Confederates Buried at Cedarvale Cemetery

Confederate Veterans Buried at Cedarvale Cemetery
Bay City, Texas

S. H. Anderson

Mr. S. H. Anderson, aged 87 years, 9 months and 19 days, an ex-Confederate soldier, died at the home of his son-in-law, Mayor John Sutherland last night at 8 o'clock, and was buried this afternoon in Cedarvale cemetery.


Decedent leaves three daughters, Mrs. John Sutherland of this city, Mrs. John G. Towns of Luling and Mrs. J. M. Hennigan of Uvalde.


Mr. Anderson was born in Amitte County, Mississippi, on February 13, 1827, served as first sergeant in a Mississippi company during the Civil War and came to Texas soon after the war. For the past several years he has been living with his son-in-law and daughter, Mayor and Mrs. John Sutherland in this city.


He belonged to the Baptist Church and lived a life of a consistent Christian gentleman.


The funeral ceremony was held at the residence today at 2 p.m. conducted by Rev. O. B. Falls of the First Baptist Church, after which the funeral took place at Cedarvale Cemetery in the presence of an unusually large concourse of friends of the family.

The Tribune joins the many friends of Mayor and Mrs. Sutherland in sympathy in their bereavement.


The Tribune, December 4, 1914

Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham

James A. Barnett & Vina E. Barnett
Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Capt J. A. Barnett

Captain J. A. Barnett of Markham, Texas, 75 years old, a Confederate veteran and for many years a resident of Bryan, Texas, died last night at 11 o’clock at the home of his daughter, Mrs. A. Gargano, 1605 Franklin Street. The body will be sent Sunday morning at 8 o’clock by Westheimer to Bay City for burial.

Captain Barnett is survived by his wife, and one son, Bennie Barnett of Markham; five daughters, Misses Vina Lee, Jewel, and Jimmie Barnett of Markham, Mrs. J. R. Gibson of Uvalde, and Mrs. Gargano; five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Captain Barnett was also a prominent Mason.—Chronicle

Matagorda County Tribune, November 28, 1919

Capt. J. A. Barnett

From Monday’s Daily.

The remains of Capt. J. A. Barnett, a former citizen of Markham, who died at the home of his daughter in Houston, arrived in Bay City yesterday and buried in Cedarvale Cemetery. A brief account of the death, which was published in yesterday’s Chronicle appears elsewhere in today’s Tribune.

Daily Tribune, November 28, 1919

Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Jesse P. Chastun & Mary Jane Chastun




Mr. J. H. Cobb, 97 years, 3 months and 14 days, died this morning at 7:25 at his home.


Mr. Cobb was the last confederate veteran in a five county area.


He was a member of the Terry Texas Rangers.


He is survived by his wife, three sons, Harper, Heywood, and Walton and two daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Meredith and Mrs. Cayloma Roberts.


Funeral arrangements will be held from the Walker-Matchett Funeral Home, Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.  Burial will be in Cedarvale Cemetery.  May 15, 1939


Photos courtesy of Faye Cunningham


Doyle O’Hanlon Coston, Sr.

Doyle O’Hanlon Coston, Sr. was born on June 4, 1843, in New Hanover, North Carolina. In 1861, at the age of 18, he joined the Confederate Army and marched off with the first company from Leon County, the “Leon Hunters.” During the four years of the War Between the States, Doyle was captured by the Northern army. He was held prisoner for two years, condemned as a spy, and waited to be shot. He foiled his captors and escaped his execution by swimming the Delaware Bay.

Doyle Coston married Hannah Angeline Wyatt of Commerce, Texas, on April 6, 1875, and in the latter part of the 1800s they moved to Matagorda, Texas, and then to Bay City, Texas, where they established their home. After the death of the Costons, their property was sold. In the process of tearing down the house and taking off the outside siding, it was discovered that the house was a log cabin and one of the first homes to be built in Bay City.

Doyle and Hannah were the parents of five children: Pearl, Lee, Paul, Grover, and Doyle O’Hanlon, Jr.

