Putting Corpus Christi on the Map in 1845

Corpus Christi, Front Page

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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.

Taylors Camp
U.S. Army camp at Corpus Christi, Library of Congress photograph by Daniel P. Whiting, 1845

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. “

OBC Map
Map of Corpus Christi, 1877

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.

Old Bayview Cemetery Caller times
View of Harbor Bridge from Old Bayview Cemetery


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.

OBC Rogers
Old Bayview Cemetery, 2015

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.

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OBC Patterson

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Source of Information:  Texas Historical Marker and Corpus Christi Public Libraries

 

 

Karen has lived in Corpus Christi all of her life. She graduated from King HS and Corpus Christi State University and taught 8th-grade American history for 30 years at Flour Bluff ISD. She has been a member of the Nueces County Historical Commission since 2005 and currently serves as its vice-president. She wrote the Texas historical marker for Flour Bluff ISD, organized the Voices of South Texas-Old Bayview Cemetery Comes Alive, volunteers for Welder Wildlife Foundation, Nueces Delta Preserve, Flour Bluff ISD, and Corpus Christi ISD. She is also a member and past president of the Texas Outdoor Education Association.

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