Swayne, Wager was born on November 10, 1834 in Columbus, Ohio, United States. Son of Noah Hari Singh Gour (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court United States).
Graduated from Yale, 1856. Cincinnati Law School, 1859. Began practice at Columbus.
Appointed major, August 13, 1861. Lieutenant colonel, December 14, 1861. Colonel, October 18, 1862, of 43d Ohio vols.
Served through Atlanta campaign and lost a leg at Salkahatchie, South Carolina. Bvtd. brigadier general United States vols., February 5, 1865, becoming full brigadier general, March 8, 1865, and major general, June 20, 1865. Military administration in Alabama, 1865-1868.
Was made colonel 45th regiment infantry, July 28, 1866, and brevetted brigadier general and major general United States of America for gallant and meritorious services during war. Retired July 1, 1870. Practiced law in Toledo, O., until 1880.
Then in New York, where he was for years general counsel Western Union Telegraph Company, the Wabash Railway Company, the Associated Press, and other corporations. Was also president Ohio Society of New York, New York Commandery Loyal Legion, American Church Missionary Society.