Doyle O’Hanlon Coston, Sr., along with his children, Doyle, Jr., Grover, and Pearl made an important contribution in the field of entertainment in the early days of Bay City. Doyle, Sr., played the violin while Pearl played at the harp. Grover was a member of one of the musical bands and toured overseas with the band as a clarinet player. Old timers of Bay City remembered the barn dances and entertainment by Doyle, Jr., and his son. Doyle, Sr., handmade all of his musical instruments including the harp. The harp was later owned by one of his granddaughters and remained in excellent condition. The Coston group performed at the Opera House and numerous other places in Matagorda County. Between 1880 and the 1930s they provided much needed entertainment for the residents of the area, and contributed much to the rich cultural heritage of Bay City.

Doyle O’Hanlon Coston, Sr. died December 9, 1922 and was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City.

Oralee Coston Sewell, Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp 108-109





Another old soldier, who tramped the bloody battlefields in defense of the “Lost Cause” for four long weary and dreary years, on yesterday afternoon, at 2:40 o’clock, obeyed the summon of the Great Commander, stacked his arms on earth and answered to the eternal roll call with former comrades in the greatest of all muster rolls, and was bivouaced with the departed spirits of the illustrious sons of the South in the eternal presence of the Immaculate God before whom all must eventually appear. He entered these, his last ranks, peacefully and with the same faith and heroism with which he answered the call to arms in ’61.

Doyle O’Hanlon Coston was born at Wilmington, N.C., on June 4, 1843, the son of H. T. and Tabitha K. Coston, and moved to Texas in 1856.

When the call to arms was sounded throughout the Southland, he volunteered for service at Centreville, Leon County, Texas, in July 1861, as a private in company “C,” Fifth Texas Regiment, Hoods famous brigade. This was the first company of soldiers mustered into service for the Confederacy from Texas.

Students of the history of the Civil War are familiar with the part Hood’s Brigade played in the progress of the war. It was first in battle, the first called into pitched battles and hard places and was relied upon for good service in trying campaigns. General Jackson at the Second Battle of Manassas cried out: “Give me an army of soldiers like General Hood has and I will have Washington and the war won before a week has passed. All through their lives Confederate veterans who belonged to Hood’s Brigade have been especially honored for the part they played, their bravery, and heroism, as they fought in front line trenches from the First Battle of the Manassas to the surrender at Appomattox.

In Mr. Coston’s company when the final surrender took place at Appomattox, April 9, 1865, there were left only eight men. Mr. Coston and a brother, James T. Coston were out foraging on the command of their captain and never surrendered.

On April 6, 1875, decedent was united in marriage to Miss Hannah A. Wyatt, at Sipe Springs, Comanche County. To this union were born eight children, three of whom survive. These are Mrs. W. B. Barbour, Grover C. and Doyle O. Jr. of Yoakum.


In 1891 Mr. Coston and family moved to this county settling at Matagorda and in the early days of Bay City moved here where their home has been since.


There was never a better man than Doyle O’Hanlon Coston and he numbered his friends by legions. Quiet, in nature, unassuming and modest in deportment, kind-hearted and considerate in his daily walk in life, a devoted husband, an indulgent father and a neighbor who doted on and loved his neighbors even better than he loved himself, he gathered about him the esteem and confidence of everyone. He sought no earthly honors, except an honorable life, no ostentation and lived as he believed, in simplicity and submissiveness to the Great Master.


The funeral took place this afternoon at 3 o’clock from the Episcopal Church, the Rev. J. Mervin Pettit officiating.


The Tribune extends to the bereft widow and children its sincerest sympathy in this, their greatest trial.


Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames

Mrs. Hannah Angelina Coston Passes Away This Morning After Long Illness
Resident of County Since 1891 Dies At Age of 81


Mrs. Hannah Angeline Coston, 81 years, one month and 24 days, died at her home this morning at 8 o'clock, following an illness of several years.

