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Sweeney, William Wallace


Age: 0, credited to Vergennes, VT
Unit(s): 36th NJ INF
Service: 1st LT, Co. B, 36th NJ INF, Bvt Captain

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 10/20/1843, Vermont
Death: 04/20/1929

Burial: Prospect Cemetery, Vergennes, VT
Marker/Plot: No_Marker
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 113813067


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Not found
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: Cemetery listing has William Sweeney buried in same plot as his sister Lucy K. (LKS) and Clarence Wyman (CLW). There are four people on the big stone and only 3 foot stones, and six people supposed to be buried there. Nothing showing except the GAR marker.


2nd Great Granduncle of Steve Gillette, Nashville, TN

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Prospect Cemetery, Vergennes, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


Liljenquist Collection, Library of Congress

A family with a Most Remarkable War Record

Laurence Swiney and His Eight Sons, Who All Fought in the Civil War and Who All are Still Living

It is doubtful if this country can produce another family with the remarkable war record possessed by the one which we illustrate in the above engraving. That eight brothers should have served as Union soldiers in the civil war is astonishing enough in itself, but that all eight should be alive and in good health 43 years after the cessation of hostilities is something which would be incredible if the proof were not so readily available.

In the illustration the place of honor in the center is occupied by Laurence Swiney, of Stocksboro, Vt., the father of the eight warrior sons. Mr. Swiney was a veteran of the war of 1812 and lived to be 82 years old, proud that he could point to eight sons who had fought that their country might remain one and indissoluble.

Of the eight sons four are twins and in order to enter the service it was necessary for some of them to pretend to more years than they had really lived. The heroic father, however, gave each boy his blessing as he marched away to war, though some of them were little more than children.

John Swiney, the oldest of the brothers, is now 82 years of age and is a farmer residing at Huntington, Vt. He enlisted in the Thirteenth Vermont Infantry, a nine-month regiment, part of Stannard's brigade which did such heroic work at the battle of Gettysburg. At the expiration of the term of enlistment, he re-enlisted in the Ninth Vermont and served until the close of the war. That regiment was the first one to enter Richmond.

Lawrence Jr., also a farmer, living at Huntington, Vt., enlisted in the Eighth Vermont and was with Butler at New Orleans. He was afterward with Grant at Vicksburg, where he was wounded. He also served under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, and was wounded the second time at the battle of Winchester. He continued with the Eighth Vermont until the close of the war.

Stephen J., 70 years old, a resident of Danville, Ill., is a lawyer and circuit judge. He enlisted in the Seventeenth Illinois, and was supposed to have been mortally wounded at the battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing. On recovery he enlisted in the One Hundred and Seventeenth Illinois, and was again wounded during Sherman's march to the sea.

Truman W. and William W. are twins, 64 years old. Truman W. is a merchant at Gibbons, Neb. He enlisted in the Fifth Vermont, one of the regiments of the famous Vermont brigade, and was seriously wounded at the battle of Savage Station, and was discharged by reason of his injuries. Upon recovery, he enlisted in the Seventh Vermont, and served in the Department of the Gulf until the end of the war.

William W., of Vergennes, Vt., enlisted in the First Vermont Cavalry at the age of 16. When the regiment was mustered in, he was rejected, as it was necessary to be 18 years old. In about two hours afterward he enlisted in the Sixth Vermont Infantry, and this time his age was 18, he having gained the two years in two hours. He served with the Army of the Potomac for three and one-half years, and was wounded at the taking of the Weldon Railroad and at Five Forks. He was put on detached duty and was not discharged until about a year after the war closed. [Webmaster's note: while an amusing story, the truth is a bit different; see William's actual biographical sketch]

Alpheus M. and Alfred S. are twins, 62 years old. Alpheus M. resides at Holyoke, Mass., and is a veterinary surgeon. He enlisted in the Seventh Vermont, and served about two years in the Department of the Gulf, being discharged for disability.

Alfred S., a speculator living at Rochester, Vt., was a member of the Seventh Vermont and served in the Department of the Gulf until the close of the War.

James B., the last of the eight brothers, is a machinist at Rochester, Vt., 61 years old. He enlisted in the Seventh Vermont and served two years in the Department of the Gulf.

Source: Utica (New York) Saturday Globe, August 22, 1908, "A Family With A Most Remarkable War Record." Article contributed by Sue Greenhagen, Technical Services Librarian, SUNY Morrisville College Library, Morrisville, NY 13408. Sue is also webmaster of New York State and the Civil War. The photograph from the newspaper article has been replaced with the Library of Congress.


Swiney, William Wallace, Vergennes. Commercial traveler. born Ferrisburg, Oct. 20, 1843; son of Lawrence and Harriet Swiney. Educated in the public schools. In 1868 married Charlotte S. Vernol of Vergennes. Engaged in farming previous to 1861, when he learned the cabinet maker's trade with J. N. Hanley at Vergennes; later moved to Vineland, N. J.; enlisting in Co. B, 36th New Jersey Regiment in 1864; promoted to sergeant and 1st lieutenant; brevetted captain of Co. B; was in all the battles about Petersburg, Va.; wounded at Five Forks, April, 1865, and at Sutherland Station, April 2, 1865; discharged from service Aug. 30, 1867; was one of a family of eight sons who were in the Union army during the Civil War. Returned to Vergennes in 1867 and engaged in the manufacture of furniture; inventor of the rotary sandpapering machine and door planer now in general use; employed as a commercial traveler since 1882. A Republican; selectman and over-seer of the poor in Middlebury six years; deputy sheriff of Addison County 14 years. Member Dorchester Lodge No. 1, F. & A. M., of Vergennes; Jerusalem Chapter No. 2, R. A. M.; Mt. Calvary Commandery, K. T., and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Source: Prentiss C. Dodge, compiler, Encyclopedia Vermont Biography, (Ullery Publishing Co., Burlington, 1912), p. 329. Information courtesy of Alan Lathrop.

See also A family with a Most Remarkable War Record.

[Webmaster's note: The cemetery listing for Prospect Cemetery in Vergennes has William Sweeney buried in the same plot as his wife (LKS) and Clarence Wyman (CLW). There are four people on the big stone and only 3 foot-stones, and six people are supposed to be buried there. Nothing showing except the G.A.R. marker.