Family Beehives Housed Rebels, as Yankees Soon Learned During the Civil War

Men voted against secession of Southern states during the Civil War; Yankees disturbed beehives and found rebels.

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During the Civil War, Grandpa Cato and Uncle Alex voted against the secession of the Southern states, but they had to fight with the South when war was declared. They could never quite forget how the Yankees came through their state, destroying property, shooting stock, etc. They had beehives, and the Yankees came by one day when Aunt Belle happened to be at home alone. The soldiers decided they would help themselves to some honey, but the bees were Rebels. They came out of the hives and swarmed over those Yankees, stinging them furiously. The bees won their battle, and how Aunt Belle laughed at the Yankees' discomfiture. When her family heard how she had laughed, they thought she was very foolish.

Uncle Alex was in the Confederate Army until one day he was standing near a cannon when it exploded, causing deafness; blood ran from his eyes, ears and nose. A deaf man was useless in the army. He was sent home, honorably discharged. He remained so until the end of the war. The family and others thought he could hear, that he was fighting against right, and used his deafness to good advantage. Many tried, in different ways, to prove he could hear by making loud noises near him, etc., but he was deaf to all sounds, and the family never knew for sure anything different. They only knew that after the war ended, his hearing returned.

By Elsie Surbaugh
Submitted by Althea Fifield Kendall
Pullman, Washington


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.