Gonzales County

Gonzales, Texas


June 3, 1909

NO. 156, U.C.V.), GONZALES, TEX.
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 monument.
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. V.
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 band.
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.”