CONE, JAMES THOMAS (1831 ~ 1916). James Thomas Cone, Confederate veteran, was born in 1831, in Washington County, Georgia. At the age of 21, in 1852, he moved to Texas and settled in Columbus, Colorado County, where he worked as a farmer.
On May 30, 1860, Cone married Margaret Jennie Ijams, daughter of Republic of Texas veteran and Colorado County official, Basil Gaither Ijams, and Louisa Hunt Cunningham, whose brother, Robert, was killed at the Alamo.
After their marriage, James and Margaret Cone lived with her family, until the outbreak of the Civil War. After traveling to Velasco, Cone enlisted in the 13th Texas Volunteers, which later became the 13th Texas Infantry, on January 30, 1862. He was mustered into 1st Company G, which later became 2nd Company C after one of the regiments numerous reorganizations.
Cone spent most of the war in Texas, serving along the coast. Protecting Texas' ports was imperative to the Confederate economy, as the government was depending on cotton sales to finance the War. Ports, like Galveston and Velasco, were crucial targets for the Union, whose generals were trying to stop the Southern cotton export trade. The 13th Infantry, which was assigned to this region, took part in three different skirmishes, all successful, along the coast including the Battle of San Luis Pass, April 5 through 6, 1862, where they destroyed the Union commercial ship, the "Columbia," and two assaults at Velasco, July 4 and August 11, 1862.
Cone's time in Texas allowed him to say close to his family. On October 20, 1862, he was granted a 15-day furlough and is believed to have returned to Colorado County for the birth of his first child, Gabbie, who was born the next day, October 21.
In September 1863, the 13th Texas Infantry, under the command of Brigadier General Tom Green, was dispatched to Louisiana to prevent Major General Nathaniel P. Banks from moving into Texas. The two armies met at Stirling's Plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, on September 29, 1863, where the Confederates temporarily stopped Bank's westward movement.
After returning to Texas on July 13, 1864, Cone received a 26-day furlough and presumably returned to Colorado County. On April 7, 1865, he was detached from his regiment and returned to Colorado County to secure supplies. At the end of the War, the 13th Texas Infantry was surrendered by General E. Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department.
After the War, Cone returned to his family in Colorado County, where two more sons were born - Wilson Ross, who was born on December 11, 1866, and Gaither, who was born on October 21, 1868. Only Wilson Ross lived to adulthood. Gabbie died on August 29, 1870, and Gaither died three years later, on December 14, 1873. Both children were buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
By 1880, according to the U. S. Census, James, Margaret, Wilson Ross and Margaret's sister, Nancy Ijams, were living together in, or near, the community of Weimar.
On July 10, 1901 Margaret Cone died. She was buried in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery with her two children, Gabbie and Gaither. James Cone continued to farm until 1909, when, at the age of 78, he successfully applied for a Confederate Pension from the State of Texas.
Cone claimed that he was no longer able to work and had no other means of supporting himself. On April 7, 1910, he moved to Austin to live in the Texas Confederate Men's Home. He died there on May 25, 1916.
Cone was buried in the Texas State Cemetery three days later.
Upon moving into the Confederate Home, Cone listed his son, Wilson Ross, as his next of kin, but he died on December 22, 1913, and was buried in the Weimar Masonic Cemetery.
Information taken from: National Park Service website, http://www.itd.nps.gov, Colorado County Confederate Soldiers website, http://www.columbustexas.net/library/history/confederate.htm, Soldier's Application for Pension # 14942, and Confederate Home Roster.