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Ben McCulloch

1811 – 1862

Ben McCulloch was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, November 11, 1811, and is the older brother of equally famous Gen. Henry E McCulloch. After a typical early frontier life, he followed his neighbor “Davy” Crockett to Texas in time to see action in the battle of San Jacinto where he directed the fire of one of the “twin sisters” cannons. He was subsequently a surveyor and Indian fighter, and rendered brilliant service in the Mexican War under Zachary Taylor. A “forty-niner”, he returned to Texas to serve as U S marshall for the coast district for six years. In February 1861, while he was a colonel in the state troops, he received the surrender of Gen. Twiggs at San Antonio. Ben was commissioned brigadier general in the Orovisional Confederate Army, May 11, 1861, and was assigned to command of the troops in Arkansas. In August he won the battle of Wilson’s Creek together with Sterling Price’s Missouri troops. This victory in which the Confederate troops were initially taken surprise by Union Gen. Lyon went unexploited. Under the command of Gen. Earl Van Dorn at Elk Horn Tavern (Pea Ridge) on March 7, 1862, and while directing the right wing of the army, McCulloch was fatally wounded by a Federal sharpshooter while riding his horse attired in a suit of black velvet. He died almost instantly. At that time he was the second ranking Confederate brigadier general. His body was subsequently removed to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.



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