Both my husband and I love the stories of the Civil War. Being native Missourians we have dug up all the facts we can find about our border state during that period. When our oldest son was born we traced our family back to the 1800s on all sides. We have four great-grandfathers who served on the Union side of the War. My husband's great-grandfather's brother was the General who lost the Battle of Atlanta for the South. We have searched the records and read all we can get our hands on of that day and age.
We are living not far from an old Butterfield Overland Mail Station, and soldiers from the North marched along the road in front of our house to the Battle of Wilson Creek. We find few people nowadays who seem to realize how Missouri was split during that period.
More battles were fought in the state of Missouri than in any other. Not major battles, but what the old timers call bushwhacker battles. At one time Missouri even had two governors, neither of whom were in control.
Always we have thought our sympathy would have gone to the South. To our children we have read stories of the Battle of Atlanta and the general we can boast of, but somewhere along the line they seemed to have missed the point. I guess we made too much of a hero of him.
The other day I found centennial shirts with the stars-and-bars flag and the words "Confederate Centennial 1861-1865" on them. The kids were real pleased and proudly went off to school with love for the South and all the facts about their great-uncle general straight, except for one of the most important ones.
He lost the War. Just how we failed to make this clear to them I'll never know, and how the teacher explained to our little-first grader who was named after his great-uncle I'll never know either, but our little Rebels, who went to school that morning so proud of their Confederate shirts, came home ready to surrender.
It might have taken a hundred years for the family to be united on one side, but because we failed to make it all clear to them, our little Rebels, as they put it, joined the Yankees.
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.