My grandfather was among the Civil War volunteers, answering President Abraham Lincoln’s first call. He told us about this incident in the War.
In the first part of 1861, the 8th Wisconsin regiment was at Belmont, Missouri, where they found an eagle’s nest. Some of the soldiers cut the tree and captured one, which had a broken wing. They called him Abe.
The soldiers fed and cared for the eagle. One soldier was paid to carry the eagle on a perch. The perch had a wooden shield painted with stars and stripes like the flag, and it was carried by a long handle.
When the eagle was hungry, it would fly away to eat and then fly back to its perch. Grandpa saw it do this.
The eagle was wounded sometimes, but always got well. The day Vicksburg surrendered, the eagle flapped his wings and screamed all day, while the army marched and the band played.
Abe was cared for until he died. Then his body was mounted and is in the museum at Washington, D.C.
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.