Fort Waul
Gonzales, Texas

Photos/text courtesy of William Bozic, Houston, TX
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Fort Waul Page1     Page2

1. Fort Waul, Texas
2. The exploits of Waul's Texas Legion
3. Handbook of Texas Online:

Fort Waul, located on Waldrip Hill, a high, wide hill on the northern edge of Gonzales in Gonzales County, is one of the few remaining Confederate earthwork fortifications in Texas. The fort was intended to be a supply depot for the Confederate Army in the Western Subdistrict of Texas, as well as a defensive post on the Guadalupe River. This site was chosen because of its central location between Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Victoria. In addition, it is at the confluence of the Guadalupe and San Marcos rivers, both of which could be used to transport goods and supplies. Col. Albert Miller Lea,qv chief engineer for the Confederate Army, and Capt. H. Wickeland, topographical engineer, were responsible for the construction of the fort, which was designed to have outside walls eight feet high, four to six feet thick at the top, and twelve feet thick at the bottom. The entire compound was to have a defensive entrenchment, eight feet wide by four feet deep, surrounding it. A large, square bastion for cannons was to be situated on each of the four corners, with a redan in the middle of the western wall. The blockhouse was designed to be underground in the center of the fort. In December of 1863 Colonel Lea was instructed to use slave labor from the surrounding counties to aid in the construction, which continued throughout 1864. But as the threat of a Union invasion of Texas declined, so did the defensive need of the Gonzales post and its importance as a central supply depot. Construction had ceased by November of 1864, and the fort was soon abandoned. It had never been completed or officially named.

The unfinished fort fell into decay, and the stones from the blockhouse were used to rebuild the Gonzales College dormitory. Not until the late 1870s was the site named Fort Waul, in honor of Confederate general Thomas N. Waul, who had lived in the area. The city of Gonzales currently owns the site but has made no use of it. Most of the land has been put under the protection of the Gonzales County Historical Committee. The outer walls of the original fort and a portion of the defensive ditch along the western wall are still plainly visible. In 1991 an unofficial attempt was made to rebuild the northern portion of the fort.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Record Service, Washington. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
Courtesy of The Handbook of Texas Online


(August 2007) Enlarge Fort Waul is located on St. Joseph Street in the City of Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas. The remains of the earthen fort are in a "U" shape


(August 2007) Enlarge The ridge is a wall of Fort Waul. The sign in the background is for the pioneer village in the City of Gonzales, Texas which is nearby. The pioneer village is a popular living history area next to the remains of Fort Waul (Pronounced like the word "Wall"). Confederate General Thomas N. Waul raised a mostly German unit of Cavalry, Infantry, and Artillery known as Waul's Legion

(June 2009) Enlarge Entrance  

(June 2009) Enlarge Interior/Parade Ground of Fort Waul freshly mowed


(June 2009) Enlarge This Water tower can be seen from a great distance and is a good way to determine proximity to Fort Waul. The "Come and Take IT" with Cannon refers to the Texas War for Independence from Mexico


(June 2009) Enlarge Walkway and ditch around Fort Waul

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