Grandpa Howell was in his early manhood, his children just being born, during the terrible days of the Civil War. So he was subject to draft in the Union Army. The fact that he had a family was no excuse because all able-bodied men of military age were drafted. There was, however, one way in which a man could win his exemption; that was by the return of any deserter found.
News had spread about the rural district of Allen Co., Ohio, that a deserter was at large in the woods and men were hunting him. Among others, Grandpa Howell was out, when he saw the heels of the man protruding from a big hollow log. Now this was dangerous business, for he would probably be armed with his “Army Irons.” But Grandpa pulled him out and marched him in, thus winning (by a dangerous feat) his own exemption from service.
Grandpa never tires of telling this story, as also the stories of how they made sugar and syrup from the big maple groves of that Ohio country. In his advanced age he forgot recent events very readily but the stories of Ohio were always on his lips.