Grandmother's First Husband Conscripted into Union Army

Second husband delivers message on conscripted man's fate in Union Army and becomes woman's second husband and author's grandfather.

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My grandmother was married twice, first to Benjamin Nodine. When the Civil War broke out, Union Army officers came and conscripted him right out of the field to fight for our country.

Grandmother said, "He never came to the house but waved his goodbye from the field." Weeks went by, and one day a soldier delivered a message to my grandmother, which told her that her husband had been killed in battle. They had three children.

Time went on, and my grandmother married the man who brought the death message to her. He also became my grandfather because later they had three children, one of whom was my mother.

Grandfather never tired of telling us the story of his messenger trip to Grandmother's and always added, "When I saw that pretty young widow, I knew I would marry her someday."

Mrs. John Ziegler
Lone Tree, Iowa


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.