"Soldiers and Sailors, Oakland,PA"

On Tuesday,9 November, my Uncle Joe Bowser and I took our annual “Search for Daniel” day…I take most of my vacation days from work in November, so I reserve a day to continue our search for my great,great Uncle, Daniel Warren Swigart…following his service to his country in the Civil War with Company D,62nd PVI, Daniel served his Lord-as a Baptist minister, preaching all over western Pennsylvania…In the past several years, Joe and I have visited many of the churches where Reverand Swigart served: Saltsburg, Indiana, Blairsville, Richardsville, Clarion, Strattonville, Greenville, West Salem, Sheakleyville and Dunbar…running out of churches to visit, this year we decided to go to Waynesburg, where he preached for six months in 1904…it is also where  his second wife, Emily{Stoughton} Swigart is buried[Daniel is buried with his first wife, Margeret Starr, who passed away in 1868, at Pine Creek Baptist Cemetery]…

On our way to Waynesburg, I missed the ramp where 79 South exits 279 South…we had planned on stopping at Soldiers and Sailors Hall on our way home, so we decided to go there first…they say things happen for reasons, and I’d like to think my failure to exit was meant to be…it led to some good timing at the museum, and as we were to discover later when we returned to 79 South, we had avoided a very bad accident…at Soldiers and Sailors, we were able to view the countless[and priceless] artifacts on display from our nations military history, including of course the Civil War, more specifically the “Gettysburg Room”…it was all very special[Joe being a former Marine,was especially  pleased with the USMC displays]…

But there was one item that I knew should be there, and I couldn’t find it…this is where the good timing comes in…through a series of minor “wrong turns”, we ended up getting to speak to Michael, the curator at S&S…I told him that we were there to see the 62nd PVI Brigade flag, which Daniel fought under in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg…once we explained our connection to the flag, he most graciously led us up several flights of stairs to a storage room, where the tattered old flag sat in a frame, a silent testimony to the ferocity of the fighting, so riddled with bullet holes that you can’t help but weep at the sight of it…it is truly a wonder that any of Sweitzer’s Brigade made it out of that field alive…

We went to Waynesburg that afternoon, and then to Mount Pleasant, where Daniel

"62ndPVI-2nd Brigade Flag"

also ministered, but found nothing that we didn’t already know, and certainly not a photograph of him…but we always enjoy our time together searching for our brave and elusive ancestor, and the time spent with that ragged old flag is something that we will always treasure…I highly recommend a visit to Soldiers and Sailors to everyone, and am extremely grateful to the curator for his time.

[photos by: R.J.Slim Bowser]

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