EBERLING, WILLIAM MARTIN DAVID (1831~1911) William Martin David Eberling, Confederate veteran, was born Wilhelm Martin David Eberling on April 24, 1831, in Dillenburg, which was a part of the Duchy of Nassau, to Carl Conrad and Katherine Sophie Elizabeth (Augier) Eberling. Nassau, at the time of William's birth, was a territory under the control of a duke or duchess and was a small German state east of the Rhine River along the Southwestern border of present day Germany.
As a part of the Adelsverein Society, which was organized in Germany on April 20, 1842, to establish a "new Germany" in the Republic of Texas, the Eberlings set sail for their new home aboard the "Johann Dethardt." Leaving from Bremen on September 15, 1845, they arrived in Galveston two months later on December 21.
Heading west, the Eberlings first arrived in the "German" community of New Braunfels and eventually set up their residence in nearby Cibolo, which later became the Santa Clara Settlement. Carl and Katherine, William's parents, died in the summer of 1846, and left their three sons to fend for themselves.
According to family oral histories, William, after his parents' deaths, worked as a farmhand in Cibolo for a while and then received, in 1855, 320 acres of land from an Adelsverein grant. The land was in Llano County and, because of its remote location, William sold it to a M. A. Dooley on June 28, 1855.
Apparently, with money in hand from his land sale, William moved to Matamoras, Mexico, where he worked as a butcher. This information has not been verified, but is believed to be accurate, as William does not appear in the 1850 or 1860 Census. However, he does appear in the 1870 Census as living in Laredo and as working as a butcher. Sometime, between the sale of his land in Llano County and working in Laredo, William returned to Comal County, where he answered Peter C. Woods' call for soldiers to fight for the Confederacy.
At 31 years old, William traveled to San Antonio and on May 8, 1862, was mustered into Company F of the 36th Texas Cavalry, which was also known as Woods' Regiment and the 32nd Texas Cavalry. His company, F, was made up of men predominantly from Comal County.
After filling out the ranks and completing their training, the men of the 36th Cavalry patrolled the area around Fredericksburg, which was quite volatile due to the large number of Union sympathizers. In June, 1863, the 36th Cavalry was moved to Beaumont to protect Texas from the encroachment of Union General Nathaniel Banks.
On February 28, 1864, the 36th Cavalry was ordered to Louisiana to take part in the Red River Campaign. Assigned to General Richard Taylor's army, the 36th, which had arrived too late to take part in the Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, were reassigned to General Thomas Green's cavalry division to pursue General Bank's army.
On April 12, the men participated in their first battle at Blair's Landing. Though handedly defeated, the 36th Cavalry and the other participating regiments continued fighting, almost daily, until General Banks' army defeated the Confederates for the last time at Yellow Bayou, thus ending the Red River Campaign.
After the close of the Campaign, the 36th Cavalry returned to Texas and was assigned to provost duty for the City of Galveston. While there, the regiment was surrendered in June, 1865. The troops were held as prisoners of war and were finally paroled in September. William, according to his parole form, was released in San Antonio on September 11, 1865. Other than the above information, very little is known about William's experiences during the War.
After his release, William returned to Laredo, where he met Petra Garcia, the daughter of Benito and Evarista (Guerra) Garcia. They were married on April 20, 1868, at San Augustin Parish Church in Laredo. The 1870 Census shows William, 39, and, once again, working as a butcher, was living with Petra, age 28, and that they had a son, Charles, who was a year old.
From Laredo, William and Petra moved to Carrizo Springs, about 60 miles northwest of Laredo, where they stayed until 1877, when they moved to Seguin. During this time, William and Petra had four more children, Eva, Joseph William, Lucy, and Helen. After arriving in Seguin, they hand another five children, Mary, Nellie, Francisca, and John Francis.
Sometime in 1898, William and Petra appear to have separated. There are no legal documents showing that they legally divorced. In the 1900 Census, Petra, who is still using the Eberling last name, was found living in Alpine, Texas with four of her daughters, Eva, Nellie, Maggie, and Francisca.
William continued to live in Seguin, where he worked as a farmer until he was no longer physically able. To supplement his income, he successfully obtained a pension from the State of Texas on September 28, 1899. After his medical conditions worsened, he moved to Austin on August 1, 1900, to live in the Confederate Men's Home.
William remained in the Home for the next ten years, until his death on February 14, 1911. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery the next day.
Information taken from: Confederate Home Roster; Compiled Military Service Record; Civil War Soldier and Sailors System website at http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss; 36th Texas Cavalry website at http://www.angelfire.com/tx3/RandysTexas/36thcav.html; "WOODS, PETER CAVANAUGH." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Tue Jun 24 11:21:15 US/Central 2003]; Confederate Pension Application # 01727; "ADELSVEREIN." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Wed Jun 25 9:30:46 US/Central 2003]; Death Certificate # 4599, and information provided by Eberling descendant, Brian Z. Eberling.