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Comfort in Kendall County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Treue Der Union Monument
("Loyalty to the Union")
 
<i>Treue Der Union</i> Monument - Marker Panel 1 Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
1. Treue Der Union Monument - Marker Panel 1
 
Inscription.
[Panel 1:]
This German language monument, erected 1866, honors the memory of 68 men (mostly Germans) from this region who were loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Trying desperately to reach U.S. Federal troops by way of Mexico, about 40 of the men were killed by vengeful Confederates bent on annihilating them, in the Battle of the Nueces (on Aug. 10, 1862) and a later fight (Oct. 18). The bodies of the slain and those who drowned swimming the Rio Grande were left unburied. A group of Germans gathered the bones of their friends and buried them at this site in 1865.

Entered in the National Register of Historic Places (1976)
Official Texas State Archeological Landmark (1996)


[Panel 2:]
Funeral of German Patriots at Comfort, Texas - August 20, 1865. (Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004.)
[Illustration.] The procession of three hundred people, headed by the fathers of four of the victims, old men of sixty and seventy years, preceded the funeral car drawn by four white horses. Under the Union banner lay the remains. A detachment of Federal troops accompanied the cortege. At the grave, E. Degener, father of two victims, pronounced an oration which brought tears of grief to the eyes of the mourners.
He concluded thus: “The sacrifice that we, the
 
<i>Treue Der Union </i> Monument - Marker Panel 2 Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
2. Treue Der Union Monument - Marker Panel 2
 
fathers of the slaughtered, made to our country and to liberty, is great and dolorous. We shall, however, console ourselves; we shall be proud of having offered our sons to the Union. If the glorious victory of its arms bear all the fruits that the nation and the whole of humanity justly expect to reap.”
The Federal troops fired a salute over the grave. The little remote site where they rest must be to the nation as sacred as those places where thousands are deposited. Small in number, far away from the patriotic heart and the strong arm of the loyal North, surrounded by fierce enemies of the Union, those brave and devoted Germans offered their lives.

Harperís Weekly New York, January 20, 1866.
Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004.

[Panel 3:]
Dedication of Monument to German Patriots - August 10, 1866. (Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004)
[Illustration.] This Comfort town lot was purchased by Eduard Degener, Eduard Steves, and William Heuermann from John Vies of New Orleans, through his attorney Ernst Altgelt. The price was $20.00 and the date was 19 August 1865, the day before the mass burial. The land was purchased “for the purpose to erect a monument.”
Local stonemasons, likely including Emil Serger, built the the monument, using locally quarried limestone. Several different carvers worked on the
 
<i>Treue Der Union </i> Monument - Marker Panel 3 Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
3. Treue Der Union Monument - Marker Panel 3
 
name plaques. This twenty-foot obelisk weighs 35,700 pounds. The top has nine restored original stones, including the four name tablets. The three courses of the base were replaced during the restoration completed in 1996. Emplaced within the second course is a long-term time capsule.
The United States flag has thirty-six stars. There were thirty-three states at the start of the Civil War, of which thirteen seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Three states were subsequently admitted: Kansas in 1861, West Virginia in 1863, and Nevada in 1864. Thus, it represents the banner in use at the time of the monument dedication in 1866.
 
Erected 1968 by the Texas State Historical Survey, & the Comfort Heritage Foundation (1988, 2004, 2008). (Marker Number 15.)
 
Location. 29° 58.187′ N, 98° 54.827′ W. Marker is in Comfort, Texas, in Kendall County. Marker is on High Street west of 4th Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is on the grass, just inside the cemetery off High Street, midway between 3rd and 4th Streets and west of Front Street (Texas, Rte 27) - which is accessible south of I-10 and US Hwy 87 in Comfort, Texas. Marker is in this post office area: Comfort TX 78013, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are
 
Flagstaff with Marker Panels 2 and 3 Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
4. Flagstaff with Marker Panels 2 and 3
Treue der Union
"This flagstaff erected in memory of the men who gave their lives rather that renounce an oath of allegiance to their newly adopted country, thus demonstrating a profound expression of loyalty."
Presented by Volksfest Association of Texas August 10, 1962 - “To Honor the Builders of Our Lone Star State.”
 
within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to the Old Tunnel (approx. 10.7 miles away); Tunnel of the Fredericksburg & Northern Railway (approx. 10.7 miles away); The Grapetown School (approx. 13.6 miles away); Bandera Pass (approx. 13.8 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Nueces Massacre. (Submitted on August 28, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Massacre on the Nueces. Part of the New York Timesí Disunion series, Richard Parker and Emily Boydís article (August 11, 2012) examines the fighting at Nueces and concludes that within the legal framework in place at the time, the massacre was a war crime. (Submitted on August 13, 2012.) 
 
Additional keywords. German Americans; immigrants; massacre.
 
<i>Gefallen am 10 August 1862 am Nueces</i>: ... Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
5. Gefallen am 10 August 1862 am Nueces: ...
 
 
<i>Gafallen am 18 August 1862 am Rio Grande</i>: ... Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
6. Gafallen am 18 August 1862 am Rio Grande: ...
 
 
<i>Gefangengenommen und Ermordet</i> Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
7. Gefangengenommen und Ermordet
 
 
<i>Treue Der Union </i> Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
8. Treue Der Union Monument
 
 
<i>Treue Der Union </i> Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, August 9, 2010
9. Treue Der Union Monument
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 27, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,892 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 27, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on August 28, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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