Caldwell man's grandfather served in the Civil War

Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 18:50:20-05

As Six On Your Side celebrates Veterans Day weekend, we found an eighty-six-year-old Caldwell man whose family has deep military roots.

Lauren Stevens' grandfather served in the Civil War, that's right, the Civil War, over one hundred fifty years ago.

Lauren Stevens served in the Korean War, which was a long time ago but compares to his grandfather's service, it must seem like yesterday. His grandfather, Artemus Augustus Stevens, was eager to join the Union Army and take on the Southern forces.

Lauren says his grandpa bent the rules, just a bit. "He walked from Mankato, Minnesota to Fort Snedley. He had trouble joining, so he lied about his age and got in because they were supposed to be eighteen."

Artemus and his regiment headed south to Tennessee and ended up in the Battle of Murfreesboro. It was a bloody battle where close to nine hundred Union soldiers were killed. The Confederate cavalry surprised and quickly overran Union units. Stevens was taken a prisoner and was sent to a prison camp in Missouri.

Lauren Stevens read a portion of a letter his grandfather wrote when he was at the prisoner of war camp.

"I do not know what is to be done with us. We cannot get any news here, but I wish I could get a chance to come home and see you once more. I had little hope on Sunday when bullets were whistling by my ears in Murfreesboro."

Because of a gentleman's agreement, paroled prisoners, or prisoners who were part of an exchange, didn't have to return to battle. Artemus eventually made it back home to his family in Minnesota, and a few years later, Lauren Stevens father was born.

We salute all the generations of the Stevens family and all the other Veterans who served our country.

Thank You.