Grandfather Served His New Country, Maggots Saved His Leg

Man signs up to serve his new country; after he is wounded in battle, maggots save his leg.

| Good Old Days

I don't have any personal stories of the Civil War, but a close friend of mine, now deceased, had a story that needs to be told. This friend's grandfather had come from Germany only a short time earlier, but that did not keep him from fighting to preserve his new country. In one terrible battle he was wounded and left on the battlefield for days – long enough for maggots to hatch from the eggs the flies laid in his wounds, especially those in one leg. If that hadn't happened – that the maggots ate the rotting flesh, he surely would have died. When he was found and taken in for treatment, the attending surgeon planned to saw off the wounded leg, but the owner begged and pleaded that he not do it, even promising him some fine cows he owned in Germany if the leg was spared. Surprisingly, the leg was saved along with its owner's life. Although the surgeon kidded this ex-German about his new cows, they never reached America.

Marjorie Crouch
Uvalde, Texas

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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