“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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PART THREE - Voices of South Texas

If you missed them PART I and PART II

I conclude this Veteran's Day Series on November 11th. Old Bayview Cemetery, as I mentioned in the previous post, is sitting on a bluff. In Yesteryear, the view would have been beautiful ---the wide open scenery and the sparkling water. Today, the view with just a hint of bay water spotted here and there between modern and some dilapidated structures, is mostly roof tops of buildings near the ship's channel. The cost of progress. As I mentioned, I planned on ending this on a sad note of more modern times. You see, this antiquated cemetery has been, over many years, highly vandalized!! Everywhere you look, headstones have been knocked over and smashed. Some not even recognizable any longer...heaps of rubbish and rock debris. The city has erected a 12 foot wrought iron fence around the perimeter and gated it with stone...locking it up at sunset and opening it only in daylight hours. Of course, when vandals have something in mind to do damage, there is no stopping them. It's highly patrolled, but still mischief is evident today...



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Of the 633 interments recorded, these long remembered are soldiers and officers of many wars, The Mexican War, The Indian Wars, Civil War, and others. Prominent citizens, infants, to slaves.  Several markers showed us the immigration records...from Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, South Wales, some were native Texans.   Among a few seen here:

Matthew and Tom Nolan
joined Harney's Regiment of Dragoons, United States Army in the late Fall of 1845. They were both born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. Mat was 12, but Tom was only 9 so he lied about his age telling the recruiting officer he was 10. Mat signed on as a bugler, Tom as a drummer, Company G, 2nd U. S. Dragoons. As soon as the Confederacy was established in Texas, Mat Nolan was authorized to raise a company in South Texas. He enlisted the whole company of the Walker Star Rifles (named for an Indian-fighter named Andrew Jackson Walker, by their Captain Charles Lovenskiold). The militia company had to be rebuilt after most of the stronger and younger men joined Nolan's company. Mat Nolan had many other adventures in Confederate service, but he was needed back in Corpus Christi in 1864. Matthew was shot and killed by the Gravis Brothers.

William James Biggio
was born February 26, 1877, in Rockport, Aranas County, Texas to William Biggio and Rebecca Manahan. He stood 6ft 1in. tall, had gray eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. He was married to spouse #1,Petra Gonzales, and they had one daughter. He married spouse #2, Hettie May Anderson and they had two daughters. William was a Wells Fargo guard and clerk, in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. He enlisted in the Texas Rangers while in Webb County, Texas, as a SPECIAL RANGER attached to Co. C. from July 25, 1917 until January 1918.

Thaddeus Higgins Birth: 1817 Death: Sep. 12, 1845 2D Lieut. Co. G4 U.S. Inf. 1817-1845
Encamped with Zachary Taylor in Corpus Christi in 1845.

Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1836, to July 1, 1840, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to Second Lieut., 4th Infantry, July 1, 1840.
Served: on frontier duty at Ft. Jesup, La., 1840-42, -- and Ft. Gibson, I. T., 1842; In garrison at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 1842-44;
On frontier duty at Natchitoches (Camp Salubrity), La., 1844-45; In Military Occupation of Texas, 1845; and by the bursting of a steamer's boiler, was Killed, Sep. 12, 1845, near Corpus Christi, Texas.: Aged 28.

FIND A GRAVE - Old Bayview Cemetery - Corpus Christi, Texas

21 comments :

  1. I hate seeing cemeteries vandalised, but sadly it happens everywhere. The small town I lived in as a young child is just that, small, and yet the cemetery where many members of my family, including my father, are buried is hit by vandals at least twice a year.

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  2. The Veterans, their stories, in those graves.... some forever lost, some even forgotten. Remembrance Day.

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  3. A really great way to remember them. It was really interesting to see all those gravestones and read about them.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  4. Remembering them! We have a world renowned cemetery in the big city called Cave Hill Cemetery and it is absolutely gorgeous and so well kept. One day hopefully many moons from now, we shall be buried overlooking their military section. Right next door to it is the saddest cemetery ever, It has been vandalized and not cared for and has made the news too many times.

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  5. I love old cemeteries. Vandalism is common in them. I don't get it.

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  6. Thanks for introducing me to these soldiers, Anni. It is a very fitting way to mark the day. I wish we could have no more wars, but while we do, young men such as these will be called to serve. These days, young women, too.

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  7. so very sad that this wonderful old cemetery has been vandalized.. it happens all over the world and I just do not understand why and never will. thanks for the photos, the next best thing to visiting.

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  8. I've never been able to understand why vandals would choose to do their destruction in a cemetery, where one should be respecting those who have passed and the family who remembers them. Nice tribute to these soldiers.

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  9. Wouldn't you just like to choke the people who vandalize tombstones and steal flowers from graves?

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  10. So sad to hear about the vandalized cemetery.

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  11. That is a really neat old cemetery. Sure holds a lot of history.

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  12. The iron fencing and weathered old tombstones are beautiful....the vandalism upsetting! I'm glad you included a few of the vets bios, but it bummed me out pretty badly about the 12 year old bugler getting shot. War is always so gut-wrenching. I hope the 9 year old survived.

    Just wanted to tell you on a totally different note, that your comment about Tubac was such fun! I've never seen Tin Cup but will have to find a copy now. :-) My daughter loves Kevin Costner and when he was filming The Guardian near where we lived in North Carolina we wanted to go see if we could see him! :-) Are you visible in any scenes? Interesting you liked Cheech Marin better. We've been watching Tommy Chong hold on by the skin of his teeth (and his immense popularity) on Dancing with the Stars! :-)

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  13. Like others I am so saddened by the vandalism of old cemeteries!! Why??? I always ask myself, but I've never come up with an answer because it just makes no sense whatever -- to me at least!! Such a wonderful posts, Anni, thank you for sharing!!

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  14. This was a very touching post, history and tributes combined in a sensitive manner. Concerning the vandalism, as Sylvia says, WHY??? That was my very first thought.

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  15. What a sad thing, that bored or violent people vent their anger on the cemetery. And it is almost always teenagers. And of course you are right, if they are determined there is not much that stops them. The cemetery in our little town also has a visit from the police every night at dark, when it gets locked up. But I have not seen violence there like this.

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  16. Hallowed ground. The vandals will pay one day, and it will be too late for them to say they are sorry. Desecrating a grave is one of the lowest forms of vandalism that I can think of. It appears that the caretakers have done all they can to protect the graves, short of hiring someone to be there 24/7. It happens all over and it such a shame. Thanks for the history of some of the soldiers buried there. They should be remembered!!

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  17. how sad that people can be so low as to vandalize a cemetery. It's heartbreaking to see the picture of the headstone knocked over and in pieces.

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  18. wow, sad how people can vandalize something so sacred, that is the lowest that a person can go. Thank you for sharing this my friend.

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  19. Enjoyed the cemetery photos.

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  20. It really irks me to see something so sacred vandalized. Beautiful post, Anni.

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  21. I always thought some of our cemeteries looked like this due to hurricanes and other storms. Didn't even think of vandals! How awful. I love seeing the old tombstones and remembering those who might be forgotten.

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