After helping to deliver baby during the Civil War, Union Army soldiers were chased by bushwhackers and forced to eat red ants.
My grandfather, my father and four of his brothers fought in the Civil War. I remember Father telling this story. As the Union Army was passing a house they heard a woman scream. Father and two others stopped to see what the reason was for the screams, and they stayed long enough for Father to help deliver a baby. He was only 19 years old, the youngest of the three. The other two said "no," and they got so far behind the Army that a bunch of bushwhackers ran them off into the Mississippi River bottom. They hid for four days without food. They chopped in the rotten logs and scooped up big red ants by the handful and ate them. The ants were so stiff and cold that they didn’t sting the men’s tongues, and he said it would surprise you how good those ants tasted.
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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