How much Unionism existed in Texas during the war?

major bill

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#1
I am reading Look Away! by William C. Davis in chapter 9 he seems to indicate that pro Union sentiments were fairly common in Texas trough out the war and by the end of the war had grown. For example German immigrants in Fredericksburg refused to pay their property taxes to the Confederate state government. and only one of the county officers would take the required oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. They even raised a home guard that may or may not have supported the Union. At the start of the war some northern Texas counties gave some thought of seceding from Texas and form a new Union State.

I have to wonder if Mr. Davis is not overstating the amount of Union support in Texas.
 

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#3
I am reading Look Away! by William C. Davis in chapter 9 he seems to indicate that pro Union sentiments were fairly common in Texas trough out the war and by the end of the war had grown. For example German immigrants in Fredericksburg refused to pay their property taxes to the Confederate state government. and only one of the county officers would take the required oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. They even raised a home guard that may or may not have supported the Union. At the start of the war some northern Texas counties gave some thought of seceding from Texas and form a new Union State.

I have to wonder if Mr. Davis is not overstating the amount of Union support in Texas.
Texas fielded a Union 1st Cavalry, consolidated with a 2nd Cavalry Regiment in 1864. A 2nd Cavalry Battalion from March-October, 1865. A Partisan Ranger Battalion (Vidal's Rangers) from 11/10/63-07/31/64, and Hamilton's Body Gd TX Cavalry Company. (3 years)
 
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#4
I am reading Look Away! by William C. Davis in chapter 9 he seems to indicate that pro Union sentiments were fairly common in Texas trough out the war and by the end of the war had grown. For example German immigrants in Fredericksburg refused to pay their property taxes to the Confederate state government. and only one of the county officers would take the required oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. They even raised a home guard that may or may not have supported the Union. At the start of the war some northern Texas counties gave some thought of seceding from Texas and form a new Union State.

I have to wonder if Mr. Davis is not overstating the amount of Union support in Texas.
Per " Lincolns Loyalists" p. 218 Tx supplied 2,200 Unionists plus some USCT troops. Current points out that unlike in other states when the Union Army was able to secure Unionist areas they could easily recruit Unionists the Union Army was able to liberate only a small amount of Tx. In my thread "Union vs CSA Guerrillas" their was some Unionist guerrilla activity in Tx.
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#5
I am reading Look Away! by William C. Davis in chapter 9 he seems to indicate that pro Union sentiments were fairly common in Texas trough out the war and by the end of the war had grown. For example German immigrants in Fredericksburg refused to pay their property taxes to the Confederate state government. and only one of the county officers would take the required oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. They even raised a home guard that may or may not have supported the Union. At the start of the war some northern Texas counties gave some thought of seceding from Texas and form a new Union State.

I have to wonder if Mr. Davis is not overstating the amount of Union support in Texas.
My bad I thought their was some USCT recruited from Tx but their is not. Not to say some escaped slaves may have enlisted in the USCT in Ark or La. Per Dyers Compendium only the 1st TX Calavary saw much action. Their may of been a few Texans that joined out of state regiments. Again Tx is isolated so the Unionists don't get the support they do in some other states.
Leftyhunter
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#7
I have nothing to add besides being a big buttinski- just tend to get a kick out of Texas through history so was hoping the discussion would be longer! If any state could be trusted to be filled with independently minded people who did not tolerate anyone telling them what to think, wouldn't it be Texas?

Not surprised on the Germans. William Penn could have given anyone the head's up. He stuffed them in here, in PA as a buffer between unsurprisingly annoyed Native Americans on the rampage and his Quakers. Idea being they'd take the hit, Quakers could move in. Germans stubbornly held- most beautiful farmland in the country a 5 minute drive from here along with monuments to massacres as testimony to German tenacity.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#8
In my thread "Union vs CSA Guerrillas" their was some Unionist guerrilla activity in Tx.
Leftyhunter

That's something new to me, the whole guerilla war? I mean how extensive it was, Union and Confederate- and how much it affected civilians. 18th Virginia has a thread on Missouri- horrible stuff, very extensive. So it's weird, when this ' guerilla ' thing comes up, like now in Texas, does that mean civilians suffered the same way there, too?
 
