his death as a patient there some years later.

This historic Spanish American War grouping will come with our research notes to include the following Ernest M. Swett pertinent site links:
patient register: U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938

pension document: U.S. Veteran Pension Files

1898 New York Times: HORRORS OF CHICKAMAUGA; The First Maine Regiment Returns with Tales Resembling Those Told of Andersonville.

Lewiston Sun: A Ride For Life. Sick Maine Soldiers On The Way From Chickamauga

Buy with confidence! We are pleased to offer a no questions asked three day inspection with return as purchased on direct sales! Just send us a courtesy e-mail to let us know your item will be returned per these provisions and your purchase price will be refunded accordingly. Thanks for visiting Gunsight Antiques!

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