The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963 Page: 31
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rhe bRattle of the Neces,
Auust 10, 1862
ROBERT W. SHOOK
POLITICAL DISAFFECTION ON THE HOME FRONT of a belliger-
ent nation puts the principle of freedom of conscience to its
most exacting test. The Texas German counties served dur-
ing the Civil War as such a testing ground with the meeting of Ger-
man unionism and Confederate authority on the issue of secession
and disunion. The hill country antipathy toward the Confederate
cause and the desire to suppress such feeling on the part of Texas
military officials reached its culmination during the short en-
counter of August i o, 1862, in which a number of Texas Germans
were overtaken and killed while attempting to leave the state for
military duty with Federal forces. The motives and actions of the
Confederate authorities involved in the hill country loyalty prob-
lem and in the action on the Nueces serve as reminders of the
sometimes difficult task of reconciling duty with conscience, lib-
erty with order.
By the 1850's thousands of Germans had settled in the geo-
graphic triangle outlined by San Antonio, Seguin, and New
Braunfels. There were also substantial numbers of German immi-
grants in Fayette, Austin, and Colorado counties.' Most Texas
Germans had emigrated as a result of the failure of the 1848
political revolutions in Europe, and had found in the United
States a political peace and unity long desired. They were by dis-
position opposed to slavery and became, therefore, staunch union-
1Sources on the extent and destination of German migration to Texas include:
Gilbert C. Benjamin, The Germans in Texas (New York, 1gog); Rudolph L. Biesele,
The History of the German Settlements in Texas (Austin, 19ggo); Albert B. Faust,
The German Element in the United States (Kingsport, 199); John H. Hawgood,
The Tragedy of German America (New York, 1940); Joseph W. McConnell, Social
Cleavages in Texas (New York, 1925); Mortiz Tilling, The German Element in
Texas (Houston, 1913). Several German accounts of early Texas are especially inter-
esting. Carl von Solms-Braunfels, Texas, 1844-x845 (Houston, 1936); Ferdinand
Roemer, Texas (San Antonio, 1935); Viktor Bracht, Texas in 1848 (San Antonio,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963, periodical, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/m1/43/?rotate=90: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.