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#9
My bad I thought their was some USCT recruited from Tx but their is not. Not to say some escaped slaves may have enlisted in the USCT in Ark or La. Per Dyers Compendium only the 1st TX Calavary saw much action. Their may of been a few Texans that joined out of state regiments. Again Tx is isolated so the Unionists don't get the support they do in some other states.
Leftyhunter
There must have been some USCT based in TX as the 62nd USC Infantry Regt took part in the battle of Palmito Ranch, on May 12th-13th 1865 !
 
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#10
There must have been some USCT based in TX as the 62nd USC Infantry Regt took part in the battle of Palmito Ranch, on May 12th-13th 1865 !
I was simply stating that Dyers Compendium did not list any USCT regiments recruited from Texas. Perhaps their where but a source would be nice.I did state that some escaped slaves may have enlisted out of state.
Leftyhunter
 

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#12
Unless resources exist, I think it rather difficult to give a quantified answer. Other folks may have a better answer than I.
@AndyHall , @Nathanb1 , @7th Texas Mounted Rifles , @James N. I apologize for others who may have better sources.
Generally speaking, the northern tier of Texas counties - stretching from modern Texarkana through Paris, Bohnam, Sherman (named for Sidney Sherman who fought in the Texas Revolution), and on to Gainesville were more or less Unionist. That didn't mean no one supported slavery or secession but there were more Unionists there than in the counties to the south. In my own area, the Sulphur River was the divide between them. In nearby Paris, although Lamar County had voted against secession, leading citizen Samuel Bell Maxey raised the 9th Texas Infantry of which he became colonel and eventually a general commanding Indian Territory north of the Red River. (Present-day Oklahoma.) Of course, Gainseville was the scene of the notorious Great Hanging in which somewhere over thirty accused Unionists were hanged in 1862.
 

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#14
In my thread "Union vs CSA Guerrillas" their was some Unionist guerrilla activity in Tx.
Leftyhunter

That's something new to me, the whole guerilla war? I mean how extensive it was, Union and Confederate- and how much it affected civilians. 18th Virginia has a thread on Missouri- horrible stuff, very extensive. So it's weird, when this ' guerilla ' thing comes up, like now in Texas, does that mean civilians suffered the same way there, too?
I know that in my own family's case my g-g-grandfather left Hunt County, Texas and traveled to Ft. Smith, Arkansas and joined the 14h Kansas Cavalry (Union). This was in 1863, he was discharged at Ft. Gibson, Indian Territory, in June 1865.
I became aware of a bit of local history since moving from Dallas to North/East Texas in 1999, including the bit I mentioned above. Very similar to the experience related by @TinCan was one Martin Hart who was a local lawyer operating out of a log cabin on what passed for the town square in Greenville, seat of Hunt County. (It was in reality a mudhole surrounded by more log cabins with a log or wooden court house in the middle.) According to the story, Hart proposed to his neighbors to raise a company of rangers to go north and offer their services to Confederate authorities at Fort Smith, Arkansas. When Hart's company got to Ft. Smith he then got a pass to go even further north to the village of Fayetteville which was a Confederate outpost. Instead of stopping there however, the company proceeded all the way to Springfield, Missouri, where they then revealed their true Unionist sympathies and offered their services to the local Federal commander.

Hart was offered the colonelcy of a regiment to be known as the 1st Texas Cavalry (Union) if he could raise the men for it. He and a number of others returned to the vicinity of Ft. Smith to prey on slave-owning planters and farms in the vicinity. Meanwhile, others went back to Texas and "hid out" in the numerous thickets that covered the area that became post-war Delta County in the forks of the Sulphur River. From there, they visited their families remaining in the area and attempted to contact neighbors they believed to have similar sympathies. This effort collapsed and their hideouts were discovered and raided with at least six being captured and another "disappearing", possibly murdered.

Two were taken to Greenville for trial and ordered to be forwarded to Austin or somewhere south of Greenville; they got about two miles out of town where they were summarily lynched in the Sabine River bottoms. The county seat of Hopkins County was the now-totally gone Tarrant (not to be confused with the county of the same name surrounding Ft. Worth), but for security - and the improved likelihood of conviction - four were taken south of the South Sulphur River to Sulphur Springs, then called Bright Star. Following a drumhead trial they were driven in pairs in two wagons - seated on their coffins - to an escarpment overlooking a river bottom looking north toward Paris where they too were strung up on a convenient tree limb.