Mrs. Coston, a resident of the county since 1891, was the relict of D. A. Coston, a Confederate veteran. For many years an invalid, Mrs. Coston kept in touch with church activities and community affairs as well as those more fortunate in health. She was active in the Episcopal Church for many years. Coming to the county here in 1891 Mr. and Mrs. Coston reared a family in Bay City. Preceded in death by many years by her husband, Mrs. Coston continued to make her home at the "Coston Place" until her death this morning.

She is survived by two sons, Grover and Doyle of this city; two sisters, Mrs. Mattie Jacobs of Rising Star, and Mrs. Mollie Stoyner of Bellwood, North Carolina, one brother, Mr. I. G. Wyatt of Comanche County, Texas.

Funeral services, under the direction of Taylor Bros., will be held from the Episcopal Church, Tuesday, 10 a. m. Reverend Paul Engle will officiate. Burial will be in Cedarvale Cemetery.


Daily Tribune, March 25, 1940

Confederate Group Marker

These veterans are buried
in Cedarvale Cemetery
in unknown locations.

A. C. Craft
Evander Hubbard
George W. Lewis
William R. Lewis
F. S. Presley
John W. Roach
H. L. Wilson
Fountain Winston
W. O. Woffard

William S. Craft

From Tuesday’s Daily

Mr. W. S. Craft, for many years a citizen of Bay City, died suddenly this morning at four o’clock at his home in this city, at the age of 73 years, 1 month and 5 days. He was born in Alabama on May 31, 1847, and has been a citizen of Texas for many years, a number of which he has spent in Bay City.

Decedent leaves a family of six children, four boys and two girls.

The funeral will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon in Cedarvale Cemetery, after religious services at the home.

Matagorda County Tribune, July 9, 1920


T. C. Dodd

Anna Thompson Dodd

1841 - 1933

Photos courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Grandpa Dodd

Grandpa Dodd, for many years a resident of Bay City and a familiar figure amongst the older men of the town, as well as a boon companion upon occasion for the younger generations, especially the children, died at his home in this city Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock, at the age of 94 years.

The funeral took place this afternoon at 4 o’clock in Cedarvale cemetery.

“Grandpa,” as he was familiarly known, was one of the very few remaining frontiersmen. Trained in the school of hard experience, he grew into rugged young manhood and followed a life which put health, vigor and stamina into a system that seasoned well for a long life, for “Grandpa” was energetic and active up until a few years ago.

Most of his life had been spent on the ranch or farm and in those years of toil and simplicity were devoted to the building of character and a devotion to duty. That he performed nobly is attested to by the scores of friends he left to sorrow over the severance of ties of affectionate associations.

This grand old man is survived by his widow and several children.

Matagorda County Tribune, October 5, 1928

Joshua Fisher

Oscar Winfield Ford

O. W. Ford

Died---At his home in Van Vleck, Wednesday morning, Mr. O. W. Ford. Deceased was found dead in his bed. Mr. Ford was a Confederate veteran and an old merchant along Caney in years agone. He was 72 years of age and leaves no relatives here. The remains were interred in Cedarvale Cemetery by the Rugeley Chapter.

Matagorda County News
& Midcoast Farmer, Friday, November 17, 1916

[died 10 November 1916; birthdate unknown; age approximately 70 years]


Compiled by Kenneth L. Thames

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way. 

Charles Dickens,  A Tale of Two Cities, 1859

Following the War Between the States, indigent Confederate veterans were given pensions for their service by the states in which they lived.  Later, as the number of veterans declined, all Confederate veterans, and their widows, were able to receive a pension.  Some of those veterans died without family and due to their financial situations, many were buried in graves that were never marked with a tombstone.  Such is the case of one Matagorda County veteran who has been lying in Cedarvale Cemetery since 1916, unmarked and forgotten.

Oscar Winfield Ford was born near Midway, Barbour County, AL in 1846.  His parents were William G. And Mary Steed Ford; he was the fourth of five children. His father was a wealthy farmer who lost everything during the Civil War.

