Michael Patterson’s family has lived in Colleyville, Texas for eight generations. He has spent most of his life learning about local Civil War veterans. He is a member of the Col. E.W. Taylor Sons of Confederate Veterans #1777.
“I have been working on documenting local Civil War vets since I was a young teenager, and I’m nearly 61 now,” he said.
All that work led to the creation of the Civil War Veterans Memorial, located next to the historic Bedford Cemetery, outside Fort Worth.
“My wife and I retired from teaching in Birdville (Independent School District) about 13 years ago. I then went to work for a monument company so I could learn to do the granite engraving and installation work. We only had to buy the rock for this project; otherwise we’d never have been able to do it.”
The original location of this memorial was in nearby Colleyville, designed to honor Civil War veterans who were associated with a specific geographic area near Pleasant Run Baptist Church, founded in 1877. The memorial now honors veterans from the entire Northeast Tarrant County area and was moved to the current location in Bedford, on property owned by the Bedford Church of Christ.
Patterson’s work is clearly a labor of love. Veterans from both sides of the war are honored with this memorial. The memorial honors and names veterans of both armies during the Civil War who lived, owned land, died, or are buried in northeast Tarrant County.
Patterson said more than 500 names have been verified, and at least 19 veterans are buried in the Bedford Cemetery, which was established a few years after the Civil War ended.
“The memorial is made up of eight pieces of Georgia gray granite, more than four tons of stone. The memorial is the culmination of more than 40 years of interest and research by the men who erected it,” he said.
The Civil War Veterans of Tarrant County website features biographies of the veterans honored by the memorial. Many biographies also feature veterans’ photos.
Patterson said he welcomes inquiries about the memorial, firstname.lastname@example.org
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