Elderly Veteran Survives War, Left for Dead

Left for dead, Civil War veteran mourned, survives only to be buried again decades later.

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When I was a child, there were several elderly Civil War veterans in our small town of Coleridge, Nebraska. The one I remember best was Lewis Dennis.

In August 1861, Dennis, a Union soldier in the Civil War, was wounded in the hip and left for dead on the field of battle.

Later, he was taken to a Confederate hospital, where after recovery, he was paroled, not to take up arms against the Confederacy.

At this time his folks at home received official notice of his death and held his funeral, believing the body had been buried with hundreds of others near the scene of battle.

After the war, MDennis came home. He died April 1929. His second funeral was preached 66 years after his first.

This story was an entry for Robert L. Ripley's second edition of “Believe It Or Not.”

Clarice Morrison
Colridge, Nebraska


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.