Monday, June 06, 2011
Memories Evoked by the Old South’s New Flag
(Part One of a Four Part Commentary)
by Joan Hough
It is with pleasure that I report that I have received an absolutely gorgeous Confederate POW-MIA “Ladder to Heaven-farewell” flag. Pictures of it failed to reveal its true beauty, so I had anticipated neither its array of colors nor its remarkable design. It is spectacular.
Flag purchase information is available at http://www.confederatepoweflag.com
Dedicated to the memory of those who died and those who survived in Mr. Lincoln’s prison camps, this beautiful flag represents all imprisoned Confederates, as well as all Confederate combatants and all Southern civilians (50,000 or more) killed by the Union Army.
I bought this flag in memory of all Confederates, including my very own bone of my bone, blood of my blood, Confederate kin folks—beginning with my cousins, Sam and George Mullinax, and their soldier father, Matthew. George was killed at Second Manassas. Sam was, imprisoned, tortured and murdered at Camp Douglas in Lincoln’s Chicago. The two Mullinax sons were Houghs through their mother Henrietta Hough. Cousin Sam’s body was lost along with thousands of others at Camp Douglas. Our family fears that part of him had popped up through the ground in the driveway of a business next to the Chicago swamp where so many confederate bodies were dumped—or that his young body wound up on one of the northwest medical schools’ dissection tables. His name was not placed on the Memorial monument dedicated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, but is listed elsewhere. (Fifty percent of all who died at Camp Douglas had their bodies disappear. “During the existence of Camp Douglas prison at least six thousand prisoners perished.” One Civil War prison historian reported, “After the Civil War ended, Chicago faced the problem of disposing of more than 6,000 bodies of Confederate soldiers. . . because no cemetery in Chicago wanted Confederate soldiers buried in its soil, Oak Woods Cemetery, which was outside the city limits at the time, was selected. ..the names of the dead did not appear on the grave site until mandated by federal legislation in 1912.” There is no list containing the names of all the dead.
For me, our South’s new flag, in addition, represents a great, great grandfather of mine, David W. Sedberry who, after being imprisoned in two Yankee prisons, eventually walked home on bare and bleeding feet from Point Lookout to North Carolina. His first imprisonment was in Washington, D.C. on the site where the Supreme Court now meets.
`When I look at this flag I also think of my children’s gggreat grandfather, General Leroy Augustus Stafford, who died bravely at the Battle of the Wilderness, leaving fatherless ten offspring. Next comes to my mind, my great grandfather Henry Clay Hough, who at age seventeen was buried in Vicksburg by cannon balls, dug himself out, then captured and sick, was sent by Sherman and Grant to the hospital in Shreveport. He, still ill, immediately joined fellow soldiers there, helped build “Fort Humbug,” and then waited in vain to fight the Yankees again.
The flag certainly reminds me of my great uncle, John C. Hough. Captured twice by the Yankees, he was left semi-blind after eighteen months of imprisonment in Illinois at Rock Island.
Like thousands of fine Southern men, my relatives listed here and numerous others of my blood lost either their lives or a vast part of their health and their worldly goods at the hands of Marxist-Communist inspired Invaders from the north. Despite this loss, we in my family considered ourselves lucky that our women and children were not burned out of our houses, shot down in the road, and were not forced to beg strangers for food, but could still dig some out of the good Louisiana dirt. We are thankful that, unlike more than two thousand young women and little children captured by Sherman in Georgia’s Roswell and New Manchester, our family members were not shipped into white slavery in the north. Most of the captured Georgians remain lost until this very day, for they, neither alive nor dead, ever returned home again. Surely, memory of them should live on in our old South’s new flag.