Private Albert M. Swift

Private Albert M. Swift

Texas Rangers, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, December 27, 1870

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Albert M. Swift

Albert M. Swift enlisted on December 14, 1854 at age 19 in Company C of the Texas Rangers Mounted Volunteers and served for three months until he was discharged on March 14, 1855. At about age 35, Swift re-enlisted on October 1, 1870 for one year in Captain H. R. Biberstein’s Company L, but was discharged on October 31, 1870 by Governor E. J. Davis. On November 5, 1870 he re-enlisted in Company F of the Texas Rangers Frontier Forces and served until his death less than two months later. The monthly return of Company F, Frontier Forces for December 1870, states that "A. M. Swift left sick in hospital at Fort Griffin, Texas Dec. 14, 1870." The monthly return also talks about the severe weather, snow storms and lack of tents, shelter, and medical attention that the Rangers had to endure. There is also correspondence relating how several of their horses and mules froze to death because of the inclement weather. The muster roll for this company, for the period November 5, 1870, to June 15, 1871, states that A. M. Swift "died at Fort Griffin, Tex. Dec. 27, 70". The Texas State Archives reports that Swift must have been a casualty of the weather conditions or from some illness possibly contracted because of the weather.

Very little personal information is known about Private Swift except that he was reported to have been born in both Germany and Missouri between 1835-1837.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 2 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Wednesday, December 14, 1870

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According to the book "On the Border with Mackenzie", in a seperate accounting of the Dec 1870 winter storm, temperatures dipped to -10 deg farenheit in north Texas.

Even allowing for inaccuracy of the time this was very sever for Texas and almost no one would have had adequate shelter or clothing.

Thos almost certainly contributed to Private Swift's death.

Keith Holt
History buff

February 8, 2022

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