Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ists. Throughout the crises of secession, Civil War and Recon-
struction, the German counties manifested a strong distaste for the
Confederate cause.2 Active unionism was slow to emerge. In the
decade of the 185o's, singing clubs, social organizations, and news-
papers reflected the cultural uniqueness of the hill country Ger-
mans, but not until the 186o's did any concerted effort develop
which could be considered a definite position opposed to dis-
union." One of the first evidences of disaffection was the organiza-
tion of the Loyal Union League, designed to protect the Texas
frontier against the Indians and marauding gangs of outlaws. This
professed purpose was doubted by Confederate officials and the
league was considered a threat to internal security.4
In response to unionism in general and the activity of the
Loyal Union League in particular, a detachment of Confederate
troops under the command of Captain James Duff was dispatched
to restore order and demand loyalty in the Fredericksburg area."
A contemporary observer reported Fredericksburg to have had
eight hundred inhabitants, "unionists to a man.""
On May 28, 1862, Duff left San Antonio and arrived at
Fredericksburg on May 31. Camp was made on the Pedernales
River fifteen miles west of the town and martial law was declared
in Gillespie County and Precinct 5 of Kerr County. Duff allowed
2Benjamin, The Germans in Texas, go. For German attitudes on slavery and
secession see also: Don H. Biggers, German Pioneers in Texas (Fredericksburg,
1925), 57; Ella Lonn, Foreigners in the Confederacy (Chapel Hill, 194o), 35;
Frederick L. Olmsted, A Journey Through Texas (New York, 186o), 181.
sEarly social organizations and newspaper publications are surveyed in: Biesele,
The History of the German Settlements in Texas; McConnell, Social Cleavages in
Texas, 58. German votes in the secession referendum indicate a predominance of
unionism; see Ernest W. Winkler (ed.), Journal of the Secession Convention of
Texas, x86x (Austin, 1912), 89. See also Claude Elliott, "Union Sentiment in Texas,
1861-1865," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, L, 456.
4Guido E. Ransleben, A Hundred Years of Comfort in Texas (San Antonio, 1954),
1o5, 113; Biggers, German Pioneers, 57.
5Captain Duff's official report lists a number of Germans he considered to be
especially dangerous. He also describes minor forays into Kerr and Blanco counties
to restore order. Captain James Duff to Major E. F. Gray, June 23, 1862, War of the
Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate
Armies (13o vols.; Washington, 1880-191ol), Series II, Vol. IV, 785. Confederate
officials had been alarmed by the murder of an alleged informer by the name of
Steward. Report of Brigadier General Hamilton P. Bee, October 21, 1862, Official
Records, Series I, Vol. LIII, 455.
8R. H. Williams, With the Border Ruffians: Memoirs of the Far West 1852-
x868 (London, 1907), 232.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed March 30, 2015.