Like all Southern States, Texas is justly proud of the men from the Lone Star State who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending their homeland against the invading Federal armies during the War for Southern Independence.
The inscription on the Confederate Monument in front of the State Capitol reads:
FOR STATES RIGHTS
GUARANTEED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
THE PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH, ANIMATED BY THE SPIRIT OF 1776, TO PRESERVE THEIR RIGHTS, WITHDREW FROM THE FEDERAL COMPACT IN 1861. THE NORTH RESORTED TO COERCION.
THE SOUTH, AGAINST OVERWHELMING NUMBERS AND RESOURCES,
FOUGHT UNTIL EXHAUSTED.
DURING THE WAR THERE WERE TWENTY TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY SEVEN ENGAGEMENTS.
IN EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO OF THESE, AT LEAST ONE REGIMENT TOOK PART.
NUMBER OF MEN ENLISTED:
CONFEDERATE ARMIES 600,000; FEDERAL ARMIES 2,859,132
LOSSES FROM ALL CAUSES:
CONFEDERATE, 437,000; FEDERAL, 485,216
Seventeen monuments grace the 22 acres of the Texas State Capitol grounds. On these "General" pages I will highlight several of those monuments and a few other points of interest on and around the capitol. grounds.
The TERRY'S TEXAS RANGERS MONUMENT features a bronze statue, by Pompeo Coppini, portraying one of Terry's Texas Rangers astride a spirited horse. In 1861, during the War for Southern Independence, Texas Rangers were mustered at Houston after Benjamin Terry and Thomas Lubbock's call for volunteers. Ten companies of 100 men each were formally activated as the 8th Texas Cavalry. During the next four years they participated in many engagements defending the Confederate States from Northern aggression.
The monument was erected in 1907, by surviving comrades. A plaque on the side reads:
Headquarters Calvary Corps.
April 24, 1865
You have fought your fight. Your task is done. During four years of struggle for liberty you have exhibited courage, fortitude and devotion. You are the victors of more than 200 sternly contested fields. You have participated in more than 1000 conflicts of arms.
You are heroes, veterans, patriots. The bones of your comrades mark the battlefields of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. You have done all that human exertions could accomplish. In bidding you adieu I desire to tender my thanks for gallantry in battle. Your fortitude under suffering, and the devotion at all times to the holy cause you have done so much to maintain. I desire also to express my gratitude for your kind feeling you have seen fit to extend to myself and to invoke upon you the blessings of our Heavenly Father in the Cause of Freedom:
Comrades in Arms, I bid you farewell.
Leut - Gen. Commanding Calvary Corps.
Army of Tennessee
Terry's Texas Rangers Monuments.
This Statue of Liberty replica was erected in 1951 by the Boy Scouts of America. During the 1950's and 60's, the Boy Scouts worked hard to donate about 200 such replicas of Lady Liberty to cities and towns across America.
The bronze miniature Statue of Liberty, about eight feet high, is mounted on a native limestone base. It was presented to the State of Texas by the Boy Scouts as a "pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty." The statue was relocated from the south grounds of the State Capitol to a new pedestal on the north grounds in 1997. A time-capsule buried nearby is to be opened by Scout officials in 2076. I'd like to be around to see what the capsule contains.
The Statue of Liberty
The World War I Veterans Monument was erected 1961 by the membership of the Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars. The monument is constructed of Texas "Sunset Red" granite.
Instead of naming the Texans who fought in the conflict it lists the barracks and auxiliaries that participated in the monument's erection. Although the monument is dedicated to the memory of World War I veterans, it seems to me that the real honor is given to the organizations responsible for building the monument. That's just my personal observation.
Texans and the First World War
This imposing monument to Hood's Texas Brigade was erected 1910 by surviving comrades and friends.
On the gray granite shaft are hand-carved quotes Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, General Robert E. Lee, and others. The monument is topped by the bronze figure of a Confederate soldier, by sculptor Pompeo Coppini.
The monument stands as a memorial to the members of John B. Hood's Texas Brigade Army of Northern Virginia. Some 4,000 soldiers in the division died in defense of the South during the War Between the States. Names of the principle battles in which they were engaged are inscribed on the monument's base.
Hood's Texas Brigade
When I saw this monument to the Heroes of the Alamo on the Texas State Capitol grounds it reminded me of my home state of Tennessee. That's because 32 of the brave men who died at the Alamo - more than from any other state - were natives of Tennessee. The most famous of these was a former Tennessee Congressman, David Crockett.
Texans are justly proud of the 187 gallant men who lost their lives at the Alamo in one of the most heroic fights in history. Tennesseans should also be proud to know that without the efforts of the "Tennessee Volunteers" there might not be a Texas today. Appropriately, the first governor of the independent Republic of Texas was Sam Houston, a former governor of Tennessee.
This monument is a bronze statue of a Texan holding a muzzle-loader rifle, standing atop a Texas granite base. In 1836 the 187 defenders of the Alamo fort, under the command of William B. Travis, laid down their lives during a 13-day siege. They were sorely outnumbered by Mexican General Santa Anna's army of more than 5,000. Names of the Texans who died in the battle are inscribed upon the four granite supports of the monument.
To learn more of the Tennessee/Texas connection, click on the link below.
Tennesseans at the Alamo
Two Historic Fountains, made of elaborate cast iron, Offer refreshment to the passer-by near the mid point of the Great Walk. They were manufactured by J. W. Fiske of New York in 1904 and brought to the Texas Capitol where they were placed in oval pools.
The fountains were removed and the ovals converted into flower beds in the 1940s. However, in 1996 reproduction fountains were installed and the oval pools reconstructed according to the original plan.
In this picture I'm quenching my thirst at one of the fountains.
Favorite thing: Five Historic Cannons are displayed beside the Great Walk on the Texas State Capitol grounds. Two 24-pounder howitzer cannons were presented by Major General Thomas Jefferson Chambers to the Republic of Texas in 1836. Two 12-pounder light field guns, cast in bronze, were displayed on the south lawn in 1864, near the end of the War Between the States, and were acquired "to maintain order." The fifth cannon is of wrought iron and dates to 1865. All of the cannons are original except for their wooden casings, which have been replaced with more durable metal.
This ornate wrought iron fence on a stone base surrounds the Texas State Capitol Grounds . It was designed by William Munro Johnson, responsible for landscaping the capitol grounds, for both a decorative and a practical purpose. The fence encloses and defines the grounds in elegant fashion, and also originally served to keep wandering Livestock off Capitol Square.
The Texas State Capitol Fence originally incorporated eleven gates, six for carriages and five for pedesterians. The fence was completely reconditioned in 1996, at which time new pedesterian gates were added for ease of access. The original fence was painted black with decorative gold leaf. Now it is simply painted in metallic black and gold colors.
Texas Capitol Grounds
This monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin depicts six children on a school field trip to the Capitol. School children in more than 600 Texas schools raised the funds necessary to complete the statues. The life-sized bronze figures, installed at ground level, are the work of sculptor Lawrence Ludtke.
Tribute to Texas Children was dedicated in June 1998. It is said to be the only monument of it's type in the United States.
News of Texas School Children Monument
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