Treue Der Union Monument


[Panel 1:]
This German language monument, erected 1866, honors the memory of 68 men (mostly Germans) from this region who were loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Trying desperately to reach U.S. Federal troops by way of Mexico, about 40 of the men were killed by vengeful Confederates bent on annihilating them, in the Battle of the Nueces (on Aug. 10, 1862) and a later fight (Oct. 18). The bodies of the slain and those who drowned swimming the Rio Grande were left unburied. A group of Germans gathered the bones of their friends and buried them at this site in 1865. Entered in the National Register of Historic Places (1976) Official Texas State Archeological Landmark (1996)
[Panel 2:]

Funeral of German Patriots at Comfort, Texas - August 20, 1865. (Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004.)

[Illustration.] The procession of three hundred people, headed by the fathers of four of the victims, old men of sixty and seventy years, preceded the funeral car drawn by four white horses. Under the Union banner lay the remains. A detachment of Federal troops accompanied the cortege. At the grave, E. Degener, father of two victims, pronounced an oration which brought tears of grief to the eyes of the mourners. He concluded thus:
“The sacrifice that we, the fathers of the slaughtered, made to our country and to liberty, is great and dolorous. We shall, however, console ourselves; we shall be proud of having offered our sons to the Union. If the glorious victory of its arms bear all the fruits that the nation and the whole of humanity justly expect to reap.”
The Federal troops fired a salute over the grave. The little remote site where they rest must be to the nation as sacred as those places where thousands are deposited. Small in number, far away from the patriotic heart and the strong arm of the loyal North, surrounded by fierce enemies of the Union, those brave and devoted Germans offered their lives.
Harper’s Weekly New York, January 20, 1866.
Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004.
[Panel 3:]
Dedication of Monument to German Patriots - August 10, 1866. (Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004)

[Illustration.] This Comfort town lot was purchased by Eduard Degener, Eduard Steves, and William Heuermann from John Vies of New Orleans, through his attorney Ernst Altgelt. The price was $20.00 and the date was 19 August 1865, the day before the mass burial. The land was purchased “for the purpose to erect a monument.”
Local stonemasons, likely including Emil Serger, built the the monument, using locally quarried limestone. Several different carvers worked on the name plaques. This twenty-foot obelisk weighs 35,700 pounds. The top has nine restored original stones, including the four name tablets. The three courses of the base were replaced during the restoration completed in 1996. Emplaced within the second course is a long-term time capsule.
The United States flag has thirty-six stars. There were thirty-three states at the start of the Civil War, of which thirteen seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Three states were subsequently admitted: Kansas in 1861, West Virginia in 1863, and Nevada in 1864. Thus, it represents the banner in use at the time of the monument dedication in 1866.

On High Street, Comfort, (On the right when traveling east)
the Texas State Historical Survey, the Comfort Heritage Foundation1988, 2004, 2008).(Marker Number 15.)
Official (Historical Marker Database)
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