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Col John Salmon "Rip" Ford
Birth: May 26, 1815
Greenville County
South Carolina, USA
Death: Nov. 3, 1897
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas, USA

Civil War Confederate Army Officer. Born in South Carolina to William and Harriet Ford. He grew up on a plantation in Lincoln County, Tennessee. John was a good student and by the age of 16 was qualified to teach, but instead he went on to study medicine in Shelbyville, Tennessee, this is where he would meet his wife, Mary Davis. This union would end in divorce. John decided to move to Texas in 1836, then fighting for its independence from Mexico, joining in Texas Army and serving until 1838. John settled in San Augustine and practiced medicine for eight years. During this time he also studied law and passed the bar exam. In 1844 he was elected to the Texas House, where he introduced the resolution to accept annexation to the United States. This was the beginning of a long career of public service. John relocated to Austin in 1845 and reported on the activities of the annexation convention as a reporter for the Texas National Register. By the end of the year he had purchased the paper and changed the name to the Texas Democrat. During the Mexican War he served as regimental adjutant under Jack Hays. It was as adjutant that John earned his nickname "Rip." One of his main duties was to report on men killed in action. He completed each report with the words "rest in peace" after his signature. As the number of fatalities increased he abbreviated the phrase to "R.I.P." Soon the men were calling him "Old Rip." In 1849 John made an exploration of the country between San Antonio and El Paso, publishing a map of what became known as the Ford and Neighbors Trail. He was also named captain of Ranger company stationed between the Nueces and Rio Grande. In 1858 he accepted a commission in the state troops and defeated the Indians in two battles near the Canadian River. During the Civil War John was elected colonel of the Second Texas Cavalry, with a command in the Rio Grande District. In May of 1865 he led the Confederate troops in the battle of Palmito Ranch, the last battle of the Civil War. John continued his active pace after the war, but retired in 1883 to write his memoirs and promote his interest in Texas history. He became a charter member of the Texas State Historical Association, and contributed one of the first articles to the TSHA's Quarterly. He was 82 at the time of his death. (bio by: Shock) 
Family links: 
  Louisa Swisher Ford (1819 - 1846)*
  Mary Louisa Ford Maddox (1862 - 1916)*
  John W. Ford (1866 - 1880)*
*Calculated relationship
Confederate Cemetery
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 29.41996, -98.46365
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Oct 27, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 18122
Col John Salmon Rip Ford
Added by: Randy
Col John Salmon Rip Ford
Added by: David N. Lotz
Col John Salmon Rip Ford
Added by: Lanny Medlin
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Amazing man in the history of Texas. There is a question about his wife, Louisa Swisher. The bio said they divorced, but she apparently did not remarry as she is buried under the name of "Ford".Also, the children listed were born after her passing. Does a...(Read more)
 Added: Jul. 5, 2016
For services rendered the Confederacy during our American Civil War. May you rest in peace, sir.
- Daniel Moran
 Added: May. 26, 2016

- Cathy
 Added: Mar. 21, 2016
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