This is the story of Oscar’s involvement in that war, while he was a member of Company C, Corps of Cadets, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, as taken from an Alabama Historical Association historical marker located in Tuscaloosa:

“Early on the morning of 4 April 1865, Union General John T. Croxton’s Calvary Brigade of 1500 veteran troopers entered the town after fighting the home guard and capturing the covered bridge connecting Northport and Tuscaloosa across the Warrior River.  While a detachment of Federals proceeded to capture two pieces of artillery stored at the Broad Street livery stable, Pat Kehoe of the Alabama Insane Hospital hurried to the University of Alabama to warn of the soldier’s approach. University president Landon C. Garland ordered the guardhouse drummers to “beat the long  roll” to awaken the 300 sleeping cadets.  Quickly forming into ranks, the three companies began their march from campus into town. A platoon from Company C, under Captain John H. Murfee, formed as skirmishers and forged ahead to the corner of Greensboro Ave. and Broad Street (University Blvd.) where they encountered the enemy from the 6th Kentucky Cavalry Regiment.  In the ensuing firefight, Captain Murfee was wounded along with three cadets, W.R. May, Aron T. Kendrick and William M. King.  The Union pickets then retreated down the hill back toward the bridge.


The bloodied cadet platoon rejoined the main body of the Corps which had advanced at the sound of fighting.  Together they proceeded one block north to the brow of River Hill and took up positions, firing several volleys down on the Union enemy by the river.  Learning from a Confederate officer who had been captured and temporarily released by Croxton that the Yankee force included 1500 arms and the two captured cannons, President Garland and Commandant of Cadets Colonel James T. Murfee decided that an attack with teen-aged boys would be a useless sacrifice.  The Corps marched the 1 ½ miles back to the campus, fortified themselves with what provisions were available, and continued east on Huntsville Road.  Crossing Hurricane Creek some eight miles from town, they unplanked the bridge and entrenched themselves on the east bank.  Croxton did not pursue, instead exploding the university’s ammunition supplies and setting the campus  ablaze.  After witnessing the destruction from afar, the cadets marched east, then south to Marion. There, the Corps disbanded with orders to re-form in one month’s time; the war ended in the interval.”

One of the rare items that exists today that was allowed to be removed from the library by the university’s librarian, Mr. Andre Deloffre, before the library was burned, was a priceless original copy of the Koran entitled “The Koran: Commonly  Called the Alcoran of Mohammed” printed in 1853, which now resides in the university’s William S. Hoole Special Collections Library.

During the Civil War only two schools were involved in combat with a student body, the University of Alabama’s  300 Corps of Cadets, who were between 15 and 20 years of age, and the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Corps of Cadets, consisting of 257 students,  who fought at the Battle of New Market, Virginia on May 15, 1864.  Ten VMI cadets were killed or died later from their wounds; 45 were wounded.  This was one instance out of fifteen where the VMI cadets were called to the battlefield; the cadets  ranged in age from 14 to 22.  Both schools provided many outstanding officers to serve the Confederate  cause  throughout the war; both could be considered the West Point of the Confederacy. The University of Alabama Corps of Cadets supplied the Confederate armies with 7 generals, 25 colonels, 14 lieutenant colonels, 21 majors, 125 captains, 273 staff and other commissioned officers and 294 private soldiers.

After the war, Oscar returned home to live with his parents and they moved to Bughall, Bullock County, Alabama.  His father, now in his 60s, became a wheelwright and young Oscar became a dry goods merchant, a profession he would maintain throughout the remainder of his life.

Sometime shortly after 1870 he  moved to Matagorda County and continued working in the dry goods business on Caney Creek near Hardeman’s Post Office, which according to an article in the September 13, 1894 Bay City Breeze under the title “Hardeman Hummings we find: Hardeman is the business center....Caney Creek. We have two first class stores, two gin houses, two blacksmith shops, one saw mill and a large....suspension bridge of beautiful architecture, that adds much to the  appearance of the place.  Also, two resident physicians, three carpenters and one machinist.  In 1900 Hardeman was renamed Van Vleck; he never married.  An interesting little tidbit from the Matagorda County Tribune dated March 25, 1899 reads: Hardeman Happenings, by Clod Hopper Col O.W. Ford, who is an old land mark on Caney, is now clerking for Wadsworth & Berkley.  The title of Colonel was used as a term of respect for the former Confederate soldiers, and did not necessarily reflect their actual rank.  In June 1908 he purchased property in Van Vleck and built his home.  The 1909 Gulf storm destroyed all but three buildings in Van Vleck according to an article in the  May 15, 1952 Tribune.

