My great-grandfather, Asahel Mann, served
during the Civil War with the 15th Army Corps, Co. A, 4th Iowa Cavalry, Union
Army, as did his brother, John. In a
letter written to his father in Iowa,
June 20, 1863, John says,
morning I seat myself under the shade of a beech tree to write you a few lines.
We are all well and in good health. We are on picket about one mile from camp.
We are camped 14 miles in the rear of Vicksburg.
has been the heaviest firing going on this morning that I have heard since the
fight commenced. There is a constant roaring of the cannons.
before yesterday, our company was ordered to charge. We raised the whoop and
here we went. They turned the other way and broke for the brush. We had to run
through a corn field over very rough ground and over ditches. In running one
mile 12 horses fell. My horse fell twice with me. Out of that number of horses
falling, there wasn't a man hurt.
have just got our new arms, Sharpe carbines. We are armed now just as well as
any regiment of cavalry, and I think can do just as good fighting."
Two days later, in battle near Vicksburg, John Mann was killed. He was 27 years, 6 months old.
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 –
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.