I’ve got an interest in South Texas history immediately following the Civil War, when lawless chaos reigned. In San Antonio, German residents began to return to the city.
At the onset of the Civil War, German citizens in Texas found themselves pressured to support the Confederacy. Many had immigrated to Texas because of political upheavals in Germany. Some supported the Confederacy, others the Union, and some didn’t seem to care.
In San Antonio, many German settlers packed up and left for Mexico rather than support the Confederacy. Not all. Among others, my German ancestor manufactured mercury-fulminate caps for Confederate munitions (William DeRyee, right). Among those who left San Antonio was Anton Wulff, who had drygoods stores in Fredericksburg and elsewhere. Perhaps because of his anti-secession views, Wulff opened stores near the Mexican border, in Laredo and Presidio del Norte. He soon moved his family to Presidio and opened a mercantile business. He supplied Union and Confederate garrisons with hay and corn.
Texas declared him a traitor and tried unsuccessfully to arrest him. Wulff moved his family to Monterrey and then to Hamburg.
After the Civil War, Wulff returned to San Antonio. He built a large home on King William Street, now a showplace. Wulff became a civic leader in the city.
The fate of my ancestor’s munitions plant is unknown.
October 18, 2016
“If God wanted us to vote, He would have given us candidates.” – Jay Leno.