My two great-grandfathers participated in the Civil War. You might say they characterized the beginning and the end of the conflict. Great-Grandpa Joseph Baughman joined the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteers Infantry shortly after the first Battle of Manassas. From that time forward, his unit participated in all the major battles of the Civil War, except Antietam, that took place in the eastern states.
At Gettysburg, his unit was stationed near the Peach Orchard at the start of the second day of the battle. They were overrun by the Confederates and retreated past Devil's Den and through the Wheat Field, taking up defensive positions on the slopes of Cemetery Ridge. Here they held off the Confederates trying to take the ridge.
In 1864, at the Battle of North Anna River, Grandpa was wounded in the leg, while trying to establish a bridgehead across the river. He spent the remainder of the war convalescing in a hospital in Washington, D.C. His unit fought on through the war, being at Appomattox when General Lee surrendered. The family still retains the bullet that was removed from his leg.
My great-grandpa Henry Murry joined the 194th Ohio Infantry, just a month or so before the end of the War. As he was too young to volunteer freely, his father signed a release for him. One night when his unit was on maneuvers, they bivouacked in a church cemetery. Henry was rather apprehensive about sleeping with the dead. An older, battle-experienced veteran told him,
"You might as well get used to it, son, where we are going you won't be sleeping over them, you will be sleeping beside them." Luckily, the war was over before they reached the battlefront, and their unit was mustered out.
Ivan L. Pfalser
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.