My great-grandfather, Fleming Waterfield, was a Civil War veteran. For many years his great-grandchildren were told he was too young to serve in the Civil War. He supposedly accompanied the Union soldiers to help with the horses.
As we great-grandchildren grew older, we discovered F.W. was born in 1832, so when the Civil War started he was nearly 30 years old. Later stories leaked out that F.W. and his brother Jack were thrown in a dungeon, taken prisoner, I presume.
Fleming Waterfield had a first cousin in Howard County by the same name who served in the Confederate Army. While searching for scraps of information, it was impossible for any relative to admit F.W. served in the Confederate Army. They were taught to remain silent on Civil War matters. They also told how many North or South sympathizers could be identified even today. The Northerners wore blue dungarees; Southerners wore what I always thought were striped carpenter overalls.
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.