Back in Arkansas, Capt. Hart murdered at least one slave-owning planter before being captured himself and executed along with his principal lieutenant. Following the war, his brother became leader of the remaining Unionists in the area and was himself murdered in the series of Reconstruction confrontations that became known as the Lee-Peacock Feud.
 
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#15
I thought their was some USCT recruited from Tx but their is not. Not to say some escaped slaves may have enlisted in the USCT in Ark or La. Per Dyers Compendium only the 1st TX Calavary saw much action. Their may of been a few Texans that joined out of state regiments. Again Tx is isolated so the Unionists don't get the support they do in some other states.
Leftyhunter
I referred in my above post to the 1st Texas Cavalry (Union), but of course that died along with its erstwhile Colonel Hart. However, it's my understanding the designation finally appeared in South Texas with the creation of a unit of Unionist Texans and Tejanos. I believe the last "battle" of the war at Palmetto Ranch included them.
 
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...Not surprised on the Germans. William Penn could have given anyone the head's up. He stuffed them in here, in PA as a buffer between unsurprisingly annoyed Native Americans on the rampage and his Quakers. Idea being they'd take the hit, Quakers could move in. Germans stubbornly held- most beautiful farmland in the country a 5 minute drive from here along with monuments to massacres as testimony to German tenacity.
German settlers began populating the southern part of the Hill Country north and northwest of San Antonio in the 1840's during the Republic, founding towns like New Braunfels and Fredericksburg. (Admiral Chester Nimitiz of WWII fame was one of their Fredericksburg descendants.) They were originally part of a Utopian community that was naturally opposed to slavery. I don't remember the details, but when a group of them decided to evade Confederate conscription and escape to Mexico for the duration they were discovered and slaughtered in a "battle" by Texas Confederates. Maybe @Nathanb1 can elaborate on this sorry episode?
 

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#17
...That's something new to me, the whole guerilla war? I mean how extensive it was, Union and Confederate- and how much it affected civilians. 18th Virginia has a thread on Missouri- horrible stuff, very extensive. So it's weird, when this ' guerilla ' thing comes up, like now in Texas, does that mean civilians suffered the same way there, too?
Another incident I'll mention relating to Unionist civilians occurred at the bridge over the Sulphur River which divided Union-leaning Lamar County (Paris was its county seat) and Hopkins County. As I've read, the northern tier of Texas counties were supposedly populated largely by migrants from the "Upper South" - Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky - where slavery was less entrenched than in the Deep South; while the counties to the south were made up of Louisianians, Alabamians, Mississippians, etc. That's supposed to explain the differences between these antebellum Texans who one would suppose - wrongly, as it turned out - would otherwise have shared opinions on issues like slavery and secession.

A group of vocal opponents to secession and openly critical of the new Confederate government were seized and given a makeshift "trial" on the south bank of the Sulphur by the bridge. Four whose only "crime" had been this vocal criticism were found guilty of being Unionists, and thereby likely spies or saboteurs and also hanged. The "thickets" I mentioned earlier that covered the bottoms of the Sulphur and its tributaries became a hideout for deserters, draft-dodgers, thieves, and outlaws throughout the war and well into Reconstruction, prompting a Federal garrison being placed in Sulphur Springs to protect local freedmen and root out the hooligans.
 

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James N.

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monumentsa-jpg.jpg


A very vague idea of the appearance of the thickets might be obtained by the background of the photo above which was taken in the vicinity in a roadside park located alongside the current route between Sulphur Springs and Paris, Tex. near the communities of Charlestown and Cooper.
 

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#20
I am reading Look Away! by William C. Davis in chapter 9 he seems to indicate that pro Union sentiments were fairly common in Texas trough out the war and by the end of the war had grown. For example German immigrants in Fredericksburg refused to pay their property taxes to the Confederate state government. and only one of the county officers would take the required oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. They even raised a home guard that may or may not have supported the Union. At the start of the war some northern Texas counties gave some thought of seceding from Texas and form a new Union State.

I have to wonder if Mr. Davis is not overstating the amount of Union support in Texas.
We have a number of threads on this topic. I will try to find a few and post them. Davis is correct.

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-mistrust-of-strangers-texas-1861.106231/#post-987752

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-role-of-texas-in-the-civil-war.122947/page-2#post-1297982

Awesome! Just noticed the book posted is by Dr. De La Teja. Guess that's another must-buy.
 
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