The Civil War and its aftermath greatly affected Brazos County. War halted progress of the Houston & Texas Central Railway and made Millican a boomtown. After the war, the railroad created a new town, Bryan City, and brought a need for men and women to build up the new settlement. Bryan City Cemetery is the final resting place of at least 161 Confederate veterans who settled here to help the city develop. Many of their stories intersect in life and in death. Milton Walker Sims, Sr., aide-de-camp on Gen. Paul O. Hebert’s staff, was later given command of his own cavalry regiment. Col. Sims is the highest-ranking Confederate officer in the cemetery. Guy Morrison Bryan, Jr. opened the First National Bank of Bryan (1886) and created the Brazos River Bridge Co. (1896) to erect the first steel bridge over the waterway. Milton Parker, who fought at Shiloh and Vicksburg, was active in commerce, banking and real estate, acquiring vast land holdings in the Brazos River bottoms. William Edward Saunders founded the city’s Commercial Club and was the last Confederate veteran buried here. Briscoe Gerard Baldwin, Jr., Chief of Ordnance for the Army of Northern Virginia, came to Texas to operate a stage line from San Antonio to El Paso, then was superintendent of Brazos County schools. Henry Bates Stoddard was president of Texas Cattle Raisers Association (1887) and, as Brig. Gen. in the Texas Volunteer Guard, presided over ceremonies dedicating the new capitol building in Austin (1888). Many Confederate veterans were early faculty and staff of the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas (later Texas A&M), including William Adam Banks, Dr. David P. Smythe, William Bringhurst and Bernard Sbisa. These men with a common bond in war banded together for the common good and progress of their city and state.
175 years of Texas independence * 1836-2011