ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Battle of the Nueces River

Updated on August 6, 2019
gmarquardt profile image

gmarquardt has an M.A. in history and German from SWTSU and has over 25 years teaching experience at public high schools.

A minor, yet significant battle in Texas during the Civil War

When civil war broke out among the states, newly immigrated Germans in Texas had only recently pledged their loyalty to the United States. As a result, when the Union dissolved and these new Texas-Germans found themselves living in Confederate States, they chose not to become citizens of the Confederacy. For the most part, these Germans were very community oriented, organizing themselves into groups where they could speak their native tongue and practice their own customs and traditions. When the war broke out, German towns and communities linked many of the rural areas together and voiced their opposition to the Confederacy. By 1862 they realized they had little future in Texas, so they decided to emigrate back to the Union. Unionists of all types joined these Germans as they attempted to head southwest to Mexico, where they hoped to catch a boat ride back to northeastern ports. Confederate soldiers, on orders to intercept these men, went looking for them and caught them at the Nueces river. On August 10, 1862 a large battle ensued whereby the Confederate soldiers massacred about thirty men. Some Germans that surrendered were lined up and summarily shot.

Scattered, the survivors continued south, but were once again caught by the pursuing Confederates. As the Unionists tried to cross the Rio Grande river on 18 October 1862 the rebel soldiers opened fire, killing some fifteen men. In both skirmishes, the Union dead were left unburied. After the war, many citizens of Comfort went to the Nueces battle site and gathered the bones of their loved ones. They interred their remains and erected a monument. The monument, a monolith made of native Texas limestone was dedicated to those soldiers who remained loyal to the Union. The inscription, written in German, reads Treue der Union. (Loyal to the Union). Engraved on each side are reminders of the Germans who died at various times in the battles. On the eastern side of the monument is the title, Treue der Union. On the northern side are the names of the nine Unionists who were captured and then murdered. The western face of the monument contains the names of the nineteen men who were killed on the Nueces river. Finally, on the southern portion are engraved the seven Germans who were killed on the Rio Grande.

Rebuilt in 1994, it retains its historical importance. The twenty foot tall obelisk is the only monument in the south where the flag is allowed to fly in perpetuity at half-staff. Today, this story and monument still incurs emotions. Many people in the small town of Comfort are very proud of their German heritage. In fact, Comfort’s economy is based on tourism and its German roots and history are the main attractions. One can still find many old German style homes and businesses. On the other hand, many citizens of this conservative small town consider these Germans to be traitors. It is a fascinating juxtaposition, pride of heritage versus historical perceptions about the Civil War. This small battle proves that emotional scars incurred during the Civil War are far from vanished. The ghosts of the Nueces Battle continue to haunt us to this day.

Did you know?

The United States flag at the Treue der Union monument is flown at half-staff in perpetuity. Plenty of rumors abound about other places in the United States where this is found. Many people believe that there are only a few places that allow this practice, and that this is the only place in the south that has the flag flown at half-staff in perpetuity and has a pro-Union monument.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Comfort, TexasComfort, TexasPeter Ingenhuett, late 1800s architecture, Comfort, TexasDie Schmiede, (blacksmith) late 1800s, Confort, TexasDescription of the funeral.Treue der UnionCaptured and murdered.List of killed on 10 August 1862.Names of the fallen.
Comfort, Texas
Comfort, Texas
Comfort, Texas
Comfort, Texas
Peter Ingenhuett, late 1800s architecture, Comfort, Texas
Peter Ingenhuett, late 1800s architecture, Comfort, Texas
Die Schmiede, (blacksmith) late 1800s, Confort, Texas
Die Schmiede, (blacksmith) late 1800s, Confort, Texas
Description of the funeral.
Description of the funeral.
Treue der Union
Treue der Union
Captured and murdered.
Captured and murdered.
List of killed on 10 August 1862.
List of killed on 10 August 1862.
Names of the fallen.
Names of the fallen.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 

      7 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I knew nothing about these incidents and I find it hard to fathom that they could be considered "traitors" when they were seeking their way out of Texas because they knew they didn't belong. Very nice article-- great pictures, too.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      An amazing narrative of war and dissent. It still has lessons to be learned.

    • coolenconnections profile image

      Suzanne Sankey 

      7 years ago from Toronto

      Very well written and interesting! Great photo tour too. I love the German architecture.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)