Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bushwhack Creek

Turtle Creek rises about 18 miles southwest of Kerrville and feeds into the Guadalupe south of the airport.  One of its major tributaries is Bushwhack Creek, whose name comes from an event during the Civil War in 1862.
When the war broke out, many Germans, who were only recently arrived, felt loyal to their new country, and did not support slavery.  Major Frederick "Fritz" Tegener and others were part of a Union Loyal League, organized in 1861with several hundred male unionists.
In 1862 Tegener received information that the Hill Country counties of Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Edwards, and Kimble were considered to be in open rebellion against the Confederacy and that Confederate forces were en route to the area.  Tegener was appointed leader of a group of Unionists that attempted to make their way to Mexico.  About 68 men organized and camped along a tributary of Turtle Creek while waiting for others to join them.  They camped several days, then started their fatal march to Mexico.  They were ambushed and massacred by a group of Confederate soldiers on the banks of the Nueces River. The monument "Treue der Union" in Comfort commemorates this event.

The above-mentioned tributary of Turtle Creek is Bushwhack Creek.  This meeting point, which is on a private ranch, deserves an historical marker.