The oldest federal military cemetery in Texas, Old Bayview was laid out by U. S. Army engineers while Brigadier General Zachary Taylor was encamped in Corpus Christi on the eve of the Mexican War. On September 13, 1845, the steamer “Dayton”, used to transfer men from St. Joseph’s Island to Corpus Christi, burst a boiler near McGloin’s Bluff (Old Ingleside), killing seven soldiers. Taylor obtained a burial site from H. L. Kinney, founder of Corpus Christi.
Colonel Hitchcock, who served under Taylor, wrote:
“On September 14, a military funeral took place at the burial ground which I selected. It is on the brow of the hill northwest of camp, and commands a view of the Nueces and Corpus Christi bays. It is a beautiful spot. “
After Taylor’s army left Corpus Christi in 1846, the cemetery became the community burial ground. Here are graves of pioneer settlers, and of veterans of War of 1812, Texas War for independence, Mexican War, Indian campaigns, Civil War, and later conflicts. Markers bear the names of men of the 9th U. S. Cavalry, 1st U. S. Infantry, 38th U. S. Infantry, U. S. Mounted Rifles, and 1st Texas Cavalry.
That old cemetery located at Ramirez Street and the I-37 access road has gone by several names in the past. It was the Old Military Cemetery and the City Cemetery but is known today as Old Bayview Cemetery. Located at the highest geographic point in 1845, it overlooked both Corpus Christi Bay and Nueces Bay minus the warehouses, ball fields, ship channel, harbor bridge and an abandoned courthouse.
Thanks to the Nueces County Historical Society, Old Bayview is brought to life each year in November as dedicated historians assume the roles of those buried in the cemetery and tell their stories at the Old Bayview Cemetery: Voices of South Texas cemetery walk.
Source of Information: Texas Historical Marker and Corpus Christi Public Libraries