The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

Notes and Documents
"Wir waren unser 20 Mann gegen 15o "
("We were 20 men against 5 0 ")
The Battle of Las Rucias: A Civil War Letter from
a German-Texan Soldier in the 1864 Union
Invasion of the Lower Rio Grande Valley
EDITED BY FRANK WILSON KIEL
TRANSLATED BY PENELOPE BORCHERS, HELEN DIETERT,
AND HERBERT REITSAMER*
OHN HAUFLER, WHO WAS BORN IN WURTTEMBERG, GERMANY, LIVED
near Comfort in Kendall County, Texas, when he enlisted as a private
in the First Texas [Union] Cavalry on February 1, 1864, in Brownsville
at the age of thirty-eight. He had blue eyes, light hair, a fair complexion,
and was five feet six inches tall.' The Union Army's First Texas Cavalry
Regiment was in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to interdict the
Confederate cotton trade. John Haufler participated in a skirmish while
* Frank Wilson Kiel, M.D., LL.B., M.S.B.A., is a physician living near Comfort, Texas.
Penelope Borchers, M.L.S., is special collections librarian, P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library,
Briscoe Library, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Helen Dietert is
an independent translator living near Comfort, Texas. Herbert Reitsamer, M.D., is a visiting
postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antomo; he is an
assistant professor in the department of physiology at the University of Vienna Medical School,
Vienna, Austria.
'"Compiled Service Record of John Haufler, First Texas [Union] Cavalry," Adjutant General's
Office, microcopy 402, RG 94 (National Archives). Assigned to Company C, Haufler was present
on all company muster rolls m 1864 and 1865. He was mustered out with his unit on November
4, 1865. He returned to farming at a bend m the Guadalupe River two miles east of Waring,
where he built a rock, two-story house in 1884. The house is still standing and is occupied by his
great-grandson, Harold Haufler. John Haufler and his wife were buried on that farm in a wood-
ed grove a hundred yards down the lane leading to the farmhouse m a barbed-wire-protected
part now owned by Dr. James Kurn. Joyce Pankratz, Haufler's great-great-granddaughter, to
Frank Kiel, August 27, 2ooo, interview during visit to homestead and cemetery (notes in author's
possession).

VOL. CV, No. 3 SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

JANUARY, 2002

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed September 19, 2014.