Gainesville Daily Register
A locally produced documentary about 1862’s “Great Hanging” of Gainesville premieres Saturday, with three screenings available.
“Black October 1862” will screen at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m at Masonic Temple, 207 W. Elm St. in Gainesville. Admission is free but copies of the film will be available on DVD to purchase by donation.
The film is a production of independent company Southern Legacy Films — and was directed by David Moore and produced by Gary Bray, both members of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans organization.
“One hundred and fifty years ago at dawn on a rainy October morning, Confederate militia units under orders of Provost Commander Col. James Bourland arrested around 150 men from all over Cooke County, Texas,” the film’s promotional material reads. “These men were to be questioned and possibly held for trial in a Union conspiracy to take up arms against the Confederate government and seize the arsenals at Gainesville and Sherman, Texas. This action would result in the formation of a court and trials that hurled 42 men into Texas history in a event known as The Great Gainesville Hanging.”
The material added that Bray and Moore began the film project during the past year. Shooting commenced in fall and winter 2011, and additional filming occurred during the recent spring and summer. All actors were volunteers from the north Texas area.
“Black October 1862” is reportedly intended as a corrective to what its makers claim is a misconception among local historians who have said the Great Hanging is shrouded in mystery, since 1862 court transcripts have been unavailable.
“This statement is totally untrue,” the promotional material reads. “There were transcripts and writings during and about the Great Gainesville Hanging. The film uses writings by Rev. Thomas Barrett and court records recorded by George Washington Diamond. Both Barrett and Diamond had a unique opportunity in that they were there at the trials. Rev. Barrett was on the jury.”
On the same day
Another Great Hanging-centered event is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at Gainesville Civic Center. Organized by descendants of the hanged Nathaniel Clark, the event is called “Remembering Our Past, Embracing Our Future” and will feature speakers, a catered luncheon and a Color Guard ceremony. The event, which also serves as a family reunion for the Clarks, is a substitute for a more elaborate two-day schedule that was canceled.
For more information about the Clark ceremony, e-mail NathanielClarkfamilyreunion@gmail.com or call (817) 999-9551. Registration for participants in this event will be open through Friday