A Tale of Two Confederate Solders Spent Time In The Hell Hole USA Extermination Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois

My Great Grandfather, William Lewis Carleton, Medical doctor, Circuit riding Methodist Minister. During the war, both a solder and a Chaplain. Seated next to him, my Great Grandmother who held the family together in dangerous hard times, without him, Margaret Tucker Carleton. Behind are two nephews. His beard was black before he went to war.

i am proud to be a Texican Hillbilly.

When i grew up in the Dark ages, we had no TV.
My mother was dead set against having one on religious grounds, and you could not get any reception way up in them hills anyway.

Now and then someone would run a very high pole for their antenna, get a noisy snowy reception of three San antonio Stations.

So, we actually talked as a family, to each other.
At the dinner and supper table, my father would tell stories of things he had seen, lived through, as well as some family stories passed down.

One of these dealt with two Confederate Soldiers.

Now in my family, Confederate soldiers were a thing spoke of with pride.

My father would talk about his grandfather who had been a Confederate Soldier, and a Confederate Chaplain when the Confederate Army added that position to the officer core.

My mother would say, my great grandfather was a Confederate soldier too!
Actually three of her great grandfathers were confederate soldiers, but she only knew of one.

Anyway, my father would answer her back:
Yeah, he was a cook under my grandfather.

But back to the history of these two Prisoners of War, thanks to the yankee war criminal.

Their names are lost to me, but i will tell you, in my fathers words, the story he told us several times over the years.

He would say:

There were these two Confederate Soldiers, got captured, spent a long while in a yankee Prisoner of War Camp in Chicago.

The one who originally told the story, said:

All we would get to eat was a little can of peas, thats all.

When we would get our cans, i would take about half of mine, put it in an empty tin can i kept for that purpose, build a small fire, heat it up, and have a very few bites of warm peas.

That evening, i would do the same thing.

My friend, he would open his up, eat it all right then, cold.
The rest of the day he would talk about how hungry he was, and how when we got to go home, he was going to go down on the creek, kill and cook a possum, along with some sweet potatoes, and eat all he wanted.

Every day, the same thing.

After we finally got released, the war was over, and we somehow lived through that hell hole, i went to town a couple of months later and ran into my friend.

i asked him, did you go down on the creek, cook that possum and sweet potatoes?

He looked sad and said, yes i did.

i asked him, then why you look sad?

He said, i shot a possum, i cooked him and the sweet potatoes.
i took two huge bites, and could could eat no more.
My stomach got so small in that yankee hell hole that was all i could eat, so i just sat there and cried!

These oral stories of our people, our history, the ones not written down in books, or recoded somehow, are dying off, being lost forever, each time one of our older folks, which i qualify for myself now days, dies.

If you have family stories about confederate soldiers, or life on the farm during that time, write them down, tell your children that is history, and save it for the kids down the line, don’t toss it in the trash when i kick the bucket.

The men, women, and even children, who put up a stubborn, brave fight against overwhelming odds and hardships, are heroes of the Southern People.

The damn yankees are not going to preserve our history for us.

Under the yankee USA occupation, the statues to our brave heroes, are being ripped from their pedestals, Confederate Heros’s names being taken from schools and buildings.

If it is to be preserved, in order that the heroic struggle these men and women, made against a great evil, is known in the next generation or two, the Southern people will have to preserve this history.

God Bless General Robert E Lee!

John C Carleton

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