The Civil War: Hothead Southerner Brags About Racing Horse

Captured by Union soldiers, Southerner challenges unit to race and escapes on racing horse.

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My mother has  told this Civil War story many times about my grandfather, a young hothead, who was an ardent Southerner and not above a little horse racing and betting on the races. He was a Confederate soldier and was taken prisoner by Union soldiers. Grandfather was riding his best saddle mare at the time, a good racing horse.

During the evening while encamped, the talk turned to horses, and Grandfather bragged that his horse could outrun their best horse and challenged his captors to a race, his horse against theirs. The race was to be run a certain distance up around a stake and back to camp.

As the two men rode their horses neck-and-neck to the stake, the Union soldier turned around the stake and headed back to camp, but Grandfather whipped his horse and literally flew on past the stake and into the woods and escaped his captors.

Mrs. Rudolph Schmidt
Anselmo, 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.