Trials leading to Great Hanging at Gainesville begin
On this day in 1862, a vigilante court opened proceedings in the incident that came to be known as the Great Hanging at Gainesville. Forty suspected Unionists were hanged that month, and two others were shot as they tried to escape. Although the affair reached its climax in Cooke County, men were killed in neighboring Grayson, Wise, and Denton counties. Most were accused of treason or insurrection, but evidently few had actually conspired against the Confederacy. Many were even innocent of the abolitionist sentiments for which they were tried.