The Civil War: Messenger Escapes Using Whip

Saddle, gear saved from searching Rebel soldiers by hiding them underneath soiled cloth diapers.

| Good Old Days

My grandfather (on my father's side) went to the Civil War for the North, leaving a wife and children, my father being the baby. My grandmother's sister, Poppy, had one of the finest horses, saddle and bridle in the country and served as messenger and carried the mail. She was on such a mission when the Rebels caught sight of her and were going to take her horse, saddle and bridle away from her. She gave them the rap of the whip across their hands and swiftly down the road she flew, arriving home just in time to hide the bridle and saddle under a pile of my father's soiled cloth diapers. When the Rebels drove in and began searching for it, one of them stopped by the pile of diapers. Aunt Pop said, "Oh, I guess you don't want those; they're just Warren's soiled diapers." He turned his head and grinned, but walked away. Well, that's all that saved her gear that time.

Another time, Grandmother said they were all ready to sit down to the noon meal when in came a troop of Rebels. Without saying a word they came in, seated themselves at the table, rested their rifles across their laps and ate the family’s dinner, not leaving a crumb. After eating they went out to the smokehouse and rolled away all the barrels of meat.

My other grandmother and her sister lived together while their husbands were away. One day while they were gone, the Rebels came and piled out all of Aunt Ellen's things and Grandmother's; all went up in smoke. Of course, Aunt Ellen's husband was fighting for the South, but the Rebel soldiers wouldn't have known Grandma's things from Aunt Ellen's.

The Civil War was a long hard war. Grandpa lived through it all right but died a few years later with the flu, right beside Grandma, and she didn't even know it at the time.

Mrs. John Feek
Morrill, Kansas

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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