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Texas' Civil War Monuments

Discussion in 'Battlefield Preservation' started by James N., Apr 28, 2013.

  1. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Monuments 004A.JPG
    The Texas Monument at Vicksburg near the Railroad Redoubt held by Waul's Texas Legion.

    In response to a discussion in another thread of Texas' red granite and its use for everything from the Texas Capitol building in Austin to humbler state monuments, I'll share with you a little of this history as it applies to the various kinds of Civil War-related markers and monuments that may be seen today both within and outside the state.

    Monuments 005A.JPG

    In 1936, Texas celebrated its Centennial of separation from Mexico and at that time quite a few of these large gray granite monumental markers were placed in various historic spots throughout the state, some of which were Civil War-related like Sabine Pass. This particular example stands in a floodplain between current Tyler and Canton where the peaceful village of Cherokee led by their seuptegenarian Chief Bowles was massacred ( and the wounded chief murdered ) by Texas forces who wanted nothing less than to drive all Indians out of Texas. These Centennial markers are unremarkable other than for their size, and though handsome with their separately-applied bronze stars, give disappointingly little detail about whatever happened wherever they may be found. In this particular case, maybe that's a good thing!

    Monuments 001A.JPG

    By the time of the Civil War Centennial in 1961, the use of pink granite had become the norm, and monuments such as these graced many courthouse lawns like this one in Sulphur Springs, which commemorates a local Confederate "general" W. H. King, who was one of Gen. E. Kirby Smith's appointees who was never confirmed in the grade by the Confederate Congress. Most, like the one below, say something like Upshur County, C.S.A., and recount the area's Civil War history. Erected during the Centennial, they are far more informative than their gray predecessors a quarter-century before.

    DSC01389.JPG

    When it came time to place battlefield monuments commemorating the service of their soldiers, the South, including Texas, with its depressed economy lagged far behind the North. I have previously mentioned in a thread on Chickamauga how only a select few early battlefield parks recieved the proverbial lion's share of state markers, tablets, memorials, and monuments. With a very few notable exceptions like the Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama monuments at Gettysburg, Southern states largely placed the few they could afford at Vicksburg; during the immediate post-war period Texas placed NO battlefield monuments.

    Monuments 002A.JPG

    With the Oil Boom of the 1930's and improved economy of WWII and postwar, Texas' outlook improved a great deal. By the time of the Civil War Centennial it was decided by the Texas Civil War Centennial Comission to correct the neglect of the battlefields fought on by her soldiery. The small and simple pink granite monuments like that above were placed on battlefields from Gettysburg throughout Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, and all other states where Texans had fought. I have seen them on large fields like Chickamauga to small ones like Mansfield, La. They have continued to be placed, like the one above on the relatively new parkland at Raymond, Mississippi, detailing the action of John Gregg's 7th Texas in that small battle. Though reasonably small, standing only about 6ft. in height, they are for that reason usually concise, listing all the Texas units in the particular battle and a general outline of their action, utilizing both front and back of the slab.

    Monuments 003A.JPG

    The single exception to this is the large and handsome pink granite Texas State Monument at Vicksburg, Miss., pictured here and at the head of this thread. Apparantly the Centennial Comission decided to splurge on this one exception and create something worthy to accompany the many other large and impressive state monuments here. ( Though even this effort is dwarfed by that of the gigantic Illinois "temple"! ) This stands in the area of the Railroad Redoubt defended by Waul's Texas Legion in the assault of May 22, 1863, and was completed in time for the centennial of the siege. Of interest to collectors of period weapons is the inclusion of a M.1855 rifle as the armament of the redoubtable bronze Texan!

    MonumentsA.JPG

    Completing this "monumental" survey is this example of the most common type of historical marker found within the state, simple alluminum tablets, signs, and plaques of varying sizes. This particular one stands in a roadside Park in Hopkins County and details the travails of Confederate Refugees, including Louisiana memorialist Kate Stone, who spent time near here before moving on to more hospitable Tyler.
     

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  3. AUG

    AUG Captain Forum Host

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    The Texas monument at Widow Tapp Field on the Wilderness battlefield, where the famous "Lee to the rear" incident happened.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    And of course note its identical design to that pictured at Raymond, and indeed all other battlefields except Vicksburg.
     
