Our Confederate Heroes & Heroine
Colonel John "RIP" Ford
Texas Ranger, 1845-1886
26 May 1815
Greenville, Greenville County, South Carolina, USA
3 Nov 1897 (aged 82)
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Civil War Confederate Army Officer. Born in South Carolina to William and Harriet Ford. He grew up on a plantation in Lincoln County, Tennessee. John was a good student and by the age of 16 was qualified to teach, but instead, he went on to study medicine in Shelbyville, Tennessee, this is where he would meet his wife, Mary Davis. This union would end in divorce. John decided to move to Texas in 1836, then fighting for its independence from Mexico, joining in Texas Army, and serving until 1838. John settled in San Augustine and practiced medicine for eight years. During this time he also studied law and passed the bar exam. In 1844 he was elected to the Texas House, where he introduced the resolution to accept annexation to the United States. This was the beginning of a long career in public service. John relocated to Austin in 1845 and reported on the activities of the annexation convention as a reporter for the Texas National Register. By the end of the year, he had purchased the paper and changed the name to the Texas Democrat. During the Mexican War, he served as regimental adjutant under Jack Hays. It was as adjutant that John earned his nickname "Rip." One of his main duties was to report on men killed in action. He completed each report with the words "rest in peace" after his signature. As the number of fatalities increased he abbreviated the phrase to "R.I.P." Soon the men were calling him "Old Rip." In 1849 John made an exploration of the country between San Antonio and El Paso, publishing a map of what became known as the Ford and Neighbors Trail. He was also named captain of Ranger company stationed between the Nueces and the Rio Grande. In 1858 he accepted a commission in the state troops and defeated the Indians in two battles near the Canadian River. During the Civil, War John was elected colonel of the Second Texas Cavalry, with a command in the Rio Grande District. In May of 1865, he led the Confederate troops in the battle of Palmito Ranch, the last battle of the Civil War. John continued his active pace after the war but retired in 1883 to write his memoirs and promote his interest in Texas history. He became a charter member of the Texas State Historical Association and contributed one of the first articles to the TSHA's Quarterly. He was 82 at the time of his death.
Brig. General Hamilton P. Bee
Former Speaker of the
Texas House of Representatives, 1849
22 July 1822
Charleston, Charleston Couthy, South Carolina
3 October 1897 (aged 75)
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Commander of the 1st Texas Calvery Regiment. The son of Anne Wragg Fayssoux and Barnard E. Bee, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 22, 1822. He was the brother of Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr. The family moved to Texas in 1836 and Hamilton became the sole clerk of Francis R. Lubbock while he was still a youth. He received a deed for 320 acres in Harrisburg County on July 11, 1839. Later that year he served as secretary for the commission that established the boundary between the Republic of Texas and the United States, and in 1843 Texas president Sam Houston dispatched Bee, with Joseph C. Eldridge and Thomas S. Torrey to convene a peace council with the Comanches. On August 9, 1843, the commissioners obtained the promise of the Penatekas to attend a council with Houston the following April. The meeting culminated in the Treaty of Tehuacana Creek. In 1845 Bee lived in Washington D.C., where he worked as an agent of the Texas Treasury Department. He received 320 acres of land in Travis County on September 2, 1845, and was named secretary of the Texas Senate the following year.
During the Mexican War, he served briefly as a private in Benjamin McCulloch's famed Company A–the "Spy Company"–of Col. John Coffee Hays's First Regiment, Texas Mounted Rifles, before transferring in October 1846, as a second lieutenant, to Mirabeau B. Lamar's independent company of Texas cavalry. Bee volunteered for a second term in October 1847 and was elected the first lieutenant of Lamar's Company, now a component of Col. Peter Hansborough Bell's Regiment, Texas Volunteers. After the war Bee moved to Laredo and was elected to the Texas legislature, where he served from 1849 through 1859. From 1855 through 1857 he was speaker of the House. While living in Austin he became a mason and joined Lodge No. 12. Bee was married to Mildred Tarver of Alabama in 1854, and they had eight children. In 1856 he received 320 acres of land in Nueces County from Nathaniel Cody. He was elected brigadier general of militia in 1861 and appointed brigadier general in the Confederate Army to rank from March 4, 1862. His brigade was composed of August C. Buchel 's First, Nicholas C. Gould's Twenty-third, Xavier B. Debray's Twenty-sixth, James B. Likin's Thirty-fifth, Peter C. Woods's Thirty-sixth, and Alexander W. Terrell's Texas cavalry regiments. Given command of the lower Rio Grande district, with headquarters at Brownsville, Bee expedited the import of munitions from Europe through Mexico and the export of cotton in payment. On November 4, 1863, he was credited with saving millions of dollars of Confederate stores and munitions from capture by a federal expeditionary force under Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks. After transfer to a field command in the spring of 1864, Bee led his brigade in the Red River campaign under Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor. Having had only slight training or experience in the art of war and having served only in an administrative capacity to that time, he was less than skillful in handling troops. While he was leading a cavalry charge at the battle of Pleasant Hill, two horses were shot from beneath him, and he suffered a slight face wound. Though he was afterward the object of some heavy criticism, he was assigned to the command of Thomas Green 's division in Gen. John A. Wharton 's cavalry corps in February 1865 and was later given a brigade of infantry in Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey's division.
