|MONUMENT AT GONZALES,
|BY JOHN S. CONWAY
(COMMANDER OF J. C. 0. KEY CAMP,
|NO. 156, U.C.V.),
|Gonzales, Tex., is an attractive town
of about 5,000 inhabitants situated on the picturesque Guadalupe
River, about one hundred and forty miles west of Houston. The
town is named for the county, in a rich and fertile country. The
town is historically known as the “Lexington of Texas,” and is
the smallest town in the State that has erected a Confederate
|From its vicinity the first gun was
fired in the struggle between Texas and Mexico. Its people have
always been noted for their courage and patriotism, and have
never faltered in the discharge of their civic duties.
|In the War between the States Gonzales
County sent nine superb companies, composed of the flower of its
youth and manhood, to the Army of Tennessee Department, while
many of its citizens enlisted in Confederate commands that
operated west of the Mississippi River.
|In keeping with its historic past, a
large and patriotic assemblage of citizens met in Gonzales on
April 14, 1910, to witness the unveiling of a Confederate
monument, it being the first public work of the kind ever
erected in the county. The crowded streets, inspiring music, the
bright bunting on the buildings, smiling faces, and joyful
voices all proclaimed the advent of a day long to be remembered.
The bandstand and that for the speakers, prominent visitors, and
guests were beautifully decorated in Confederate colors, and the
flags of the Gonzales Chapter, No. 545, U. D. C., and the J. C.
G. Key Camp, No. 156. U. C. V., were conspicuous. Garlands of
evergreens were gracefully twined around the iron fence
surrounding the monument, and at its base there was a large
wreath of laurel in lovely bluebonnets, our State flower.
|On the speakers’ stand were seated Mrs.
A. R. Howard, President Texas Division, U. D. C.; Mrs. B. B.
Hoskins, Sr., President of Gonzales Chapter; Mrs. R. H. Walker,
First Vice President; Mrs. ‘W. M. Cole, Mrs. W. H. Boothe, Mrs.
W. W. Glass, Miss Anna Nicholson, Misses Meda and Elizabeth
Ramsey, Mary Harreil, and Mamie Tate, the latter representing
the Gonzales Inquirer and State press; Hon. 3. B. Polley, of
Floresville, Tex., formerly Major General commanding Texas
Division, U. . V.; Judge S. F. Grimes, of Cuero, Tex., a veteran
of Morgan’s Cavalry; Hon. W. H. Blanton, of Gonzales; Mr. Frank
Teich, of Llano, sculptor and designer of the monument; Messrs.
W. F. Holcomb and Miles Smith, of Luling; Rev. Gaston
Hartsfield, and the officers and members of Camp No. 156, U. C.
|At 4 p.m. John S. Conway, Commander of
J. C. G. Key Camp and master of ceremonies, called the audience
to order, and the exercises were held, after introductory music
by- the Monthalia Band; invocation by Rev. G. Hartsfield.
|Quartet, “Tenting To-Night,” Misses
Meda and Elizabeth Ramsey and Messrs. Claude and Ruston O’Neal.
|The welcome address was by Hon. W. H.
Blanton, and the unveiling of monument by Mrs. B. B. Hoskins,
Sr., President Gonzales Chapter, U. D. C. Music, “Dixie,” by the
|Introduction of speakers by John S.
Conway, and address by Gen. J. B. Policy. Music by the band.
|Mr.. Blanton’s address was appropriate
and eloquent. It was replete with lofty sentiments, and as a son
of a Confederate veteran he made his hearers feel that he would
ever be ready to defend the cause for which “the men in gray”
fought so gallantly.
|Before the unveiling Mrs. B. B.
Hosking, Sr., spoke with much fervor and pathos of the noble
purpose for which the monument was erected. Her brief , but most
appropriate address was beautiful, . and thrilled the audience.
She coneluded as follows:
“Could our heart’s wish have been gratified, this Confederate
monument would have been made of burnished gold, studded with
precious stones, and would reach as high as the heavens.”
|Gen. J. B. Policy, the orator of the
day, invited by the Chapter, delivered a masterly address. As a
soldier of the 4th Texas Regiment of Infantry, Hood’s Brigade,
Army of Northern Virginia, he was well qualified both by
experience in war and in scholarly attainments to entertain his
sympathetic audience. He spoke of the heroism displayed by the
people of Gonzales in the struggle between Texas and Mexico, and
with much force on the splendid record made by Gonzales County
in our great Civil War. His presentation of facts and episodes
in connection with the gigantic contest in which he participated
was graphic and deeply interesting.
|The audience was greatly pleased; and
when Mrs. B. B. Hoskins, Sr., had pulled the cord and the
beautiful statue looked radiant in the sunlight, the vast
assembly spontaneously arose and cheered repeatedly, while the
Rebel yell from about seventy Confederates was especially
enjoyed. It was indeed a gala day for old Gonzales.
|The pictures that accompany this sketch
represent the Confederate monument and Mrs. B. B. Hoskins, Sr.,
President of the Gonzales Chapter, U. D. C. Mrs. Hoskins has
been the executive head of the Chapter for over five years, and
is an able, zealous officer. It was (luring her administration
that the erection of the monument was conceived, and with her it
has been a labor of love to carry the work to completion. About
seventy devoted daughters of the South ably assisted her in the
work. Mrs. Hoskins is of old colonial, Revolutionary, and Texas
independence stock, and is a native of Texas. She is a
descendant of the Raguet and Simpson families, early settlers,
and through the Simpsons is remotely connected with President
Davis. Her father, Conde Raguet, was a Confederate soldier, and
chivalrous Maj. Henry Raguet, who fell “on the field of honor”
while leading his regiment, the 4th Texas Cavalry, in battle at
Glorietta, was her uncle.
|The monument is situated on the main
plaza of the town, and is an artistic memorial column. It was
designed and completed according to contract by Mr. Frank Teich,
of Llano, Tex., a subscriber to the VETERAN, at a cost of
$3,700. it is forty feet high, in1uding a statue of Carrara
marble of a private soldier eight feet high on picket duty. The
base is twelve feet square, in a circle thirty feet in diameter.
A granite curbing and an tron fence are surrounded by a circular
cement walk three feet wide.
|On the north side of the base is
carved: “Erected by Gonzales Chapter, No. 545, Daughters of the
Confederacy, June 3, 1909." Above this is the inscription: “Our
Confederate dead. 1861-1865” On the first section of the
pedestal is a laurel wreath, and above this on the next section
is a Confederate flag. On the south side of the monument is the
significant inscription: “Lest ‘We Forget.”
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