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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: Memories Evoked by the Old South’s New Flag

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

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.

Ken Lightfoot. “Narrative: Confederate POW-MIA Flag: A brief overview of confederates in Union POW camps,” (Unpublished paper circulated by the Dixie Defenders, Georgia, 2011).

James E. Stallings, Sr. Georgia’s Confederate Soldiers Who Died as Prisoners of War: and Angels did attend and comfort them, (Saline, MI, , McNaughton & Gunn, 2008), p. 83.

James E. Stallings, Sr., p. 82.

Kelly Pucci, Camp Douglas: Chicago’s Civil War Prison ( Charleston, South Carolina: Acadia Publishing, 2007), p. 101.

James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy. The South Was Right (Gretna: Pelican, 1998), pp. 123-124.

Mary Deborah Petite, The Women Will Howl (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2008), p. 155.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't need a "new" flag - just looking at the Battle Flag brings all that back to mind, as it IS the 'Battle" flag and stands for the battles of the fight for the South's freedom. Every time I see the Battle flag or the CSA National flag, all I can think of are who who died for the South's freedom from the North's tyranny, and how they were so badly tortured and experimented on in those hell camps by the Yankees to do it. I have two large Confederate flags flying for many years out in front of my house, and every time I go out front, I remember all those lives that God only knows, who so bravely fought and stood for our beloved South nation of states. It also makes me feel the sorrow they must have on the other side as they watch us DO NOTHING TODAY. We unfortunately are not those brave souls as they were ! Oh to see that courage again here in our beloved South nation. As for "another " flag to add to the long list of flags we already confuse everyone of other nations with (especially the US), I get all the memories from just seeing the two official CSA flags we have had for the past 150 years. Keep 'em flying !

10:27 PM  
Blogger Val Proto said...

I believe that a "new" flag is a positive thing. First, because it reveals that we have not "disappeared" (neither are we likely to do so) and secondly because these are unique "casualties" that require their own banner of recognition. The present soldiery have their POW/MIA flag, so why not these poor souls who did not even have the glory of dying in combat but were tortured and starved and butchered by men who were never brought to justice and, in fact, were LAUDED for their "service" to the Union. Anonymous, God bless him/her, has the right mindset, but he is only one in a culture that is fast forgetting (often on purpose) the evils of the past. As was once said by Santayana (among others), those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

6:26 AM  

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