Father had been the Civil War and like all Union soldiers was a radical one. There was a G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Post, and on Memorial Day hundreds of G.A.R. veterans would fall in line, four abreast, and we would watch them marching to the cemetery to the drum and bugle corps music. They each carried a bouquet, and Old Glory and their Post flag waved proudly.
How I loved that marching. And to hear the singing! Such songs as "Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground" and "Just before the Battle, Mother." Then when they got together for a party, they would sing this to the tune of "Sweet By and By."
"Army beans, good old beans
Good for boil, bake or broil, roast or fry
Eat' em now, anyhow
Scrape the pan, if you can
By and By."
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.