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  5. CSA Today

    CSA Today Colonel

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    Awesome monuments. The Texas monument at Bentonville is very similar to the one at the Wilderness.
    texas_mon.jpg
     
  6. AUG

    AUG Captain Forum Host

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    Here's the Texas Brigade monument at Gettysburg, from my visit in 2012.
    gettysburg 147.jpg

    And the Texas monument at Honey Springs.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  7. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    I haven't seen the one at Honey Springs; it looks more like some other monuments I've seen in Oklahoma. But notice it was placed by a UDC chapter rather than the State of Texas, so it's not "official".
     
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  8. proud texan

    proud texan Sergeant

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    Thanks for the extensive info Brother.
     
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  9. AUG

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    Here's the Texas monument at Gaines Mill that was recently erected in 2012 (not my photo, Source).
    Photo204785o.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  10. Gen Cleburne

    Gen Cleburne Corporal

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    I believe the most recent addition to Chickamauga is the Texas monument, in the pink granite- striking!
     
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  11. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    I visited Vicksburg this Spring and walked up to the Texas monument at the RR redoubt for a close look. It was a bright sunny day and I have to say the inscriptions in the pink granite with the gold paint were very difficult to read. They need to use black like the smaller battlefield markers pictured in the thread.
     
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  12. mt155

    mt155 First Sergeant Civil War Photo Contest
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  13. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    I got to see it on my vacation, and though as I said they're all pretty much the same, here's a shot of it for "completionists":

    DSC01613.JPG
     
  14. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    I found something of another "exception to the rule" however, at Franklin, Tennessee, in this monument dedicated to slain Brig. Gen. Hiram Granbury. The front ( shown ) is devoted to his career and service, unfortunately cut short there, while the back conventionally lists the Texas units involved in the battle. I suppose since most-if-not-all of them were in Granbury's Texas Brigade of Pat Cleburne's Division this accounts for this apparantly unique combination. Notice this is missing the separately applied bronze star-and-wreath of the others, too. Of course the differences are probably attributable to the fact that it seems not to be an "official" monument erected by the state, but one provided by the groups listed on the front.

    DSC01546.JPG
     
  15. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    If you notice, that one is due to the Austin Civil War Roundtable and other groups--not an official state marker :smile:

    Ed Bearss says the one at Vicksburg is so incredible because one of the folks involved in getting it placed there had an ancestor at Vicksburg...so we splurged. :smile: He didn't say who, but I suppose we could figure it out!
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    This is a great thread, partner and I appreciate it. Great pictures! But, the Spindletop field came in about 1901. I had family in that fight and in it turned Texas around forever.
     
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  17. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    e

    Spindletop did come in in 1901...but the prosperity didn't totally hit until WWI, when that oil became vital...and after the Model T became America's mode of transportion. Spindletop and the other discoveries (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dor01, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dos01, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/doogz) created the petrochemical industry in the state; you are certainly correct about that!
     
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  18. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    Thanks for this - I've skimmed it but will read it carefully. I am not a Rockefeller, but I know that the El Dorado, Arkansas, strike in the early 20's and the Rodessa strike after that put a lot of mutton on the table and and a lot of new shoes on the kids in my family :smile:.
     
  19. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    In the part of the state where I travel most frequently, Kilgore and Gladewater seem to point to the 30's, as do my memories of things I remember my parents and stepfather saying about their times growing up during the Depression. Especially Kilgore's 1930's and 1940's homes built around the time near the Junior College campus indicate money then that was lacking previously there.

    Back to the topic at hand, here's another near-redundancy I photographed along Pat Cleburne's line on Cheatham Hill at Kennesaw Mountain I overlooked yesterday:

    DSC01472.JPG
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    I hear 'ya. My own memories from family that were there put it earlier than the '30's, though. Nathanb1 posted some helpful links that pretty much split the difference between Spindletop and Rodessa.

    Great pictures, let's have one of the Texas Brigade memorial in Austin!
     
  21. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    How 'bout Terry's Texas Rangers? :smile:
     

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