My paternal grandpa, Joshua Tecumseh Kirby, born 1843, lied about his age to join in the great American adventure when recruiters signed him into Co. G., 76th Ill. Inf. under General Ulysses S. Grant. His service record shows that he saw action at the siege of Vicksburg, battles at Jackson's Crossroads and Champion Hill, and the siege and assault at Fort Blakely, Alabama. My dad said Grandpa saw General Robert E. Lee riding his horse to surrender at Appomattox, every inch a distinguished figure. Grant followed in unkempt attire.
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.