1st Alabama Cavalry - Est. 1862
Home | Original 1st | Reenactors | Links | Contact Us | What's New
Southern Unionists | History of the First | Unit Stories | Official Records | Colored Troops
Searchable Roster | Individual Stories | Obituaries | Pictures | Tombstone Photos

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Glenda McWhirter Todd. She passed away on September 3, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was a historian, genealogist, and author who prided herself on being a descendant of Andrew Ferrier McWhirter of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV. Her work over the past two decades and her dedication to the 1st Alabama Cavalry has created a legacy that will last for years to come.

Her life's work has touched thousands of people through the years, and I am glad that I had the pleasure to work with her as long as I did. My hope is that her work will live on for years to come to educate and inspire a new generation.

Stories about Troopers from the 1st Alabama

Picture Combined Service Record

James C (Casada) Swift
James Casada Swift was born about 15 August 1839 in Dexter, Washtenaw County, Michigan to Cassius and Emily M. Swift, but due to the Civil War, he had a short life. He first enlisted in Captain Ford’s Cavalry, which was attached to the 53rd Illinois Infantry Volunteers, as a Sergeant, in Ottowa, Illinois. He then enlisted in Company L of the 15th Illinois Cavalry, US on 01 January 1862. He was then promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the 1st Alabama Cavalry USV at Glendale, MS at age 36. On 26 October 1863, James was caught up in the heavy battle at Vincent’s Crossroads, MS (now Red Bay, AL) and was critically wounded. He was taken back to Glendale where he died in the regimental hospital 03 November 1863, of the wounds he received in battle. M.H. Smith, brother to Cassius, James’ father, went to Glendale, MS from to claim James’ body and take him back home to Michigan for burial.

Cassius Swift died between 1840 and 1850 leaving his wife with two young children, James C. and Jennie, and she had no support other than help from family and friends. Emily and Cassius Swift had already had five (5) other children to die due to various reasons. On 17 Nov 1855, James’ mother, Emily M. Swift, married William Stephens, a shoemaker and the following information from the US House of Representatives, contained in her pension records states what happened to that marriage:

"The petitioner applies for a pension as dependent mother of James C. Swift, first lieutenant of Company B, First Alabama Cavalry, and who died at Glendale, Miss., November 3, 1863, of wounds received in battle. (At Vincent's Crossroads- gt) The soldier's identity, service, and death are not questioned, and the proof is ample to show that he was the only son of the claimant. The pension is denied by the Pension Office on the ground of nondependence at the time of his death. The facts are that the mother was living with her second husband, William Stephens, in the village of Dexter, Washtenaw County, Michigan, when her son enlisted, which was also the home of the latter. it is in evidence that the relations between the husband and wife were not pleasant; that the son gave his mother his bounty-money, and afterwards sent her portions of his pay, thus recognizing her dependence upon him independent of the fact that his mother had a husband who was under obligations to support her. It is also in evidence that the husband not only did not maintain her, but that he converted to his own use all the personal property she had; that he treated her with cruelty; that he procured from the estate of the soldier's father money that belonged to the son, converted it to his own use, and that the mother had no benefit from it. Also that the petitioner has been granted a divorce from her said husband, William Stephens, and that she is now sixty-seven years of age, in poor health, and dependent upon her relatives for support; and that she has resumed the name of Emily M. Swift.

In the opinion of the committee this is a case demanding relief that may properly be given. The bill is therefore reported favorably with a recommendation that it do pass."

Database created and maintained by Ryan Dupree.

Service records compiled by Glenda Todd and used with her permission. This and other information about the history of the First and the men who fought with the unit can be found in her book, First Alabama Cavalry, USA: Homage to Patriotism.

If you would like to contribute to our collection, please feel free to contact us.

Click here to go back to the search page

© 2002-2024 www.1stalabamacavalryusv.com