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The Civil War battle of Nueces


150 years ago today, on the morning of August 10, 1862, a Civil War skirmish occurred between a force of Hill Country Unionists and mounted Confederate soldiers. The Unionists had been camped along the west bank of the Nueces River twenty miles from Fort Clark. Mostly made up of German intellectuals, the Unionists had been headed to Mexico.  Major Fritz Tegener led the group.

Ninety-four Confederates led by Lieutenant C. D. McRae chanced upon the camp on August 9th. The following morning, firing began an hour before the sun rose. Nineteen Unionists, of the 61 to 68 present, were killed, nine were wounded. The wounded were executed just hours after the battle.

Eight more Unionists, from those who’d escaped, were killed on October 18, 1862, as they tried to cross into Mexico. Eleven of the survivors reached home, while others made it to either Mexico or California. German members of the Union League organized a militia to protect portions of Kendall, Gillespie and Kerr counties from both Indian raids and Confederate actions. They eventually joined Unionist forces in New Orleans.

While Confederates regarded this attack as military action against insurrectionists, German Hill county residents saw the event as a massacre. A monument commemorating the attack was erected on August 10, 1866. This monument is the only German language one dedicated to the Union in the South. The remains of those killed are buried there.

For more info on this battle, visit these sites:

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  1. Lilly Gayle says:

    Wow! This is fascinating. As much as I love history, esp. Civil War history, I’d never heard this story. Nor did I know there was a German language monument in this country. I’m fascinated by all things Civil War and German (NOT Nazi.) This was a great post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very interesting. I had no idea there was a monument in German. Thanks for the post.

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Lilly and Ella! I learn so much when I research a particular day in the war. Since some of my ancestors were German, this was really interesting to me. Of course, mine lived in the North during this time period.

  4. I also had no idea there were Germans involved in the Civil War. I thought it was just the north and against the south. How interesting. You are really finding interesting info to share, Susan.

  5. Hi, Paisley! You have to remember there was a huge influx of immigrants during this time period. And those immigrants played active roles during the war in their newly adopted country. Many nationalities participated as soldiers in both armies.

  6. Susan, this is not that far from where i live, and I had no idea there was a battle there. Wow. You are so knowledgable about the Civil War.Very interesting post!

  7. What do you know, Caroline? So many battles were fought in this country during the war, it’s no wonder more people don’t know about them. Being from the North, Gettysburg is as close as it gets to me and that was one of the more famous battles.

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