I vaguely remember a while ago (almost 22 yrs!) hearing about the Bandera Tragedy Tree.
A quick version of the story goes like this:
8 men and a teenager pooled their money to go down to Mexico from the Hill Country in Texas. They had around $1000…and in 1863, $1000 was a lot!!
It is debatable on whether the guys were actually going down to buy cows while on furlough or to actually run away from their duty as Confederate soldiers.
There was a Confederate camp near by where the men were camping. A group of soldiers captured these 9 men and told them, no – promised them, a fair court marshalling trial (or however you say that!). The guys actually gave up their guns and horses believing themselves to be innocent.
The Confederate soldiers didn't really want to wait to get back to camp to serve justice (or they wanted the $1000 for themselves…another debatable fact!!). So they hung 7 of the men one at a time on a tree on a ranch just 2 miles south of Bandera, TX. The 8th man, William Martin Sawyer, who just happens to be my husband's great great great grandfather, told the soldiers he did not want to be hung as a horse thief or a deserter or whatever he told them…so they shot him!!
The next morning folks from Bandera found the men (but not the teenager…) dead and buried them right there just outside of Bandera. The ranch is now known as the Bandera Hanging Tree Ranch!!
This year, the current owner of the ranch invited all of the relatives of these 8 men to come to commemorate the 150th anniversary of this tragedy. He also invited historical societies and historians and anyone else interested in the history of this story.
(click on this pic…it's a big panoramic pic taken by mr gorgeous on his new iPhone 5!!!)
There were around 200 people there to hear stories and evidence and the history.
Amazing, just amazing!!!
Here's what I learned:
I need to scrapbook more!!
So that all of my descendents know who is who and who did what and why they did it!!!
Here's a pic (below) of mr gorgeous's grandfather (the great grandson of William M. Sawyer), Tom Sawyer:
Lots of familial history! And that's just my husband's mother's father's side of the family!!!
Here's another thing I learned this weekend:
I married into such a wonderful family!!
I have a bunch more pics from our mini vacation into the Texas Hill Country! We are grabbing little moments here and there to enjoy life…especially after delving into this story!!
I'm praying blessings and blessings in your lives today!! And I'm thankful for you, too!!