Civil War Stories: Home On Furlough

During the Civil War, young children think a furlough must be a kind of wheelbarrow.

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Near the close of the Civil War my aunt and her cousin Frank heard their elders say their Uncle Bob was soon coming home from the War on a furlough.

Neither of the five-year-old children had ever heard the word furlough. In that day no child would dare ask a question at a family gathering. Children were seen but not heard.

However, my aunt and Frank went aside and discussed the furlough problem. How would it look? Frank thought it would be a sort of wheelbarrow. My aunt thought it was a vehicle with an umbrella attachment.

Before Frank's family went home the children made an agreement. The first one who saw Uncle Bob on his furlough should hurry across the field and tell the other about the mysterious furlough.

Uncle Bob went to Frank's home first. How disgusted Frank was as he reported, "Uncle Bob didn't come home on no furlough a-tall; he just come home a-walkin'."

Bessie R. Shinn
Salem, Oregon


 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.