St Patrick's Day

A special to the Tribune from Fort Yates, Dak., says Private M.B. Swepstone of the Seventeenth United States infantry band, shot himself through the head the 21st inst., with a revolver. He was found the next morning in a shack near the post in a dying condition and conveyed to the post hospital, where he is expected to die any moment. He left a letter stating that he was tired of life and directions as to the disposition of his personal effects.

Valley Herald (Chaska, Minnesota), 3/6/1884

Simply Tired of Life.

Sergt. Swepstone, of Ft. Sully, arrives Monday evening from Fort Yates with the body of his brother M.B. Swepstone, who committed suicide a few days since by shooting himself through the head. The remains are being taken to his old home in Creola, Ohio, where his parents now live. The suicide is a strange one. The deceased was only 18 years old and had always seemed to be in good spirits. He had a good education and assigns no reason for committing the act other than he was tired of life. He left the following letter for his brother:

Fort Yates, Feb 26, 1884.—Friend Lester: I intend to kill myself and wish to leave some directions concering the disposal of my things. The small box on the shelf that contains my pictures will be given to Sergt. Forte, as I wish him to send them home for me. You will also give him my large box. You can take my eye glasses for what I owe you, and perhaps you can dispose of them for as much as they cost. My overcoat I wish to be given to Private Bichon of company "D". My clothing and blankets can go to Al. Bartley, and Kolby. Perhaps they can get enough to partly pay them the amount of my indebtedness. If my pay is not forfeited by suicide I wish the amount due to me to be paid to Mr. Douglas, posttrader. There is enough due me to pay him, if it can be gotten from the government. It is of no use for anyone to conjecture as to why I did this, as no one can possible have any idea of the truth. The simple truth of the matter is, that I am simply tired of living and I think half an ounce of lead is as easy a way as any to get a rest. You know I am an infidel and have no belief in a future state and consequently am not afraid of death. I look at it only as one long undisturbed sleep. I wish to be buried with the same clothing I have on me if possible. Whatever else is done I want the tie left on me which I am now wearing. It was given me by the truest friend I ever had, and I wish it to be buried with me.

Friend Jake, I think I have said all that is necessary, so I will close. Please get all my requests granted if possible. Wishing you and all the boys a long and happy life I remain

Yours in death,

M. Bundy Swepstone.

Bismarck Tribune, 3/7/1884

Profane and Improper

Posted 03/18/2014