Coker Cemetery History #23 - March 2010
by Bob Battaglia
At the Annual Meeting in April of this year we will have a presentation and discussion about our ancestors that
participated in the Civil War. We would like to develop as much history as possible on each of those that were in
the Civil War. To give you an idea of the narrative that exists about our ancestors, the following is a letter written
by Amos Dickens Jones during the Civil War. This letter has been in the Kathy Couser
family and she has graciously given us a copy to share with all. I especially appreciate this letter because it
was written by my great-great grandfather and I had not seen it before. Hopefully there are more such documents out
there waiting for “discovery”.
Amos was a sergeant in this war. The letter was written to James Harrison Coker who was in San
Antonio and had been discharged from the unit due to bad health. The heading of the letter shows Amos was in San
Fernando, which is located down in the Brownsville area of South Texas. It is dated June 4th 1863. Amos states that
they had a hard trip getting to this location and had no kind words for the King Ranch landscape. He says that
David W. Bennett (husband of Nancy Virginia Coker, daughter of Joseph), was heading
up to San Antonio and would be bringing this letter to Harrison. Amos also advises Harrison that: “I drue your
money on the Reogrande $133 which I send by D.W. Bennett with your discharge”.
In the letter he tells Harrison that he (Amos) hopes to be heading up to San Antonio the first part of July. He asks
for Harrison’s help in the event he doesn’t get there. In the letter he says, “in case I should fail I want you to
get granny Jones to come to my house by the 10th of July without fail and in case that you should fail in getting her,
be sure to get some good midwife to stay with Jane while she is sick.” Amos goes on to say he hopes Harrison
won’t have to bother. Amos says he has talked to the “Captain” and feels like he will get there in time.
The above indicates Amos is concerned about his wife, Jane Coker Jones. Looking at the dates in
this letter and then looking at the birth dates of Amos’s children, it becomes apparent that the arrival of a son named
Lee Bee Jones is in the future. Lee Bee Jones arrived July 14, 1863. There is no known correspondence
to tell us who was there to help Jane. Note that granny Jones is probably Amos’s mother,
Catherine Jones. She died 1873 and is buried at Coker Cemetery.
Amos continues this letter: “This Regt has orders to march to Aliton on the Colorado and it will take
15 or 20 days to get there and if old Banks is not coming to Texas it is likely that the Regt will remain there
some time tho it is hard to tell what will hap(p)en. I have no nuse of importance…the most
nuse (news) that we have been getting is Yankey nuse. Thair is one thing that I hate and that
is our Confederate money is worth so little. I have heard some of the men say they will not draw eney more of
it for it is of no use to them. Give my love and respects to all of the connections and eccept (accept) the
same your self…..A.D.Jones”
Some notes on the above paragraph:
1. Lee B Jones was the 8th of ten children. He married Florence Davidson 27 Sept 1884 in Bandera County. She was
the daughter of General George Davidson and Maria Knott, both born in England. Lee B Jones was Royce
2. There is nothing to indicate the name of the “Regt”. It is known that Amos was in Company C, 32nd Cavalry, but it
was sometimes called the 15th Cavalry.
3. Amos refers to moving from the Texas valley up to “Aliton”. This must be Alleyton which is today about 2 miles
from Columbus, Texas, just off Interstate 10.
4. The person named Banks that Amos referred to was General Banks who had occupied the New Orleans area for the North.
He was badly defeated in the battle at Red River in 1864. Amos and his friends were part of that defeat.
More on this subject at the annual meeting in April. Meanwhile if anyone has more information on the Coker
settlement’s participation in the Civil War bring it to the meeting or send it in. This will all go into the book we
are trying to put together. My email address is: email@example.com