The Civil War: Bushwhackers Threaten Little Children With Flaming Broom

Civil War widow stops bushwhackers before flaming broom can burn bed and little children.

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My great-grandfather was a soldier in the Missouri Militia. I never saw him as he disappeared or was killed during the Civil War, but I listened for hours to his widow tell Civil War stories. One outstanding story Great-Grandmother told was of the bushwhackers, as she called them. One night she and her four small children were sitting on the bed, wondering where Great-Grandfather was, when the bushwhackers slammed her door open, and asked where Great-Grandfather was. Great-Grandmother told them she did not know. One of them grabbed up the broom, stuck it into the fire, and with the flaming broom started toward the bed and the little children.

"Oh, my God, don't burn my little children up!" she said. To her surprise and relief the man stopped, looked at her and left.

I'm the great-granddaughter of a very courageous little Civil War widow.

Eva Garner
Copan, Oklahoma

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.