Lila Self Hunt's great grandfather was named John Waters and he lived in Georgia, during the Civil War. He joined the Confederate Army and became a squad leader.
In a skirmish with the Union Forces, Mr. Waters was captured. The Union squad leader began interrogating Sgt. Waters about the location of his men. He would not divulge their hiding place, so the enemy said, "Well, we'll hang you from the nearest tree if you don't tell us what we want to know now!" Sgt. Waters said, "Then hang and be damned!"
They put the rope around his neck, placed him on a block and gave him a last chance to commit treason. He remained steadfast in his determination not to tell.
The Union leader saw the loyalty reflected in his face and changed his mind about execution. Sgt. Waters was kept a prisoner for the duration of the War Between the States.
During his old age, John Waters came to Tennessee to live with his daughter Evaline (Avaline) who had married John Self and lived in the Rafter Community. He is buried in a cemetery in Rafter.
Mildred Miller Thomas shared a similar story to this one in her "Mountain Memories" collection of stories that is available on this blog. In her story, John Self was the soldier. This is interesting. We have two similar, yet different stories told by two cousins. Lila Self Hunt was a first cousin once removed to Mildred Miller Thomas. Lila was a granddaughter to John Self. Mildred Miller Thomas is a great-granddaughter to John Self. John Waters, the soldier in Lila's story, was the father-in-law of John J. Self, the soldier in Mildred's story.