Details for The Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862 (Atlas Number 5097005347)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5097005347


Marker Number 5347
Atlas Number 5097005347
Marker Title The Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862
Index Entry Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862
Address 734 E. California St.
City Gainesville
County Cooke
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 672675
UTM Northing 3722006
Subject Codes Civil War; military topics
Marker Year 1964
Marker Location George Davis Bass Park (bounded by E. California, E. Main, and S. Schopmeyer streets and Pecan Creek
Marker Size Civil War Centennial marker (pink granite)
Marker Text Facing the threat of invasion from the north and fearing a Unionist uprising in their midst, the people of North Texas lived in constant dread during the Civil War. Word of a "Peace Party" of Union sympathizers, sworn to destroy their government, kill their leaders, and bring in Federal troops caused great alarm in Cooke and neighboring counties. Spies joined the "Peace Party" discovered its members and details of their plans. Under the leadership of Colonels James Bourland, Daniel Montague and others, citizens loyal to the Confederacy determined to destroy the order; and on the morning of October 1, 1862, there were widespread arrests "by authority of the people of Cooke County." Fear of rescue by "Peace Party" members brought troops and militia to Gainesville, where the prisoners were assembled, and hastened action by the citizens committee. At a meeting of Cooke County citizens, with Colonel W. C. Young presiding, it was unanimously resolved to establish a Citizens Court and to have the Chairman choose a committee to select a jury. 68 men were brought speedily before the court. 39 of them were found guilty of conspiracy and insurrection, sentenced and immediately hanged. Three other prisoners who were members of military units were allowed trial by Court Martial at their request and were subsequently hanged by its order. Two others broke from their guard and were shot and killed. The Texas Legislature appropriated $4,500 for rations, forage used by State troops here during the unrest. (1964)