Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 330 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
gage in he would be opposed by influences beyond
his power to control. With his career in the fatherland
thus abruptly ended, he concluded to leave
the country. At that time a great deal had been
written and printed in Germany about Texas, in consequence
of the efforts of the German Emigration
Company, and he therefore selected Texas as his
future home. His parents and family looked upon
him as a self-reliant man who had made his own
way in the world and, he being the oldest of seven
children, they did not attempt to persuade him to
remain in Germany, where they knew that he would
be the victim of persecution; but, deeply attached
to one another, they concluded that the whole
family, consisting of thirteen persons, would emigrate
together and seek happiness under freer institutions.
Previous to their departure he married
Miss Auguste Anders, to whom he was betrothed.
After a sixty days' voyage in a sailing vessel they
landed at Galveston, Texas, on the 6th of December,
1849. They settled in Fayette County at and
in the vicinity of Nassau Farm. He there followed
farming for six years, learned the English language
and in 1855 became a citizen of the United States.
Being a skillful draughtsman, he was called upon
to draw a design for the courthouse of Fayette
County which was built at La Grange. This work
gave such general satisfaction that he was recommended
by American friends to the Commissioner
of the General Land-Office of Texas, the Hon.
Stephen Crosby, as a well-qualified draughtsman
and, in consequence thereof, moved to Austin in
April, 1856, and was appointed to the first vacancy
as such in October of the same year. The Land
Office was then in a small building in the Capitol
yard and the business of the office had not then
developed to the proportions which it has assumed
in later years. The personnel of the office
at that time consisted of the commissioner, chief
clerk, translator, chief draughtsman, six assistant
draughtsmen and twenty clerks.
In November, 1857, Stephen Crosby was succeeded
by F. M. White, who held the office of
Commissioner for four years. Mr. Crosby was
then again elected to the office, took charge in
November, 1861, and appointed Mr. von Rosenberg
whom he had selected therefor to the position
of chief draughtsman, which he held until the
fall of 1863, when he was requested to serve as
topographical engineer under Gen. J. Bankhead
Magruder, in the Confederate army.
When the question of secession came to be decided
by the voters of Texas, Mr. von Rosenberg
cast his ballot for it, his reasons therefor being
that he had left Prussia on account of having been
proscribed for his political opinions, had selected
Texas for his future home with full knowledge of
the existence of the institution of slavery in the
State and had not come as a reformer, but to live
with its people, who received him as a stranger unconditionally.
He felt it to be his duty, whether
right or wrong, to stand with the people of Texas
in upholding the cardinal principles of self-government
as laid down in the Declaration of Independence
and Constitution of the United States.
When the clouds of sectional animosity and
misconstruction that had so long hovered like a
pall over the country burst in the tempest of war
and the brave and true, both North and South, were
hurrying to the front, Mr. von Rosenberg's father,
although too old for active service in the field,
dressed himself as a Prussian Uhlan and, riding
through the streets of Roundtop, the village where
he then resided, called upon the young men of the
place to enlist in the Confederate army and to
remember how their fathers had dared to do and
die in the old land in 1813, when their country was
threatened by invasion. Known to be an old hero
of the Napoleonic wars, his martial bearing and
stirring words fired the hearts of the patriotic young
men of the town and many of them afterwards testified
their devotion to the cause of constitutional
freedom upon hard fought fields in the war between
the States. Some of them lived to, in later years,
receive honors at the hands of their fellow-citizens;
others filled soldiers' graves.
Mr. William von Rosenberg's three younger
brothers, Eugene, Alexander and Walter, were
among the first to enlist in the Confederate army.
Eugene was a member of Waul's Legion and was at
the siege of Vicksburg. Alexander and Walter
were soldiers in Creuzbaur's company of artillery
and took part in the Louisiana campaign. Another
brother, John von Rosenberg, served in the Engineer
corps with him. After having served as topographical
engineer, in the department of Texas,
during the war, Mr. von Rosenberg, at the close of
the struggle, was called back to the General Land
Office as chief draughtsman, but was swept aside
by the military usurpers, who trampled civil government
under their feet in Texas at the time. At the
election in 1866, Stephen Crosby was recalled to
administer the affairs of the Land-Office and again
made Mr. von Rosenberg chief draughtsman, a
position that he filled until during the " reconstruction"
period, when the officials selected by the
people were removed and aliens appointed in their
At this time Maj. C. R. Johns, formerly Comptroller
of the State, had opened a land agency bus
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/330/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .