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Two Sunday Events - Rangers and Children of the Confederacy

Two ceremonies will take place on Sunday, June 10 on Cemetery grounds. The Cemetery will be open to the public during both events. The first will be held at the grave of Albert Sidney Johnston and will be hosted by the Children of the Confederacy. The event will begin at 1 p.m. 

The larger of the two events is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the grave of William Tom. Family members installed a Ranger Cross on his grave to mark his service as a Texas Ranger. Tom had an eventful life and was close to some of the nations most elite statesmen. He was born in what is now Tennessee, but in 1792 was called "Southwest Territory." Tennessee produced many fiery politicians who would one day affect another southwest territory, Texas. Tom fought in the War of 1812 at the battles of Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans, two touchstones in American history. The battle of New Orleans was technically fought after England and the United States made peace, but it was a headline maker around the world. While the United States couldn't match England on the oceans, the Royal Navy was the most elite Navy on the planet at the time, we could hold our own on land in certain circumstances and the Battle of New Orleans proved it. Andrew Jackson came out of the war as a national hero. Horseshoe Bend is less well known, but is included in the War of 1812 in history books because it happened at the same time. Also known as the Creek Civil War, the Creek War saw the Creek nation split in half as one half fought the encroaching Americans while the other half stayed neutral.

Jackson fought the Red Stick Creek or Upper Creek with other Americans and Lower Creek allies. It was a resounding defeat for the Red Stick and they had to cede almost all of their territory in Alabama and Southern Georgia in the punishing Treaty of Fort Jackson. Tom was at both battles with Jackson along with Sam Houston, and like many of Jackson's followers, Tom went West to Texas in the 1830s. The list of men who fought in the War of 1812 and are buried at the State Cemetery is a long one, see the google search page here.

In Texas, Tom settled in Stephen F. Austin's Colony and homsteaded at Washington-on-the-Brazos. When hostilities started with Mexico, Tom was right there. He volunteered in 1835 and fought at Conception, the Grass fight and the Seige of Bexar. He left San Antonio in February of 1836 to return to his family, narrowly missing the disaster of the Alamo. He participated in the Runaway Scrape, the long, difficult retreat of the Texas Army and Texas civilians in the face of Santa Anna's advance. Tom likely served as a "ranger" during the Runaway Scrape, acting as a rearguard while Houston's army trained and evaded the Mexican Army. He remained a ranger during the Republic of Texas era, but in an official capacity. The 4 p.m. ceremony will honor William Tom and his ranger service and the public is welcome to do the same thing.