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Civil War focus of July 10 event in Freeport

July 3, 2012

• Noted author Suzy Barile will provide answers to the question: ‘A Confederate in our cemetery?’

Staff Report

FREEPORT, Ill. — A popular book several years ago titled Confederates in the Attic sought to trace some of the modern strands of the Civil War.

In Freeport last summer, the Stephenson County Historical Society dedicated a grave marker in the Freeport City Cemetery on the grave of a Confederate veteran, which led some to ask, “A Confederate in our cemetery?”

Noted author Suzy Barile will provide some answers to that question at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, at the Freeport Public Library. Barile will discuss the life of Richard Caswell “Bunkey” Swain, M.D. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

The brother-in-law of one of Stephenson County’s most famous Civil War soldiers — Brigadier General Smith D. Atkins, Swain settled in Shannon, Ill., after the Civil War. A railroad accident took his life in 1872.

Author Suzy Barile, a great-great-granddaughter of Ella (Swain) and Smith D. Atkins, and the third great niece of Swain, will tell the story of Dr. Swain and his struggles with what today is called post-traumatic stress disorder.

Barile is the author of Undaunted Heart: The True Story of a Southern Belle and a Yankee General. This popular book tells of the love story of General Atkins and his wife, a native of North Carolina. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event, and Barile has agreed to autograph any and all copies brought or bought.

Freeport Public Library is at 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport, Ill., and can be reached at (815) 233-3000.

From the July 4-10, 2012, issue

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