War Veterans To Be Featured In Historic Cemetery Tours

LIBERTY, September 24, 2014 - Veterans from the War of 1812, Civil War, WWI and WWII will be featured in the upcoming “Whispers From the Past….Tales and Tours in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery” presented by the Liberty County Historical Commission on Saturday, October 25th and Sunday, October 26th. There will be two tours each day at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

John Baptiste Gillard’s family members were staunch royalists that had been exiled from France during the French Revolution. They fled to Louisiana and settled in the New Orleans area before the War of 1812. John Baptiste joined the local militia to defend the important Port of New Orleans against the British and served under General Andrew Jackson in the last battle of the war. After the war his family moved north into the Alexandria area of Louisiana but after a scouting mission to this area brought his Creole kinsmen on a great migration settling near Liberty.

Simeon DeBlanc was the orphaned ward of Dr. E. J. Gillard and his wife, Emma and was a part of the Creole migration in the year 1845 from Louisiana. He served in Col. R. B. Hubbard’s 22nd Texas Infantry as a Junior 2nd Lt. during the Civil War. His bitter disappointment in his military career will be shared during our tours.

William Duncan Welder was the son of two pioneer families. The Welders were prosperous cattlemen in Bee County and his mother, Julia Duncan Welder descended from pioneer families in Liberty County. He was named for his maternal grandfather, Capt. William B. Duncan who married a beautiful Creole, Celima DeBlanc. Welder was fluent in French when he joined the military during WWI and was shipped to the front where he served as an interpreter.

The most infamous military veteran in the Catholic Cemetery is Grover Will. This war veteran survived the WWII atrocity known as the Bataan Death March. During our tour, you will hear about his valiant fight for survival for 42 months in the Philippines, his return home and how his capture affected the rest of his life.

Tickets are available for a $10.00 donation to the historical commission to be used for projects in historic preservation in the county and are limited and offered in advance. To make reservations and for information, please email: sandrasterling35@gmail.com or call 936-336-3716. “Whispers From the Past….Tales and Tours in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery” is the 2nd annual historic cemetery tour presented by the Liberty County Historical Commission and is not to be missed!

 

 

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