Officer would shoot of guard fell asleep; man uses tobacco juice to stay away, causes eyesight problems.
The most serious thing my father had to do in the Civil War was when he substituted for his bunk pal who was too sick to do guard duty. Father had done his guard duty and undertook his pal's guard duty following, and it was hard to keep awake so many nights. If the head officer caught you asleep while on guard duty, he was supposed to shoot you. My father rubbed strong tobacco juice in his eyes to keep awake. In later years my father almost lost his eyesight.
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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