The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 1
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THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LVIII JULY, 1954 No. 1
Hem icCulloch: A Hig Captain
JACK W. GUNN
BEN MCCULLOCH, who was to serve Texas for almost a quar-
ter of a century as surveyor, legislator, Texas Ranger, and
soldier in three wars, was born in Rutherford County,
Tennessee, on November 11, 1811, to Alexander and Frances
(LeNoir) McCulloch. His natural instinct as a woodsman serv-
ing him to advantage, McCulloch spent his youth in the frontier
region of Alabama and Tennessee where he developed an excep-
tional talent with the rifle and became skilled in the ways of the
Indian. This young man of medium build and piercing blue eyes
was well equipped for the work which was ahead of him in Texas.1
Had not circumstances intervened, Benjamin McCulloch, like
his Tennessee neighbor and hunting companion, David Crockett,
undoubtedly would have been one of the martyred heroes of the
Alamo. By the summer of 1835 McCulloch had decided to go to
Texas. His decision must have been directed by his adventurous
spirit and sense of justice, for Texas was one of the main topics of
discussion in Tennessee in 1835. McCulloch's friend Crockett was
engaged in a bitter campaign to retain his seat in Congress, and
he had expressed the view that if the election did not go well, he
would accompany McCulloch to Texas. When the election proved
disastrous to his political career, Crockett was anxious to be on
his way. The two had planned to meet in Nacogdoches on Christ-
mas Day, 1835, but McCulloch, delayed by matters on his father's
farm, did not arrive in Nacogdoches until the early part of Jan-
uary, 1836. Finding that Crockett had already left for San An-
tonio, and hoping to join him there, McCulloch left Nacogdoches
after a few days rest. On reaching the Brazos River, however, he
1For a fuller account of McCulloch's boyhood see Victor M. Rose, The Life and
Services of General Ben McCulloch (Philadelphia, 1888), 25-84.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/19/?rotate=270: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.