James Dixon Swindell

(Hyde County)

Featured Character – A Soldier's Life

General Map of the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, Showing the Theatre of Operations of the Burnside Expedition, Harper's Weekly, March 1, 1862

Courtesy of the Museum of the Albemarle

Born on Christmas Day 1839 to a family of wealthy Hyde County slaveholders, James Dixon Swindell married Judith Mann in 1859.  Almost two years into the war, Swindell joined the “Stonewall Rifles,” also known as Company B, 17th North Carolina Infantry.  The regiment fought mostly in eastern North Carolina, taking part in the Confederate efforts to seize Washington in 1863 and New Bern in 1864.  After the Union Army crossed the James River and attacked Petersburg, Virginia, the 17th North Carolina Infantry along with the rest of Robert F. Hoke’s division reinforced Robert E. Lee’s besieged army.  During the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm in Virginia on October 2, 1864, Union forces captured Swindell.  He spent the rest of the war imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland.  After taking the oath of allegiance on June 20, 1865, Federal officials released Swindell.  He returned to Hyde County and worked as a farmer.  He also owned a sawmill on the shores of Lake Mattamuskeet.  James Dixon Swindell died on March 16, 1911.