Forty suspected Unionists in Confederate Texas were hanged at Gainesville in October 1862. Two others were shot as they tried to escape. Although the affair reached its climax in Cooke County, men were killed in neighboring Grayson, Wise, and Denton counties. Most were accused of treason or insurrection, but evidently few had actually conspired against the Confederacy, and many were innocent of the abolitionist sentiments for which they were tried.
After the men were hanged, their bodies were thrown into an empty warehouse building on the west side of the town square. A few (as little as five)of the families claimed the body of their loved one, but most were left for the court officials to bury. The widows found that no man would help them claim the bodies for fear of being linked to their "cause". Some of the executed men were buried in hurriedly made coffins, but when the scrap lumber from the torn-down house was used up, the rest of the men were wrapped in old blankets and buried in shallow graves along the banks of Pecan Creek. It has been said that rains washed away the dirt covering some of the graves and that wild pigs dug up some graves.
GPS Coordinates: 33.62382, -97.13832
- Added: 16 Aug 2010
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2366233
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