Cedar Lake Creek, sometimes locally known as Cedar Bayou, rises in Old Ocean Swamp four miles southwest of Sweeny in southwestern Brazoria County (at 29°01' N, 95°45' W) and flows southeast for twenty-one miles, into the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, to its mouth on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (at 28°50' N, 95°32' W). As late as the 1930s the stream passed through Cedar Lakes into the Gulf of Mexico. It serves as the Brazoria-Matagorda county line for 17½ miles. Cedar Lake Creek is banked by levees in its upper reaches. It traverses a flat, flood-prone area with local shallow depressions, surfaced by sandy and clay loam that supports water-tolerant hardwoods and grasses. As the creek nears the coast, the terrain shifts first to low levees, then to a brackish marshland in which thrive diverse plant and animal species, including waterfowl and numerous grasses. A number of the Confederate camps established along the coast in Matagorda and Brazoria counties were on Cedar Lake Creek and Cedar Lakes. Among these were Camp Cedar Bayou (also known as Camp Buchel after the area's commanding officer, Augustus Buchel), established in December 1863 on Cedar Lake Creek (then also called Cedar Bayou) and garrisoned with 1,273 troopers. In addition, Camp Cedar Lake, established by John Bankhead Magruder as one of a chain of Confederate forts extending along the Gulf of Mexico from just below Velasco to Wharton, was located on the western shore of Cedar Lake (probably what is now Cedar Lakes). Finally, a Camp Nellie, which from November 1862 to January 1863 hosted the Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry Regiment, was located on a Cedar Bayou that very likely was the same stream as Cedar Lake Creek.
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Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., Houston: Armstrong, 1986).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Cedar Lake Creek,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
September 12, 2019