Blacksmith Joins Union Army During the Civil War

Iowa blacksmith, as a Union Army veteran, tells of stealing fresh meat during the Civil War.


| Good Old Days


My father was a Union Army veteran from the Civil War. He was a blacksmith and working at the job in Centerville, Iowa, when they were asking for volunteers. He took off his leather apron and went out and joined Company I, 3rd Iowa Cavalry. He was a young man with a wife and a daughter only 9 months old. That was quite a long time before I was born.

He told the story that at one time during the service they had been on "sow bosom" and beans until they were really hungry for a change. He and some more of the boys found a calf and they butchered it. Of course, that was against the rules and somebody told the commanding officer. He in turn called my father on the carpet.

Father said he combed his hair and shined up his shoes and went as he was told, but he took some of that nice fresh meat and gave it to the officer.

That did the trick, he didn't get reprimanded as he expected.

M.C. Mendenhall
Weldona, Colorado


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. 





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