I haven't heard this story before, but it reminds me of the movie "Sommersby", where Richard Gere has stolen another man's identity and returns home to a woman (Jodie Foster) who doesn't recognize him, but who embraces him as her husband anyway. The movie is intriguing and so is this story. The final newspaper clipping is what reminded me of the movie - "Don't you know Frank your husband?". A woman in a poorhouse is likely to accept any crumb that is thrown to her, although the ravages of the war may well indeed have changed him. Or perhaps even the ravages of her own life changed her. The comments underneath the article are interesting as well with people wondering about a number of elements to the story which could be questioned. All in all, I am glad of her rescue from the poorhouse in the circumstances, and hope their few short years of being reunited were happy ones for both of them.
I haven't heard this story before, but it reminds me of the movie "Sommersby", where Richard Gere has stolen another man's identity and returns home to a a woman (Jodie Foster) who doesn't recognize him, but who embraces him as her husband anyway.
I honestly don't know if I should laugh at that last part or not, but poor penmanship could definitely be a recipe for disaster. I assume in those days it would also not be as surprising to hear of someone's passing at an early age. An illegible letter or word, plus the reality of many an early demise, could certainly put someone on the path to believing it was true. A number of commenters questioned the reason he did not attempt to find his son, but others reminded that a young child without its parents was likely to be shipped off to others in the circumstances. I often learn as much by reading the comments as I do by reading the article.
Great story especially the Wisconsin connection. The AMC series Hell on Wheels has this as a subplot when the main character can't find his wife and child. Makes sense because of poor communication in those days. I'm glad she made it out of the poor house.