The Swearingin name (as you can imagine) is spelled many different ways. In fact, among our own family it is also spelled Swearengin and Swaringin so if you have a surname that even resembles any of these spellings, we are probably related.
Green Swearingin was born in Marshall County, Alabama on August 12, 1838. He never learned to read or write, but when the first shot of the Civil War was fired, he enlisted and served in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia for the duration of the war. He was one of the few of those he started out with who was still alive to stand at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered.
You know the story. The southern army was left to get home the best way the soldiers could so most walked. While it is impossible for our 21st century minds to really comprehend normal living in the 1860s, it is even more impossible for us to understand what it was like for those southern soldiers who left Appmattox Court House, walking toward home, wherever home might be.
I don’t know a lot about Green’s walk back to Alabama except for one thing…he had no weapon, and he was starving. One day, as he walked a snake slithered by and Green told his family that there was no way that snake was getting away from him, falling upon it and eating it.
Of course, no one knew if he meant he cooked it or ate it raw, but my guess is that the snake became a cold meal.
Believe it or not, once there existed a photo of Green in his uniform. That photo was thrown away by someone a generation or so removed from Green…thrown away for the old oval frame!