Swift, Heman

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Swift, Heman

SWIFT, HEMAN. Continental officer. Connecticut. Heman Swift enlisted as a private in the Fourth Connecticut Provincial Regiment in September 1755, was a corporal in the militia sent to reinforce Fort William Henry when it was besieged by the French in August 1757, and was appointed a lieutenant in the provincial regiments for the three years of Connecticut's maximum effort during the final French and Indian war (1758–1760). He was elected a deputy to the General Assembly from Cornwall, in the far northwest corner of Connecticut, in the early 1770s. In June 1776, the Assembly appointed him colonel of a Connecticut state regiment, one of two such regiments it authorized to reinforce the Northern Department. The regiments were stationed at Fort Ticonderoga and came home in November. He became colonel of the Seventh Connecticut Regiment in the Continental Army on 1 January 1777 and served with it as part of the main army throughout the war. On the consolidation of the Connecticut Line on 1 January 1781, he was transferred to command the Second Connecticut Regiment. On 28 September 1781 he was sent from the Hudson Highlands with 300 infantry and some light artillery to Ramapo, New Jersey, to support the militia against a possible British raid from Staten Island. In June 1783 he was retained as colonel of the last consolidated Connecticut regiment. On 30 September, he was breveted brigadier general and in December 1783 retired from the army.

SEE ALSO Fort William Henry (Fort George), New York; Hudson River and the Highlands.


Heath, William. Memoirs of Major-General Hetah, Containing Anecdotes, Details of Skirmishes, Battles, and other Military Events During the American War. New York: New York Times, 1968.

                            revised by Harold E. Selesky