“buried soliders from nearby Fort Stockton”
The original fort, known as Camp Stockton was established 1859 and in operation until 1861. It may not have ever had a cemetery, at least we are not aware of one. Those that died during that time, might have been buried where they fell. The fort was temporarily closed from 1861 to 1867. The second fort, Fort Stockton established in 1867, was located about a half mile from the original site of Camp Stockton. Troops here protected the San Antonio-San Diego mail line and quelled Indian raids into Mexico on the infamous Comanche trail. A cemetery became necessary for the soldiers and civilians who settled at Fort Stockton, and the first cemetery was located quite a distance to the northeast. The army decided to move the cemetery to its present location at the intersection of Water and 8th Streets. At that time they moved everyone from the first location to the new location. The actual site of the first cemetery is unknown. When the fort closed in 1886, all military personnel (56 soldiers) and their dependents were moved to the national cemetery closely associated with Fort Sam Houston, known as the San Antonio National Cemetery. This included soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry, known as Buffalo Soldiers. Though the military abandoned the cemetery, locals did continue to use it. Among the civilians who remain in the cemetery are three prominent figures from Fort Stockton history. Barney K. Riggs, a convicted murderer and overall troublemaker who himself was murdered by his son-in-law, rests here. Keeping him company is his buddy, Sheriff A. J. Royal, a notoriously violent and disreputable lawman whose assassination is still Fort Stockton's greatest who dunnit. Early settler and mercantile owner, Herman Koehler also is buried here.
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