The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In the memorable war between the states many families were divided against each other. Father against son and brother against brother. One shed his blood for the south and the other for the north. It was a hard struggle for families ties to be broken in this way and war against each other, but it is true a number of instanced of this kind occurred. One day in the month of August, 1906, Mr. Sam Griffin, formerly of Texas County, Missouri but then lived near Oneta, Indian Territory, informed me that he was acquainted with a case of father and son fighting against each other in Civil War times. He said that Bill Hughes lived on Elk Creek in Texas County, and who, when the people of the north and south fell out with each other and went to war, Mr. Hughes used his influence for the stars and stripes and when President Lincoln made his first call for volunteers, he enlisted in the federal army. Mr. Hughes’ son whose name was also William loved the south the best and he went into the confederate army. Each man loved the cause he contended for and both stood firm for their convictions on Sunday, the 7 of December, 1862. Hindman and Blunt with their respective armies met at Prairie Grove and history tells us what was done there. William Hughes belonged to General Hindman’s army and his father was in General Bluntts command. During the desperate struggle between the two forces that day, William was captured by the federals and with other prisoners was sent to the rear. On the following day after the battle was fought, Mr. Hughes, who come out of the fight all right, ask permission to be allowed to visit the prisoners for the purpose of looking after his son for he was convinced that he had taken Dart in the battle and as he had not found him among the dead and wounded, he might be among the prisoners, for he knew if William was in the engagement he was in the thickest of the fight and was liable to be captured. His request was granted and off he went with an anxious heart to where the confederate prisoners were under guard and sure enough his son was among the captured. The father was nearly overcome with joy to meet his son, though it was embarrassing to meet each other under the circumstances, but each of them was well and neither one had not been touched by a bullet. After the joyful greeting had somewhat subsided, Mr. Hughes turned to some of his comrades who were standing nearby and, with tear-stained cheeks, says, "Boys, this is my oldest son, he loves the stars and bars and I love the star spangled banner. Treat my boy well." Those that wore the blue were glad to see father and son meet together and bestow their affections on each other, and those veteran men who knew how to treat a prisoner of war with respect promised Mr. Hughes that his son should not be mistreated while he was in their hands.


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