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Paul Burrier


Paul is a fifth generation Texan, born in Fredericksburg, Texas.
    His Burrier ancestors came from the Germanic kingdom of Palatinate along the Rhine River.  They arrived in America in September 1739. 
He is a graduate of Leakey High School, Southwest Texas Junior College, Texas A & M University, and did his graduate work in political science at East Tennessee State University.
Paul was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry in 1964.  He spent over twenty-four years in Army Infantry, Special Operations and Civil Military Operations.  His military career included four combat tours and one with the Pakistani Army fighting an insurgency. His awards include the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and 26 other individual and unit awards.
Since his retirement, Paul has devoted much of his time researching and writing local Texas history.  His current projects are two manuscripts on the Texas Hill Country during the War Between The States, concentrating on “The Nueces Battle And Massacre” and “The Bushwhacker War”.
Paul is a born again Christian and a member of the Concan Baptist Mission.  He is married to his childhood sweetheart, the former Patricia Ann Nichols.


The accounts of the Nueces Battle and Massacre of August 1862, are the most incorrect, biased, scandalized, poorly researched of any event in Texas during The War Between The States and likely any of the entire American Civil War!   The story we read today, and accepted by most writers, historians, and so called ‘Texas-German academic’ experts could not have been woven together had they set down and dreamed up a false story.  About the only items these writers, historians, and University Professors have gotten right are: (1) a battle between Unionist and Confederate forces took place on August 10, 1862 on the West Prong of the Nueces River; (2) the Unionist, mostly German immigrants, and Confederates were led by Major Fritz Tegener and First Lieutenant Colin D. McRae; (3) Texas State Troops and Confederate soldiers executed the captured wounded.

The writers, historians, and university professors use four main sources to incorrectly tell how the ‘bad old Confederates’ just rode on the sleeping Unionists and massacred them.  According to these expects, the German immigrants were peaceful citizens [mostly farmers] who did not want to fight against the north and were their way to Mexico to escape the war.  The Unionists were travelling under a proclamation which gave them thirty days to leave Texas.   They organized a militia to protect them and their families from Indian attacks.   The Confederate force was a para-military group of vigilantes who rode about the Hill County killing anyone they believed to be a Unionist.  The Confederates were made up of bullies, outlaws, and cutthroats, some of whom had been let out jail to join these vigilantes.  They were led by a sadistic megalomaniac leader who was totally unfit for command: while an enlisted member of the U. S. Army he committed a grave crime.  He was court-martialed, found guilty, tied to a whipping post, whipped, and drummed out of the army in disgrace.   None of the sources used are primary sources.  The source documents used are: (1) a May 5, 1929 newspaper interview in the Dallas Morning News with one of last Unionist survivors; (2) a 1905 pamphlet by John W. Sansom, who was the Unionist guide; (3) an October 1924 account, which claimed to be an interview with another Unionist survivor; (4) an account by a R. H. Williams, who was a member of the Confederate force.

At first glance it appears the four sources are primary sources.  However, they are not; and at best, they can be described as good secondary documents.  The May 1929 and the October 1924 interviews at first appear to be Nueces survivors retelling their experiences.  However, when the interviews are looked at closer the reader comes to realize the persons conducting the interviews are adding items to the story neither of the survivors said.  Their accounts of the battle are very good and reliable accounts of which they took a part.  The person conducting the interviews questions are biased and wanting to add data to the survivors’ account.  Sansom’s 1905 Pamphlet is very good when he tells about events he personally took part in.  But, those items where someone else told him about are very incorrect.  For example, the only time the term ‘Union Loyal League’ is used is in Sansom’s account.  For the past one hundred twenty years that term has been used to describe the Unionist.  However, no Unionist’s account used that term.  The term they used was die Organizator, ‘the Organization’.  The R. H. Williams account is only reliable on the events he personally saw and took part in.  Even those are very questionable.  Williams numbers are totally incorrect.  The most glaring examples: he claims sixty Unionist were killed and another twenty were wounded.  The fact is only nineteen Unionist were killed and left on the battle site, and this includes the wounded.  The total Unionist force was about sixty-nine.  Williams claimed the Confederate captured two hundred horses.  If this were correct it would mean each Unionists had at least two horses.  Lieutenant McRae’s official report says they captured eighty-three horses.  Williams claims the Confederate had twenty killed and eight wounded.   The Confederate casualties were two men killed and nineteen wounded, of which four would die from wounds.  Williams goes into detail how one of his friends, Montaleon Woodward, was wounded and died at Fort Clark due to his wounds.  Woodward was not wounded.  He was killed on October 13, 1905 in Arizona.

Shortly after my military retirement I began researching the so-call Nueces Massacre, primality to learn how my family was involved in the events.  As a young man growing up in the Texas Hill Country I heard family stories about an ancestor who was the leader of the Germans killed on the Nueces River in 1862.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the accounts of the events just didn’t make sense.  I was completely surprised when, I concluded almost everything I read was just plain false and the correct story was a wonderfully one that had not been told.  The major fact I discovered was the Unionist organization, call the Union Loyal League, was a well-organized group committed to oppose the Texas and Confederate secessionist and was in fact an insurgency.  This insurgency was led by liberal intelligent idealist Freethinkers [one who does not believe in an organized church] and Forty-Eighters [who in Germany attempted to unite a ‘German’ state in 1848].  An insurgency, unlike other forms of conflict, has a political goal, not just a military solution.  An insurgency whose goal was much more than they just did not want to fight and were fleeing to kept from conscription.  It wanted to completely change the political and economic systems of the area in which they lived.  Its goal was the creation of a new state [a free non-slave state] in the area now known as the ‘Texas Hill Country’.  This new state, ‘Free State of West Texas’ would join the United Sates of American and would be one where they were the major political element and thus elected to the new state leadership positions.

Now before the reader thinks this is totally unrealistic stop and look at how West Virginia became a free [non-slave] state during the War Between The States.  Virginia seceded from the Union in May 1861.  On October 1861, thirty-nine counties in north and northwest Virginia approved the formation of a new state.  On June 20, 1863, West Virginia with now fifty counties, was admitted to the Union as the thirty-fifth state.  The only state to be form from a Confederate state.  In the Texas-U.S. annexation agreement Texas had a right be form into five separate states.

We also should look at the previous actions of the liberal intelligent idealist before the War.  In 1854, these individuals attempted to unite the various Texas-German communities into a political party and create a new state; Free State [non-slave] of West Texas.  One in which they would be the prominent political party.  

   After the War Between The States in January 1869, many of the same liberal intelligent idealist made an attempt to form a new state The State of West Texas.

I submitted several manuscripts to university and other presses with my findings.  The presses referred them to ‘German-Texas’ scholars.  No matter how many source documents I located and quoted the answers was always something on the line, they had never heard of such accounts and the presses refused to publish the manuscript.  I decided to publish the story myself.  Because almost all the sources I used had not been made public, not only was I going to tell the real Nueces Battle and Massacre story, I was going to also to provide the sources.  This task was well beyond a single manuscript. 

I decided to publish what I term ‘little books’ each dealing with new untold data.   Many of the source documents I located were in the German Language and had been written for only family or close communities.