HISTORY OF THE SEMINOLE INDIAN SCOUT CEMETERY

By Miss. Charles Emily Wilson

Brackettville, Texas

The history of the Seminole cemetery is as unique and historical as the Indian Scouts who are buried here. Approximately 100 or more Negro Seminole Scouts who played a major role in protecting the Texas Frontier from hostile Indians are buried here, with the descendants and families of the scouts.

The Negro Seminole Indian Scout cemetery was established in September, 1872, on the Fort Clark Reservation. April 14, 1881, the Scouts fought their last Indian battle following the final important raid on Texas soil near the Rio Grande.

At that time the cemetery was under supervision of Deacon Tony Wilson who left us many years ago. "Uncle Tony", also left us with a constant sense of pride, to be proud of our ancestors and their accomplishments, "To preserve and hallow these grounds that these dead may not have died in vain".

After the passing away of Uncle Tony, Mr. Warren Perryman (Uncle Warren, we respectfully called him) became chairman of our group. He passed away and was buried in Stockton, California, in recent years. Uncle Warren was responsible, helped by city officials, for obtaining from the War Department, about 1940, headstones that now mark the graves of over 100 scouts buried here. His principles and ideals were: Be proud of your heritage; do not forget the graves of these scouts; honor them and cherish them.

During these years there was a period of disinterest and complacency, when families would come just on Memorial Day, May 30, and prepare to honor the graves.

Around 1965, the restoration and preservation of the cemetery began. The local historical society, chamber of commerce, the Retama Garden Club, and interested individuals donated their time and finances to this effort.

The grandson of Scout Pompey Perryman, Carlton Perryman reorganized the association in 1967. He was a retired Sergeant in the U.S Army, and a veteran of World War II and Korea. Inspired by his uncle, Warren Perryman, he accepted the challenge with vigor and determination.

The organization is now registered with the State of Texas as non-profit, and is properly constituted with a board of directors and laws. Its sole purpose is to preserve, promote and maintain the Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery as a historical monument. In 1977, our four Scout medal winners received new grave markers.

Membership in the association includes almost every member of Brackettville's Negro population, most of whom can trace their ancestry to one of the courageous Scouts. The old scouts are gone, maybe from on high they still watch over us with unseen eyes and guidance.

SEMINOLE INDIAN SCOUTS ASSOCIATION REUNION


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