Civil War Stories: Soldier Saved by Own Family

Wounded Civil War soldier taken to his own family for care.

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One of our favorite family stories begins with charity and compassion for a supposed stranger. Grandmother Myers was an invalid during the Civil War and the home, which provided for several homeless "remnants" of the family, was cared for by a widowed daughter with three small children. Besides all the work that was entailed, it was a great hardship to find enough food for all the family members, as they were in a part of the country where much had been lost.

One day the family doctor drove up, leaving a passenger outside in the buggy. He said, "Mother Myers, I have a badly injured soldier out there and unless he can get good home care, he isn't going to make it. Would you take him in?" Her answer was that it would have to be decided by Sarah, as it would make an already hard task much harder. Thinking of the brother who had never been heard of since he was in a fierce battle, she said, "We'll take him in and hope someone is doing the same for Will."

When the doctor carried him in, they found that it was their own son and brother who had been struck by fragments of a cannon ball which buried pieces of his blanket roll in his leg. For months, his sister pulled out the scraps of cloth with a small pair of scissors after suppuration brought them near the surface. Her care and home remedies saved his life and his leg, although he was crippled for the rest of his days.

Mrs. L. F. Sowder
Buffalo, Kansas


 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.