Sunday, October 19, 2014

Town to mark 1862 hangings.

Seems like civil war posts get the most responses.  Here's another.  This one  about the 1862 "Great Hangings."  Here's how it started:

In 1861, Cooke County was one of 18 Texas counties to vote against secession. Fewer than 10 percent of area residents owned slaves. So the presence of Northern sympathizers in the area was no surprise.
When the Confederacy started a military draft a year later, 30 local men protested the exemption clause for large slaveholders — fanning fears among Confederates about rising resistance.
The formation of a “Peace Party” and rumors of plans to assault militia armories prompted the local provost marshal to order the arrest of all able-bodied men who did not report for duty.
On Oct. 1, more than 150 men were rounded up and a “citizens’ court” was convened to hear their cases. More than half the 12 jurors were slaveholders. Verdicts required a simple majority vote."

Defendants who were later acquitted were  lynched. That was not the end of it.

A disturbingly similar situation involving even less pretense of legality was the Nueces Massacre of  1862    .

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