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Texas | Architecture | Monuments

Union Soldier Statue and Memorial

(Fairview Cemetery)
Denison, Texas

Or What’s a soldier like you doing in a state like this?

Photos courtesy Mike Price
In 1906 when thousands of aging Confederate Veterans across the South were raising money to erect statues of themselves as young troops, the same thought occurred to Union Veterans who had formed a chapter of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) in Denison (North Texas).
"Grand Army of the Republic" Inscription
Photo Courtesy Mike Price, September 2007
According to the statue’s entry in A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas by Carol Morris Little (UT Press, 1996), the statue is thought to have been ordered from a catalog, while the base was provided by the owner of Denison Marble Works, one A. P. Chamberlain.

The 1861 Grayson County’s vote on succession was nearly 2-1 in favor of keeping Texas in the Union. In 1884 forty Union veterans formed the Nathaniel Lyon Post 5 Chapter of the GAR and it was this group (aided by Chapter 2 of the Women’s Relief Corps) who paid for the statue.
The statue is also a memorial for six former Union troops who are interred here. The memorial is in the Fairview Cemetery, Just N of Denison and Highway 75-A.
Nathaniel Lyon, whom the GAR post was named after, was a Union General
Photo Courtesy Mike Price, September 2007
Tombstone of one one of the six Union troops interred in the Cemetery
Photo Courtesy Mike Price, September 2007
While this is the only true monument to Union troops (plural) in Texas, there is also the smashed torso of a Union officer in Bushdale Cemetery (Milam County), the “Treue Der Union” obelisk in Comfort, Texas which marks the remains of newly-arrived German Immigrants who refused to join the Confederacy and remained “True to the Union.”

The men were killed at the Battle of Nueces and interred in the small park just a block north of downtown Comfort. The Treue Der Union monument is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are, of course, many individual graves of Union soldiers scattered among rural and city cemeteries across Texas.
Broken Union officer statue in Bushdale Cemetery, Texas
The vandalized Union officer statue in the Bushdale Cemetery
TE photo, 2001
© John Troesser

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