Civil War Swindle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Fifty years after the fact, my great-grandmother told this story to my oldest aunt. Fifty years later, my aunt told it to me when I was a teenager. My aunt has now been dead for 50 years, therefore this story is 150 years old. Nevertheless, it is a true story about the Civil War.

Submitted: January 05, 2015

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Submitted: January 05, 2015

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My great-grandfather was a German immigrant who ran a local dairy in New Orleans. When the Civil War began, he refused to fight and wound up in jail under the charge of being a Northern sympathizer. After Union forces captured New Orleans, he refused to fight for their side too and spent the remainder of the war in prison under the charge of being a Confederate sympathizer. Having no alternative, my great-grandmother was forced to run the family business single-handed.

My great-grandmother's milk route ended at the edge of Audubon Park. At the time, Union troops were bivouacked there in a tent city. One day, she wandered into the encampment out of curiosity and found a small barrel of flour on their garbage pile. It was completely crusted over in green mold. She got permission from a Union officer to take the barrel and whatever else she wanted from the trash, which consisted mostly of rotten apples and pears.

Back home, my great-grandmother spent the rest of the day baking fruit pies. There was plenty of good flour under the mold, and she discarded the worst parts of the putrid fruit. Around sunset, she went back to Audubon Park and sold hot pies from the back of her milk wagon. The Union soldiers flocked around, greedily buying the homemade pies and bidding up the prices so high that she made a handsome profit.

I take smug delight in the fact that my great-grandmother survived some of the darkest days of the Union occupation by selling Yankees their own garbage.

Copyright © 2008 - 2015 W.C. Bell; All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2020 Whiskey Charlie. All rights reserved.

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