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Treue der Union Monument
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
Treue der Union monument, Comfort TX.jpg
Treue der Union Monument
Location High Street, between Third and Fourth
Comfort, Texas
Area less than one acre
Built 1866 (1866)
Part of Comfort Historic District (ID79002989)
NRHP reference No. 78002966
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 29, 1978
Designated CP May 29, 1979

The German-American Treue der Union Monument (Loyalty to the Union), is located in the Kendall County community of Comfort in the U.S. state of Texas. It was dedicated on August 10, 1866 to commemorate the German-Texans who died at the 1862 Nueces massacre. Thirty-four were killed, some executed after being taken prisoner, for refusing to sign loyalty oaths to the Confederacy. With the exception of those drowned in the Rio Grande, the remains of the deceased are buried at the site of the monument. This monument was the first authorized to fly the Star-Spangled Banner at half-mast in perpetuity. It was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The battle

In 1862, the Confederate States of America imposed martial law on Central Texas, due to resistance to the Civil War. Jacob Kuechler served as a guide for sixty-one conscientious objectors attempting to flee to Mexico. Scottish born Confederate irregular James Duff and his Duff's Partisan Rangers pursued and overtook them at the Nueces River.

Thirty-four were killed, some executed after being taken prisoner. Jacob Kuechler survived the Nueces massacre. The cruelty shocked the people of Gillespie County and surrounding areas. Two thousand took to the hills to escape Duff's reign of terror.

The monument

On August 19, 1865, Eduard Degener, Eduard Steves, and William Heuermann paid $20 for a lot in Comfort, for the purpose of building a monument. The bodies of those who drowned in the massacre were never recovered. The bodies of the remaining massacre victims were recovered for burial by local residents in a mass grave on the lot purchased by Degener, Steves and Heuermann. On August 20, 1865, at Comfort, Texas, three hundred people attended the funeral for the remains of the victims of the massacre. The funeral cortege was accompanied by Federal troops who fired a salute over the mass grave. Edward Degener, father of victims Hugo and Hilmar, delivered the eulogy.

Treue der union monumant 2009
Treue der Union monument, with flag flying at half mast

With donations from local residents and families of the victims, the Treue der Union Monument was dedicated on August 10, 1866 in Kendall County. The obelisk stands twenty feet high and was constructed of native limestone by local stonemasons and several carvers. The main obelisk weighs 35,700 pounds, with the top containing the original four name tablets. The United States 1865 flag has thirty-six stars, representing the number of states at the time of the monument dedication. On the lawn at the base are four name tablets in German. Inside the second course of the monument is a time capsule.

In 1994, the Comfort Heritage Foundation oversaw a restoration conducted by Boerne stonemason Karl H. Kuhn.

Names on Treue der Union Monument

List of the Deceased, Treue der Union Monument
Name Date and Place of Death Notes
Bauer, LeopoldLeopold Bauer 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Behrens, FF Behrens 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Beseler, ErnstErnst Beseler 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Bock, ConradConrad Bock Captured and murdered Fredericksburg
Boerner, LouisLouis Boerner 10 August 1862, Nueces River Comfort
Boerner, WilhelmWilhelm Boerner Captured and murdered Comfort
Bonnet, PeterPeter Bonnet 18 October 1862, Rio Grande Comfort
Bruckisch, TheoTheo Bruckisch Captured and murdered
Bruns, AlbertAlbert Bruns 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Degener, HilmarHilmar Degener 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Degener, HugoHugo Degener 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Diaz, PabloPablo Diaz 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Elstner, JosephJoseph Elstner 18 October 1862, Rio Grande
Felsing, EdwardEdward Felsing 18 October 1862, Rio Grande
Flick, HermanHerman Flick Captured and murdered Fredericksburg
Herrmann, HH Herrmann 18 October 1862, Rio Grande
Hohmann, VV Hohmann 18 October 1862, Rio Grande
Kallenberg, J.H.J.H. Kallenberg 10 August 1862, Nueces River Fredericksburg
Lange, FritzFritz Lange 18 October 1862, Rio Grande Comfort
Luckenbach, AugustAugust Luckenbach Captured and murdered Fredericksburg
Markwardt, HenryHenry Markwardt 10 August 1862, Nueces River Sisterdale, Cherry Spring
Ruebsamen, AA Ruebsamen Captured and murdered
Ruebsamen, LL Ruebsamen Captured and murdered
Schaefer Sr., ChristianChristian Schaefer Sr. 10 August 1862, Nueces River Fredericksburg
Schierholz, LouisLouis Schierholz 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Schreiner, A.A. Schreiner 10 August 1862, Nueces River Kerrville
Steves, HeinrichHeinrich Steves 10 August 1862, Nueces River Comfort
Stieler, HeinrichHeinrich Stieler Captured and murdered Comfort
Tays, FF Tays Captured and murdered Comfort
Telgmann, WilhelmWilhelm Telgmann 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Vater, AA Vater 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Vater, FF Vater 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Weyershausen, HH Weyershausen 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Weyrich, MM Weyrich 10 August 1862, Nueces River
Weiss, FrankFrank Weiss 18 October 1862, Rio Grande
Weiss, MoritzMoritz Weiss 18 October 1862, Rio Grande
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