Unsung Heroes: Gustav Hoffmann

Contrary to some common historians, many Germans did NOT side with the Union in Texas, during the War Between the States. Gustav Hoffmann is a perfect example of a respectable Nordic Confederate in Texas.

Hoffmann was originally from Prussia. He was an officer in the Prussian cavalry and a graduate from the University of Königsberg . He immigrated to Texas in the 1840’s and was one of the first settlers in New Braunfels, Texas (when Texas was an independent Republic). In Texas, he was a farmer and one of the founding members of the German Protestant Church (which still stands today as First Protestant Church). In 1847, he was elected New Braunfels first mayor.

When the war broke out, Hoffman organized the first company of soldiers from Comal County and joined Henry H. Silbey’s brigade in October 1861 as Company B, Seventh Regiment, Texas Cavalry. Edward Clark, the then Governor of Texas, heralded Hoffmann’s company for “their excellent discipline, ” as noted at that time in the local newspaper, the Herald Zietung (still in publication to this date) Hoffmann’s men saw battle in New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana (during the Yankees’ attempt to take Shreveport.)

After the war, Hoffmann moved back to New Braunfels. He went on to be elected as a representative to the 13th legislature in 1872. Later in life, he moved to San Antonio and died in 1889. Gustav Hoffmann was buried in Comal County.

Considering that April is Confederate History Month, I wanted to share another misunderstanding of our history in Dixie. It is commonly thought that the Germans, Poles and Czechs of Texas largely sided with Union. The German-Union sympathizers being hung in the Texas Hill Country casts a shadow over many Nordics that fought for the Confederacy. Colonel Hoffman is an example of honorable Germans that fought for the Confederacy and defended their new homeland.

Deo Vindice

-By Bedford Lee Dabney

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.