My own grandfather, Elisha Miller, fought in the Civil War. He was a small man, 5 foot and 1 inch tall. He was visiting in our home when I was in seventh- or eighth-grade, and I went to school and told of the experiences he had related to me. It was the only time I ever got a good grade in history. History was not my favorite subject.
He spent many nights sleeping on the ground without food, and he crawled beneath the horses' heads and picked up whole grain corn (horses cannot eat without dropping some out of their mouths). He ate the corn and was glad to get it. Had he been caught by his superiors, he could have been shot. He lived to be 91 years old.
He also told about the soles wearing out on his shoes (everyone else's also). He found cardboard or roofing shingles and put them inside his shoes. When they came to rivers, they waded across, and if the water was deep, other soldiers carried him either on their backs or in a "pack saddle," made by two men.
Vema L. Jestes
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.