BEN McCULLOCH

1811-1862

    Although Ben McCulloch never actually lived in McCulloch County, this short biography will give you a little information about the man since our county was named in his honor
    Benjamin McCulloch was an Indian fighter, Texas Ranger, United States marshal, and brigadier general in the Army of the Confederate States of America.  He was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee on November 11, 1811, the fourth son of Alexander and Frances F. (LeNoir) McCulloch. His mother was the daughter of a prominent Virginia planter and his father, a graduate of Yale College, was a major on Brig. Gen. John Coffee's staff during Andrew Jackson's campaign against the Creeks in Alabama.
    Between 1812 and 1830, Ben's family moved often from North Carolina to eastern Tennessee to Alabama and back to western Tennessee.  They settled at last near Dyersburg, Tennessee, where David Crockett was among their closest neighbors and most influential friends. In 1835, Ben followed Crockett to San Antonio and later joined Houston's army on its retreat into East Texas.  At the battle of San Jacinto he commanded one of the famed Twin Sisters and won a commission as first lieutenant.
    He soon left the army and took up the profession of a surveyor  in the area of Gonzales and Seguine.  After a brief period, he joined the Texas Rangers and earned a reputation as an Indian fighter.
    In 1839 McCulloch was elected to the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas., but in 1842 decided not to stand for reelection and returned to surveying and the pursuit of a quasimilitary career,
    While it's possible that McCulloch may have seen the land which bears his name, there actually is no proof of this.
    General McCulloch was shot from his horse and died instantly on March 7, 1862 during the command of the Confederate right wing in the ensuing battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas.
He was first buried on the field, but his body was removed to the cemetery at Little Rock and later it was moved to the State Cemetery in Austin. His papers are located in the Baker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:  Thomas W. Cutrer, Ben McCulloch and the Frontier Military Tradition (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993), Jack W. Gunn, "Ben McCulloch: A Big Captain," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 58 (July 1954), Samuel C. Reid, Jr., The Scuting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers (Philadelphia: Zieber, 1847; rpt., Freeport, New York: Gooks for Libraries Press, 1970), Victor Marion Rose, The Life and Services of Gen. Ben McCulloch (Philadelphia, 1888; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1958)

Submitted by Louann Hall