Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy. Page: 10 of 39
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THE MASSACRE ON THE NUECES RIVER
once more for Fredericksburg, in the vicinity of which it was
reported that 1,500 "Bushwackers," mostly Germans, had taken
for the mountains, and were plundering and burning the ranches
of the Southern loyalists. Furthermore, they were said to be
well armed, and intended fighting their way northwards to join
the Federal forces. Those who, like myself, knew the country
and the people, didn't believe one-tenth part of this yarn, but
our leaders swallowed it whole, or professed to, and made great
preparations to put down this formidable insurrection.
Amongst other steps to this end, our redoubtable Captain
Dunn (Duff) was appointed Provost-Marshal, with full powers
to deal with the rebels. These, the sequel will show, he exercis-
ed to their fullest extent, committing atrocities that even his
superiors in San Antonio would not have sanctioned.
We marched by easy stages to Fredericksburg, and there
found most of the inhabitants remaining quietly in their homes,
though a certain number of misguided men had taken to the
mountains, en route to join one of the Federal armies. Their
numbers were variously estimated, but as far as I could make out,
did not exceed a couple of hundred.
The morning after our.arrival we marched out fifteen miles
west of the town and pitched camp on a stream called Pedernales,
with the intention of remaining there about six weeks. Here
Captain Dunn (Duff) issued his proclamation announcing his
appointment as Provost-Marshal, and giving the inhabitants
three days to come in and take the oath of allegiance to the
Confederacy, threatening to treat those who failed to do so as
traitors, who would be dealt with summarily at the discretion
of the officer commanding.
Meanwhile we remained in camp enjoying the rest and beauti-
ful scenery. The spot we had chosen was an ideal one: a gentle
slope, dotted with majestic live-oak trees, and at the foot a
clear running stream of coolest water, abounding in fish. Under
a great rock, half-way up the slope, gushed forth a spring of
delicious water, which went singing on its downward course
to the river. From the summit of the rising ground the eye
could range, in that clear atmosphere, over miles and miles of
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Williams, R. H. & Sansom, John W. Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy., book, Date Unknown; Grand Prairie, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2409/m1/10/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .