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Benjamin Swetland, Fife Major

Posted On: May 26th, 2009 | Posted by: Dean


I’m a little late on the Memorial Day “blog about your ancestor who served in the military” meme. But my wife happened to search Google Books this morning for my 4th great-Grandfather Benjamin Swetland, and she came across a nice find. The Connecticut DAR published a book entitled “Chapter Sketches: Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution; Patriots’ Daughters” in 1904.

ct_dar_sketches_title_pagebenjamin_swetland_roster_leaf

Beginning on page 250, there’s an article highlighting Benjamin Swetland’s life and military career. Among some of the highlights:

  • Benjamin served as a fife major in the Third Massachusetts Regiment during the revolutionary war
  • He claims to have been an “Eye Witness” to “the Surrender of Gen. Burgoin at Saratoga in the year 1777″
  • He copied a tune for the fife entitled “God Save The Congress” — a patriotic version of “God Save the King” into his roster book.
  • He later composed “A New Song”, which implored the government to “shake off your slothfulness” and give the “brave boys” the support they needed.
  • A musket he carried during the war and warming pan belonging to him were in the possession of a Mrs. William G. Mayer of Waterville, NY as of 1904.
  • Benjamin’s Roster Book, from which some of the images in this post originated, was evidently presented to the Chicago Historical Society at some point.

god_save_the_congress1musket_warming_pan

We’d encountered a number of sources discussing Benjamin and his descendants before, but this one provided details we’d not been aware of previously. Sounds like a visit to the Chicago Historical Society should be on our agenda soon!

Bibliographic details from Google Books:
Chapter Sketches: Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution; Patriots' Daughters
By Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution,  Mary Philotheta Root,  Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution
Published by Connecticut chapters, Daughters of the American revolution, 1904
Original from the New York Public Library
Digitized Feb 26, 2008
390 pages

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One Response to “Benjamin Swetland, Fife Major”

  1. Genlighten Blog — Genealogy Documented » Blog Archive » Genealogical Serendipity: Does the Internet lead to more or less of it? Says:

    [...] for too, such as a photo of a bedpan, and Benjamin’s composition of a politically-themed song, which led my fiddle-enthusiast wife to go looking for the tune to which that song may have been [...]

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