A number of Confederate prisoners, during the Civil War, were detained at one of the western military posts under conditions much less unpleasant than those to be found in the ordinary military prison. Most of them appreciated their comparatively good fortune. One young fellow, though, could not be reconciled to association with Yankees under any circumstances, and took advantage of every opportunity to express his feelings. He was continually rubbing it in about the battle of Chickamauga, which had just been fought with such disastrous results for the Union forces.
"Maybe we didn't eat you up at Chickamauga!" was the way he generally greeted a bluecoat.
The Union men, when they could stand it no longer, reported the matter to General Grant. Grant summoned the prisoner.
"See here," said Grant, "I understand that you are continually insulting the men here with reference to the battle of Chickamauga. They have borne with you long enough, and I'm going to give you your choice of two things. You will either take the oath of allegiance to the United States, or be sent to a Northern prison. Choose."
The prisoner was silent for some time. "Well," he said at last, in a resigned tone, "I reckon, General, I'll take the oath."
The oath was duly administered. Turning to Grant, the fellow then asked, very penitently, if he might speak.
"Yes," said the general indifferently. "What is it?"
"Why, I was just thinkin', General," he drawled, "they certainly did give us hell at Chickamauga."