Brothers Join as Union Soldiers

Three teen-age brothers became Union soldiers; one dies of malaria, another dies at Vicksburg, and third survives Sherman's March to the Sea.

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At the outbreak of the Civil War, my grandfather Frank, then 19, and his two younger brothers Jimmie, 16, and Tommy, 15, all marched away to war, joining the Missouri Infantry as Union soldiers. The middle boy, Jimmie, fell in the siege of Vicksburg, and Tommy later died of malaria somewhere in the South.

Grandfather continued on and joined Sherman's March to the Sea. He became very ill with cholera on the March, and each mile he thought would be his last. But with a burning determination to reach the seaside, he stumbled on with his company until their destination was reached.

He laid in the sunshine on the Georgia beach and ate nothing for days except raw oysters and seafood, which were within his reach. As if by miracle, he recovered and rejoined his company.

Before the close of the War, he became a Second Lieutenant and led in the capture of the famous outlaw bushwhacker Marmaduke.

I often think that I owe my chance to be here to that humble little seafood, the oyster.

Mrs. Oscar Stamm
Washington, 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.