Union Soldiers Defended The Capitol Against Confederate Army

Young man joins Union soldiers to defend the capitol of Washington, D.C., then joins command at Memphis, Tennessee.

| Good Old Days

My great-great-uncle, Melville Landon, was a young Treasury clerk in Washington, D.C., when the Civil War began. He helped Gen. Cassius Marcellus Clay to organize the "Clay Battalion" to defend the President until Union soldiers could reach the Capitol. He served in its ranks and later resigned his Treasury post to accept a position on the staff of Gen. A.L. Chitlain, who commanded the post of Memphis, Tennessee.

As with so many families, we also had ancestors serving in the Confederate Army. My maternal great-grandfather, John Glanton, was a Georgia volunteer. He was badly injured and died in 1870, never living to see his only child (my grandmother) who was born after his death.

A footnote: My maternal great-grandmother later fell in love with and married a Union soldier, and both disowned them.

Mrs. Ralph Lindsay
Lancaster, California

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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