TX Cemetery Saturday, February 27, 2021 Edition

bdtex

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The last scheduled Cemetery Saturday was actually on February 20th but it got cancelled due to Arctic fallout. It was to be on the first day of a short weekend roadtrip too. During the Arctic lockdown, I had plenty of time on my hands and I used it to seek out some possible destinations closer to home for a short daytrip when the opportunity arose. One of the places that drew my attention was the town of Coldspring, San Jacinto County, Texas. I found 4 cemeteries to visit there and according to the Google Maps lady, Coldspring is an hour and 10 minutes from my home. I set out from my home around 6:30am Saturday with the list of cemeteries and soldiers I was looking for, grave marker flags, a few stone cleaning items and enough rations to make it until I returned home. I took US-69 north to just past Cleveland, Texas and turned left on FM-2025 for the 19 miles, little over 20 minutes run to Coldspring. You're basically in the piney woods of the Sam Houston National Forest all the way to Coldspring. It was still really early, kinda foggy and not much traffic. About 12 miles or so up the road, I spotted a cemetery on the left side of the road. I slowed down as I was going by. I could tell it was old. I spotted a Confederate gravestone in the cemetery and a historical marker as I was going by. At first I was gonna go on to Coldspring and come back later, but my adventurous and spontaneous nature on these trips got the better of me and I turned around and went back.
 

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This was right next to the cemetery and caught my eye too as I slowly rolled by on the highway. That is the first picture I took and the digital time stamp for it was 7:44am.

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So I parked in front of the gate to the left of the picture above. Naturally, I was the only one there. The gate was closed but not locked, so I walked in and closed the gate behind me. I investigated the building first.

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You saw the name of the cemetery on the gate in the picture in the OP. What I had found was Hayman Cemetery. According to FindAGrave and the Texas State Historical Association, it is/was in the town/community of Liberty Hill, Texas but I didn't see any evidence of an existing town/community there.

https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2297193/hayman-cemetery
 

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I went into the cemetery and found 2 Confederate gravestones. To be honest with you, I don't remember which one I spotted as I rolled past the cemetery on the highway. Pvt. G.W. Hayman, 7th Mississippi Infantry. I found no record of his service in fold3 or the NPS and neither did the War Department when he filed a pension application in May 1925 which was approved in January 1927. According to one of his affidavits, he enlisted at the Courthouse in Quitman, Mississippi in July 1864 and Gen. Sherman came though Quitman shortly afterwards and burned the town and the courthouse records were lost. According to him, the Company he joined did not see action, was ordered to disperse before Sherman arrived and was on call until it was disbanded at the close of the war. His account was eventually corroborated by 2 Mississippi soldiers who were pensioners also. One of his sons, who is also buried there, applied for a Mortuary Warrant for his burial expenses and submitted a Headstone Application. Pvt. Hayman's father is the oldest Hayman buried there according to the records I found.


https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/65238725/george-washington-hayman

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The other soldier I found there was Pvt. Robert P. Brown, Co E, 20th Texas Infantry. 17 pages of fold3 records. He enlisted on July 30,1862 for 3 years. Present on all Company Muster Rolls and Regimental Returns through December 1864 except one. The Jan.- Feb. 1864 CMR says he was absent and "Sent to Regimental Hospital at Dickerson Bayou Feb 26 1863". His last record is a Register of General Hospital, Houston, Texas which says he was admitted on February 28,1863 for bronchitis and furloughed for 30 days on March 5,1863.


https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48322675/robert-pickney-brown

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Before departing, I allowed myself a few minutes to explore the grounds and take a few more pictures. By this point I had decided to make a quick stop there again under better lighting conditions on the return leg but I wasn't sure what I might unexpectedly find in Coldspring and how long I would be there. There is a pretty good size oak tree in the middle of the cemetery. You can see it in the picture I posted in the OP. I'd like to visit Hayman Cemetery again sometime in the spring or fall seasons.

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As the historical marker says, the church building continued in use for some time after the building was moved. The facility is in back. Apparently, it's no longer in use either. It was locked. Under a number of restrictions, burials are still permitted in the cemetery. Overall, my visit to the site was great. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. I shouldn't have been surprised. Something like that seems to happen on every one of these roadtrips I take. They always turn out better than I plan them. I have a good life.

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The times on my pictures at Hayman Cemetery show that I was there for 20 minutes. I rolled out of there shortly after 8:00am for the 15 minute drive to Coldspring, Texas which is the county seat of San Jacinto County. Coldspring is a small but old and historic town. There's other things to see and do there besides visit cemeteries and I plan to do that at some time in the future. The first cemetery there on the day's itinerary was Laurel Hill Cemetery.

https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/4765/laurel-hill-cemetery
 

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When I arrived at Laurel Hill Cemetery there were a couple of guys working there. There are a number of cedar trees on the cemetery grounds. Cedar is a relatively soft wood. During the recent Arctic blast, a lot of the trees iced over and branches broke from the weight of the ice. Most of it was already piled up in spots and they were just hauling it away in a small trailer. They had to take a chainsaw to some to make loading and hauling more manageable. I had to work around them some in my picture taking. As far as I could tell, no stones were damaged. I had the added advantage on this trip of having enough time beforehand to do some research on the soldier's service and pension records and family histories.

