Civil War Stories: Casting A Vote For Lincoln

My grandfather, a veteran of the War of 1812, moved from New York to Illinois. My father was just 14 and his brother 16, so they were too young, and their father too old, for the Civil War.

A neighbor, a Union soldier, came home to vote. He asked my grandfather to go with him to vote for Lincoln. My grandfather told him he didn’t think he would vote because the “Knights of the Golden Circle” had sworn they would shoot the first “Blue Coat” that came to vote. The neighbor told my grandfather he was hired to shoot Rebels, and he could shoot them there as well as on the battlefield. So they went to vote and my father accompanied them.

He held the team while his father and friend went down a line, about 1/4 mile long, of Rebel soldiers and Knights of the Golden Circle, with their guns cocked, to cast their votes for Lincoln. My father did not think he would ever see his father or friend alive again. They cast their votes and returned to the wagon and they drove away.

I wonder if we would bother to do this; I hope so.

Elsie M. Kirkman
Hays, Kansas

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.