Frederic William Swift was a 31 year old resident of Detroit, Michigan on July 20, 1862 when he enlisted as a Captain in Co. F of the 17th Regiment Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on November 26, 1863 and placed in command of the regiment.
Frederic Swift was taken prisoner at Spotsylvania, Virginia on May 12, 1864 and returned to the regiment on August 3, 1864.
He was promoted to Colonel on December 4, 1864 and to Brevet Brigade General, U. S. Volunteers on March 13, 1865 for gallant and meritorious conduct during the war. He was mustered out June 3, 1865 at Delaney House, Washington, D.C.
Frederic W. Swift was presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his action on November 16, 1863 at Lenoire Station, Tennessee. The Citation states: Gallantly seized the colors and rallied the regiment after 3 color bearers had been shot and the regiment, having become demoralized, was in imminent danger of capture.
He was born January 30, 1831 in Mansfield to Dr. Earl and Laura (Ripley) Swift. Frederic Swift married Mary A. ____ about 1855; he married second, Ellen A. Burden. Frederic returned to Detroit after the Civil War; he was a postmaster in 1870 and a seller of wholesale drugs in 1880.
Frederic W. Swift died on January 30, 1910 and is buried at the Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan, Lot 23, Section B.