|Alexander Swasey, Master, "Ella" - entry 11th down from top (Click on photo to enlarge)|
I just found US Army documents about his capture, his 4 years in prison in Boston Harbor, and his release on this date, July 11, 1865.
He spent the whole Civil War in Fort Warren prison. He was one of 8 officers kept there. Many times officers were traded between the north and the south. Not him.
He had been born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1812, then moved to the Florida Territory and lived in St. Augustine where he married and had 4 children, then apparently moved to Charleston, SC and kept business dealings in Newport, RI as well.
As a ship captain, he worked for people who owned the ship, and carried the cargoes they arranged. Thus he was captain of several ships carrying slaves to New Orleans, LA from Charleston in the 1840s. The manifests of 3 of these trips remain with his name and the several slaves' names on them. There didn't appear to be an agent or owner with them, so he must have been responsible for taking them to someone in New Orleans. This was his choice, and since there weren't many abolitionists around, he may not have had any second thoughts about it.
Then the owners of his ship donated it to the cause of the Confederacy, (if they really had a choice) and he stayed with it. That was probably the worst mistake he made in his life. His wife and children were probably in Florida still, since they were in the 1850 census, but that's not certain when 1862 came around.
According to the above Army document, on Nov. 10, 1863 he was captured off Wilmington, NC, and transferred on the 20th to Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor, MA. (My initial posting says he was captured on April 24, 1862, so I wonder about that first year and a half, since this document infers that he'd just been captured.)
There are around 55 copies of army records of cash accounts of his and other prisoners, which were saved and now I have them on my ancestry site. Most of them are not really clear to me. But there was one which showed when he was released at the end of the war. His name is he fourth after the space in the middle of the page below.
|(Click on photo to enlarge)|
And that's it. A man spent 4-5 years in prison, doing who knows what. He never fought in the war at all. And he was released on July 11, 1865.
He died in Charleston on March 26, 1866 of consumption. He does not have a grave marker, though he was buried in a friend's family plot.