In 1865 Bee and his family relocated to Mexico and attempted to start a plantation near Orizaba. He worked briefly as a ship broker in Havana, Cuba, in 1866, but relocated to Parras, Coahuila, where he engaged in agricultural experiments including distilling brandy. He returned to Texas in 1876 and served as college steward and superintendent of the farm at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (renamed Texas A&M University) near Bryan, where he owned land and his son attended school. He moved to San Antonio in 1879 to practice law, but lived in Austin from 1885 to 1886 when he served as Commissioner of the office of Insurance, Statistics, and History (renamed the Texas Department of Insurance). He died on October 3, 1897, and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery in San Antonio.
Colonel George W. Baylor
2 August 1832
Ft. Gibson, Cherokee Nation
17 March, 1919
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Confederate military officer and Texas Ranger, the son of John Walker Baylor, was born in Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, on August 2, 1832. On June 5, 1860, Baylor, then living in Weatherford with John R. Baylor and others, ran down a party of Indian raiders on Paint Creek in Parker County and killed and scalped nine of them. Baylor is reputed to have raised the first Confederate flag in Austin. He has commissioned a first lieutenant in Company H of the Second Cavalry, John Robert Baylor's Arizona Brigade, and served as regimental adjutant before resigning to become senior aide-de-camp to Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston in August or September 1861. After Johnston's death at the battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, on April 6, 1862, Baylor returned to Texas and was elected lieutenant colonel and commander of the Second Battalion of Henry H. Sibley's army. When the battalion merged with the Second Cavalry regiment of the Arizona Brigade, Baylor was elected its colonel. He also commanded a regiment of cavalry during the Red River campaign of 1864 and was commended for gallantry at the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.
On April 6, 1865, at the headquarters of Gen. John B. Magruder in the Fannin Hotel in Galveston, Baylor quarreled with and killed fellow staff officer John Austin Wharton. Their fight was said to have been about "military matters," specifically the reorganization of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate States. Wharton reportedly slapped Baylor's face and called him a liar, whereupon Baylor drew his revolver and shot the unarmed Wharton. Baylor later said that the incident had been a "lifelong sorrow" to him.
After the Civil War, when Lt. John B. Tays, commander of Company C, Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers in El Paso, resigned to enter the customs service, Baylor was commissioned a first lieutenant and appointed to take his place. At this time, according to Walter Prescott Webb, Baylor "was in his prime, forty-seven years of age, six feet two inches, a fine type of the frontier gentleman. He had a fair education, a flair for writing for newspapers, and an inclination to fill his reports with historical allusions." Baylor left San Antonio on August 2, 1879, with his wife, two young daughters, and a sister-in-law, riding in an ambulance and with two wagons full of provisions and household goods, the latter including a piano and a gamecock and four hens. The caravan, guarded by Sgt. James B. Gillett and five other rangers were forty-two days on the road to Ysleta, where Baylor established his headquarters. From there he opened his campaign against raiding Apaches, whom he often pursued beyond the Rio Grande, in cooperation with Mexican officials. Soon after arriving on the border Baylor "generously extended" to the Mexican government "the privilege of coming over on our side and killing all the Reservation Indians" they could find. Through the rest of 1879 and most of 1880 Baylor's rangers were occupied in the pursuit of the Mescalero Apache chief Victorio and his band, an endeavor that proved largely ineffective. In September 1880 Baylor was transferred and promoted to captain of Company A. In 1882 he was promoted to major and given command of several ranger companies. During this period he was active in the fence-cutting conflict in Nolan County.
After resigning from ranger service in 1885 Baylor was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from El Paso and served as clerk of the district and circuit courts for a number of years. He died at San Antonio on March 17, 1916, and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery there. Baylor, according to Wilburn Hill King, the nineteenth-century historian of the rangers, was "noted for the excellence of personal character and conduct, and soldierly courage and zeal," but Webb, more reserved in his judgment, wrote that "though a courageous individual fighter," Baylor "lacked reserve, was a poor disciplinarian, and an indifferent judge of men."
Mrs. Sallie M. Houston
United Daughter of the Confederacy
Bernard Bee, Chapter #84
11 February 1928
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Sallie Moore Winstead Houston was born Sallie Moore sometime in 1850 to Leonard James Moore and Mary Emily Tobin in Alabama, USA.
Sally married Stephen F. Winstead (Born 1843, North Carolina) on February 21, 1867, Calhoun, Arkansas. They had two children, Mary D Winstead and Edwin Winstead. Stephen passed away in 1871 at age 28.
Sallie Moore Winstead took her two children and then moved to Austin, Texas. There she met Augustus W. Houston, (born August 3, 1850 in Lauderdale, Alabama) in Austin, Texas. She married Augustus Houston, in Austin, TX. They moved to San Antonio, TX where Augustus and his brother Reagan Houston, joined Col. Tom Frost in the Houston Brothers Law Offices. Sallie Moore Winstead Houston and Augustus Houston had 1 daughter, Elizabeth Reagan “Bessie” Houston. Miss Elizabeth Houston never married and is buried next to her mother and father in the Confederate Cemetery, San Antonio TX. These are simple facts, but they do not tell the whole story. Mrs. Houston was a woman of great courage and honor. She and her sisters in the Bernard E. Bee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy wanted to keep the memories of the fallen Confederate Hero's alive and provide a place where mothers, sisters, and family members of the lost fallen soldiers can go to grieve, lay flowers and pray if they want. The words on the Confederate Monument read, “Lest We Forget”. Some of us here today, have lost Confederate Fallen Hero's and for over 100 years, we have no idea where their bodies lay.