Massacre on the Nueces River; story of a Civil War tragedy. Page: 28 of 39
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THE MASSACRE ON THE NUECES RIVER
Secession, a "Union Loyal League" was organized June, 1861,
by representatives from the sections named. Its objects and
purposes were, not to create or encourage strife between Union-
ists and Confederate sympathizers, but to take such action as
might peaceably secure its members and their families from
being disturbed and compelled to bear arms against the Union,
and to protect their families against hostile Indians. Only
eighteen persons were present at the first and initial meeting, but
these were the chosen representatives from as many different sec-
tions. Each of these bound himself by a solemn vow not to
bear arms against the Federal government, and each was ap-
pointed by the body as a committee of one whose duty it was
to persuade others to join the League and make the same pledge.
Then the eighteen dispersed and went to work so diligently and
with such success that on July 4, 1862, not less than five hun-
dred male Unionists met on Bear Creek in Gillespie, and pro-
ceeded to perfect the organization. Among other measures
taken up was the organization of three companies, to-wit: The
Gillespie County Company, Jacob Kuechler, captain, Valentine
Homan, lieutenant; the Kendall County Company, E. Kramer,
captain, Hugo Degener, lieutenant; and the Kerr County Com-
pany, Henry Hartman, captain, Phil G. Temple, lieutenant.
Having elected company officers, the three companies then
elected Fritz Tegener as Major to command the battalion. In
addition to the foregoing action, an Advisory Board, of which
Edward Degener, Esq., since a member of Congress from Texas,
and others of the members, was appointed, and a joint meeting
of the Advisory Board and the officers elected was immediately
held; then the companies were dispersed to await such orders
as further developments might require.
Up to the date of the meeting on Bear Creek there had been
but little friction between the Unionists and Confederate auth-
orities. But about the 20th of July, 1862, Major Tegener, while
at work in his grist and sawmills, received information that the
General in chief command in the State of Texas had declared
the counties of Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Edwards and Kimble
to be in open rebellion against the Confederate States of America,
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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/m1/28/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .