Benjamin McCulloch

Brigadier General

Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

Headstones: Find-a-Grave

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Ben McCulloch, elder brother of General Henry E. McCulloch, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, November 11, 1811. After an early life typical of the frontier of the day, he followed his neighbor, “Davy” Crockett, to Texas in time to see action at the battle of San Jacinto.

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 United States marshal for the coast district for six years.

In February 1861, while he was a Colonel in the state troops, he received the surrender of General Twiggs at San Antonio. He was commissioned Brigadier General in the Provisional Confederate Army on May 11, 1861, and was assigned to the command of troops in Arkansas.

In August he won the battle of Wilson’s Creek with these men, together with Price’s Missouri troops. This victory --- in which the Confederates were at first taken by surprise by the forces under the Federal General Lyon --- went unexploited. Under the command of General Earl Van Dorn at Elkhorn Tavern on March 7, 1862, and while directing the right wing of the army, McCulloch was fatally wounded in the breast by a Federal sharpshooter. He died almost immediately. Invariably refusing to wear a uniform, he was attired in a suit of black velvet at the time of his death; he was then second ranking brigadier in the Confederate service. General McCulloch’s body was subsequently removed to the State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.