Man Serves With Grand Army of the Republic During the Civil War

Older Civil War soldiers in Grand Army of the Republic serve in Graybeard Regiment before honorable discharge.

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Dougal McDougal has been long gone, but he is not soon to be forgotten! I am proud to be one of his descendants.

The initials "G.A.R." are clearly visible on his grave marker, indicating that he had been a member of the Grand Army of the Republic with the Union troops during the Civil War. At the age of 54, he became a member of the 37th Infantry from Iowa, made up entirely of volunteers ranging from 50 years to 84 years of age. He served in the 6th Cavalry, Company C (known as the Graybeard Regiment) from 1862 to 1863.

It is our family's understanding that these volunteers were from the northeast Iowa area and were sworn in at McGregor on the Mississippi River. Due to lack of transportation at that time, they were forced to walk to the designated area to be inducted and required to furnish their own weapons and clothing.

He received an honorable discharge in 1863 because of an eye infection, which left him legally blind. As a result of his disability, he was granted a monthly pension of $26, which was one of the largest pensions granted.

Ruth Hill Hager
Sun City, Arizona


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.