March, 2010. Comfort, Texas. Treue der Union

Posted on March 7, 2012

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I’ve read there are only two places in the United States where the American flag is allowed to fly at half staff all the time.

One is at Arlington National Cemetery, the other is beside a monument in Comfort, Texas, inscribed “Treue der Union” – True to the Union.

This monument, erected in 1866, honors the memory of 68 men – mostly German immigrants – who were loyal to the Union during the Civil War.

Texas joined the Confederate States of America in 1861, but this meant little to the German-Americans who settled in the Hill Country.

These men were from families who had adopted America as their new home only 20 years earlier. They had no interest in the slavery issue, and no interest in fighting against the country to which they felt they now owed their allegiance.

When faced with conscription into the Confederate Army, they tried to reach U. S. Federal troops by way of Mexico. Forty men were killed by vengeful Confederate soldiers in the Battle of Nueces on August 10, 1862. More were killed during a later fight in October, and several drowned in the Rio Grande trying to swim to Mexico.

In 1865 a group of Germans gathered up the bones of their friends – they had been left unburied after the battles – and interred them in Comfort.

The monument, inscribed in German, was erected in 1866, over which a thirty-six star American flag flies at half staff. It is one of only a handful of monuments to the Union to be found in the South.

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Posted in: Travel - Texas