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The Great Hanging Memorial

729 East Main Street, Gainesville, TX 76240, USA

Cooke County, having relatively few slaveholders and slaves, was one of eight counties in North Texas where a majority of voters opposed secession. In a dramatic exhibition of vigilante action during the Civil War, authorities in Cooke County in October 1862 arrested about 150 men who allegedly belonged to a “Peace Party” thought to be conspiring to reestablish Union control in Texas. 40 of those arrested lost their lives by mass hanging, and at least two more were shot and killed attempting to escape. The two monuments at this site serve to remind us of the tragedy of war and violence, and memorialize those who died here.


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