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Pvt. William J. Ham, Co. F., 1st Battn., Hilliard's Legion, Alabama Volunteers. 15 pages of fold3 records. Enlisted on May 14, 1863 for 3 years. Listed as absent on Company Muster Rolls from December 1862 - June 1863, "sick at Fairgrounds Hospital in Knoxville, Tenn." A Hospital Muster Roll dated June 30,1863 says he did extra duty there as a nurse since Jan. 8,1863. Wounded at Chickamauga on Sept. 20, 1863 and sent to a field hospital then transferred but it doesn't say where. A "T.J. Ham" applied for his headstone in 1939. Not sure what his relation was. His headstone was set facing the wrong direction.


https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70836262/william-jefferson-ham

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Pvt. Thomas L. Ross, Co. H, 12th Texas Cavalry. Only 2 fold3 records...an Index Card and 1 Company Muster Roll for September-December 1863. He enlisted on May 25,1862 for 2 years. A Headstone Application was submitted in 1963 by "Tom Ross Roberts" who is also buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery. Not sure what his relationship to Pvt. Ross is. As bad as that flatstone looks, it looked a lot worse when I found it. I only had a minimal amount of stone cleaning supplies with me and not enough time in the itinerary to really do stone cleaning right. I think I did some good on those I did anything on. This stone was already damp. I brushed it some, then wiped on it some with a rag.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70825379/thomas-l-ross#

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Maj. Larkin G. Cleveland, Co. D, 1st Regt. Infantry, Texas State Troops. I researched this soldier before going to the cemetery because the inscription on his gravestone lead me to believe that he might have been a veteran of Hood's Texas Brigade. That turned out not to be the case. I recently ordered a couple dozen really nice Texas state flag grave marker flags to use for veterans of the Texas Militia, Texas State Troops and Texas Ranger law enforcement officers.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70605515/larkin-green-cleveland

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Maj. Cleveland's Texas Muster Card is packed full of information. He enlisted in Liberty, Texas at age 46 as a Captain on August 7,1863 for 6 months. He was ordered to report to an officer in Beaumont on October 4,1863 and was promoted to Major on October 5th. Oddly enough, I did find 9 pages of fold3 records for Maj. Cleveland. In my experience, that's pretty rare for a Texas State Troops veteran. The first five pages were muster record type documents that didn't really have any information different than what is on his Texas Muster Card. The last 4 pages were handwritten requisitions for cooking and eating utensils and hand tools. I was hoping to find a Headstone Application because there was no family member information on his FindAGrave page but I struck out on that.

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Sgt. David L. Cleveland, Co. F, 18th Alabama Infantry. Not sure what his relation to Maj. Cleveland was. 15 pages of fold3 records and an interesting read. He enlisted with the rank of 1st Corporal on August 2,1861 for the war. He was appointed to the Color Guard on Nov. 1, 1861. He's on a Register of the Killed, Wounded and Missing at the Battle of Shiloh. It says he was slightly wounded in the back on April 6, 1862 at 11a.m. He was appointed to 3rd Sgt. on August 23, 1862. In April 1864 somebody, whose signature I cannot read, recommended that he be appointed to "Ensign". In the recommendation it also said he served in the Color Guard at Chickamauga. It was bucked up the chain of command and approved over the signature of everyone, including "J B Hood", until it reached Sec. of War Seddon who revoked the Appointment. Not sure why he was considered for Ensign unless someone wanted him to be transferred to the CSN. He applied for a pension on August 20, 1909 which was approved on August 31,1909. That's the fastest approval I've seen so far in my viewings of Confederate Pension Applications. Distinguished and honorable service by this Confederate veteran.


https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70605431/david-l-cleveland


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Corp. George W. McKellar, Co. F, 2nd South Carolina Infantry. When I saw what regiment he was in, I definitely researched him before going to the cemetery...13 pages of fold3 records and a Pension Application, Widow's Pension Application and Headstone Application in Ancestry. He enlisted at age 19 on April 14, 1861 for 12 months. He was listed as Present on all Company Muster Rolls until Sept.- Oct.1863 where he was "Absent. Wounded at Chickamauga Sept. 20,1863. Leg amputated." 3 days after his 22nd birthday he had a leg amputated. He continued to be carried on Company Muster Rolls through June 1864 but listed as "Absent. At home. Wounded at Chickamauga Sept. 20, 1863." His fold3 records end there.

He filed a Pension Application on 7/28/1913 which was approved on 9/1/1913. His Widow filed a Pension Application on 10/4/1919 which was approved the same day. A Headstone Application was submitted on 3/9/1963 by a "Frances McMurrey" from Coldspring. There are a lot of McMurreys buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery and the next cemetery I visited in Coldspring but she is not one of them.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70602662/george-w-mckellar
 
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