Bedford Cemetery of Augusta, GA

Burial Place of Lindsey Coleman, Walter Leigh and Benjamin Warren

Note: This site was created in 2003. It has been overtaken by events and we now have Friends of Coleman-Leigh-Warren Cemetery. Led by Mr. Brad Cunningham, this group has its own website at colemanleighwarren.org. The site you are now looking at is kept up to let former visitors update their links. The photos are still of interest because in 2006 much of the stonework was removed offsite to reduce the rate of loss due to vandalism.

Bedford, Richmond County, GA from 1817 map

Lindsey Coleman (or Lindsay, 1776-1821) was a planter in what is now West Augusta. He owned the Bedford Plantation and was active in city affairs, serving as Augusta City Marshal.

His neighbor to the east, Judge Benjamin H. Warren (12 Feb 1797 - 31 Mar 1870) became a prominent businessman. He owned the large Warren Plantation which included land now occupied by the Augusta National Golf Club and extended to the Savannah River (Cashin, The Brightest Arm of the Savannah: The Augusta Canal, p. 80). He married Mary Ann Coleman (11 Feb 1801 - 14 Feb 1870), a daughter of Lindsey, 23 Dec 1818.

Walter Leigh was Councilmember, and Intendant of Augusta 1815-1816. Memorial History of Augusta p. 169 states that a mercantile crisis occurred in the early part of his administration, due to a collapse in prices after the War of 1812. In 1813 he sold Bridge and Ferry rights on the Savannah River to Henry Shultz and Lewis Cooper, leading to the construction of the first durable bridge at Augusta. Leigh died in 1822 and his 398 acre tract across the river (formerly Chickasaw Lot # 17) was purchased by Henry Shultz in 1823 for an expansion of the Hamburg development.

Assorted facts about Benjamin Warren:

Bedford Cemetery

Lindsey Coleman, Benjamin Warren, and Walter Leigh rest in Bedford Cemetery, which is one block from my home, and a couple of hundred yards from the main member's gate of the Augusta National Golf Course. According to 'Down Rae's Creek' by Michael C. White, 1996 edition, 74, this cemetery was begun in 1821 with the burial of Lindsey Coleman. A short-lived town of Bedford also existed in this area. The cemetery was formerly quite overgrown, but has been cleared making it easy to investigate. Unless Alonzo Boardman, its owner and/or maintainer is unknown to me. Mr. Brad Cunningham of Conyers, GA has recently undertaken to improve the condition of this cemetery and to document its residents.

Many of the stones are broken, scattered, and face down. Here are the visible inscriptions having complete legible names. I did not attemot to flop over or reassemble any of the broken stones. Mr. Cunningham cautions me that the present location of the loose slabs has changed from their position in a 1924 survey.

  1. BENJAMIN HOLMES WARREN Born the 12th of Feb'y 1797 Died the 31st of March 1870
  2. MARY ANN WARREN Born the 11th of Feb'y, 1801 Died the 14th of Jan'y 1870
  3. Son of B.H. & M.A. Warren (on small, broken stone)
  4. SACRED to the MEMORY of LINDSEY COLEMAN Esq. who departed this life on the 4th day of October 1821 in the 45th year of his age (Colonial vault)
  5. SACRED to the memory of WILLIAM H. WARREN Born February 20th 1835 Died September 22nd 1868 Aged 33 years 6 months and 27 days (Colonial vault)
  6. To the memory of FRANCES ANN, Daughter of B.H. & (slab fragment)

Mr. Cunningham states that Walter Leigh rests in one of the triple vaults in the North West of the cemetery.

Looking Southeast
 
Looking Northwest across Bedford Cemetery

Here is a page with a dozen more images.

Coleman, Leigh and Warren are all prominent citizens of their day, but personally I have done no research beyond collecting references from history books close to hand. The reference given on a web site for family history dates is "Sherriane Nicol, The Coleman Family of Mobjack Bay, Virginia, Updated from 1959 manuscripts of Judge S. B. Coleman, Bradenton, Florida, 1998."

I really have nothing more to add but if you have any possible questions, please

Peter Hughes

Augusta, Georgia September 2004