I am not ashamed of the title of this article. I am going to tell you a true story from my family’s history of how a pickle (or rather a jar of pickles) saved my great-grandfather’s life when he was truly in a life-threatening pickle!

My great-grandfather was named Hudson Race Harder. He was born in Wayne County New York in the small town of Butler on November 7, 1847. His parents moved to Illinois and when he was a teenager, young Hudson Race decided he wanted to serve his country by serving the Union Forces so he lied about his age and joined the 3rd Illinois Cavalry during the Civil War.

Hudson’s mother knew he was going to join the Union Forces like his older brothers. I am sure she probably wanted to try to stop him from going but she didn’t. Instead, she decided to send him to the Army with something from home so she watched him go to war toting a jar of her homemade pickles in his knapsack!

Hudson had many trying times as he fought for the North but like many soldiers, his worst battle came when he came down with dysentery.  Hudson was taken to a Union hospital. He was so ill that the staff carried him out of the hospital and placed his cot on the ground under a tree because there was no treatment for dysentery and the doctors believed he would die like thousands of soldiers had died of dysentery before him.

Hudson was no ordinary young man. He didn’t give up. He knew he was dying but he hadn’t died yet so he decided to fight! He frantically prayed for the Lord to help him! What could he do to get well? What did he have to fight with?  Frantically he pulled his knapsack out from under his cot. He pulled everything out of it. What did he have to fight his illness? The only thing he could swallow was the pickles his mother had sent with him to war. He opened the jar and, as sick as he was, he made himself start eating those pickles and drinking the brine they were in. It was very difficult to eat one pickle, let alone a whole jar of pickles, and drink the brine but he wanted to live so did it! He ate a whole jar of pickles–brine and all! And guess what? He got a little better, and a little better, and then a  whole lot better! HE LIVED!

So now you know the story of a man who was saved by a pickle when he was in a pickle!

Hudson Race Harder not only lived through the Civil War but went to seminary and became a Christian minister, started a church in Wilburton Oklahoma which is still going strong eighty years after he died, married a nice lady, and had a houseful of children, one of whom was my own paternal grandfather, David Orlan Harder! And there you have the story of a man who was saved by a pickle from being in a pickle!

See you next time,

Love from your pickle loving friend, Hope

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2 Response Comments

  • Mary JohnsonJanuary 9, 2021 at 2:28 am

    What a wonderful message Hope you are such an inspiration.

  • Martha SmithJanuary 15, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    Great. A small New Testament kept a bullet from kinging my great, uncle during the Civil War. Martha


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