Grandfather Serves in Confederate Army Under General Robert E. Lee

My grandfather, born in Virginia, came to Missouri when he was a boy in his teens. When the Civil War broke out, he was so anxious to enlist that he lied about his age and was accepted in the Confederate Army. He served under General Robert E. Lee, and more than once he saw Lee give his shoes to a soldier with sore and bleeding feet. The Southern soldiers were always hungry, especially for meat.

Once Grandpa spied a turkey gobbler alongside the road as they marched along. He gave his gun to the soldier behind him and made him promise to answer roll call for him. Then he threw his blanket over the turkey and carried it into camp, dressed and cooked it at night over an open fire outside.

He visited a farmhouse and asked the farmer’s wife for some cold biscuits to make dressing. She gave him some, and later he returned to bring her some turkey and dressing. She told him it was delicious.

When the war was over, Grandpa did not wait to be mustered out, but set out for home immediately, wearing a new uniform and carrying his gun. He was captured by a man who stole his gun and uniform and released him.

Mrs. Earl James
Paris, Missouri

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.