He died at his home on the morning of November 10th, 1916 and was buried by Walker Furniture & Undertaking Co. at  Cedarvale Cemetery under the auspices of the E. S. Rugeley Chapter 542, United Daughters of the Confederacy of Bay City which had been organized a few years earlier in 1901.

Oscar Ford’s story first came to light as Mrs. Shirley Brown was researching for the Matagorda County Genealogical Society; his obituary read: Died—At his home in Van Vleck, Wednesday morning, Mr. O.W. Ford.  Deceased was found dead in his bed.  Mr. Ford was a Confederate veteran and an old merchant along Caney in years agone.  He was 72 years of age and leaves no relatives.  The remains were interred in Cedarvale Cemetery by the Rugeley Chapter.  Matagorda County News & Midcoast Farmer Friday, November 17, 1916.

Up until this time no one was aware Mr. Ford was a Confederate veteran - much less one with such a unique military story.  None of the locally kept Civil War records included his name.

Ken Thames, another Society member and researcher, with the assistance of Mrs. Susie Adkins, Sexton of Cedarvale Cemetery, combed through the old cemetery records and found a reference to a Ford being interred in Section 2, which was a part of the original cemetery, and whose grave was unmarked.  Walking through this particular part of the cemetery he found there were a number of graves that dated from around 1914 through 1920. Having no record of another person named Ford being buried at the cemetery, Mrs. Adkins and Ken concluded this was the grave of Oscar Ford.

A Confederate monument was ordered from the Veterans Administration by Philip H. Parker VFW Post 2438 and installed at his grave.  The monument will be dedicated by the E. S. Rugeley Chapter 542, United Daughters of the Confederacy in the spring of 2011.


Pension Information

Mr. Ford received a pension and the following information was included in his application.

Pension # 26860 - Texas     Filed March 18, 1914     Approved December 1, 1913     Pension allowed from March 1, 1914

"I was honorably discharged or surrendered at Marion Ala on account of the Fall of the Confederate government."

What is your age? 68 years
Where were you born? near Midway Alabama
How long have you resided in Texas? 44 years
In what county do you reside? Matagorda County
How long have you resided in said county, and what is your postoffice address? 44 years Van Vleck Texas
What is your occupation, if able to engage in one? Not able to engage in one
What is your physical condition? Poor
How long did you serve? February 1863 to April 1865
What was the letter of your company, number of battalion, regiment or battery? Company C Alabama Corps of Cadets
What branch of the service did you enlist in? Infantry
What is the assessed value of your home, if you own home? Have no home
Signed: January 27, 1914

Affidavit of Jas. G. Cowan, February 2, 1914, Montgomery County, Alabama, included the following testimony:

O. W. Ford and affiant were members of Co C Alabama Corps of Cadets, that the Alabama Corps of Cadets belonged to the State Troops subject to the orders of the war Governor of Ala, that the corps was ordered from the University of Ala were times during 1864 and 1865. That the corps was engaged in the fight at Tuscaloosa on April 3rd 1965, when the University of Ala was destroyed by Gen. Croxton of the U S Army that the corps marched to Marion Ala there joining the forces under command of Gen. N. R. Fant and were disbanded on the 13 of April 1865 and that affiant and O. W. Ford came home together.

Ashby     Cedarvale     Hawley     Matagorda     Palacios      Family Cemeteries     Various     Unknown


Copyright 2010 - Present by E. S. Rugeley Chapter 542 UDC
All rights reserved

Sep. 3, 2010
Jan. 3, 2016