Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum: 1-35 and University Parks Drive | PO Box 2570, Waco, TX 76702-2570 | (254) 750-8631
Ranger Hall of Fame
The HALL OF FAME is the State designated memorial of the Texas Ranger service, commemorating the service and sacrifices of 30 Texas Rangers who gave their lives in the line of duty or made significant contributions to development of the service.
was born November 11, 1811 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. The family
moved often living in North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee during the
years 1812 -1830. Late in 1835 he and his brother Henry, made their
way to Texas. Arriving after the fall of the Alamo, Ben joined the Texan
army. At San Jacinto he manned one of the cannon known as the "twin
sisters." He won praise and a battlefield promotion from Sam Houston
and a poem was written about his exploits, "Ben McCulloch at San
He soon left the army and settled at Gonzales,
working as a surveyor. While here he met up with and joined Jack Hays'
company of Rangers. He was involved in many fights with the Indians
including the battle of Plum Creek in 1840, and in the expedition against
the Indians located along the tributaries of the Guadalupe river in
1841. In 1842 he was elected as 1st Lieutenant in Jack Hays' company
At the outbreak of the Mexican War McCulloch
raised a command that became Company A of Col. Jack Hays' First Regiment,
Texas Mounted volunteers. Showing great skill in tracking and scouting,
he was named Gen. Zachary Taylor's chief of scouts. He and his men rendered
invaluable service to the U. S. Army at the battles of Monterey and
Buena Vista. He ended the war with the rank of major.
Returning to Texas at the end of the war, McCulloch
resumed his business of surveying. Catching the "gold fever"
he traveled to Sacramento, California in 1849 where he served as sheriff.
In 1852 he returned to Texas and was appointed U.S. Marshal for the
Eastern District of Texas. In 1857 he was appointed as one of the commissioners
charged with investigating the Mormon troubles in Utah.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he offered
his services to the Confederacy and was commissioned a brigadier-general
in May 1861 and ordered to Fort Smith, Arkansas. McCulloch, commanding
the Confederate right wing in the Battle of Pea Ridge, March 7, 1862,
overran and drove the Union forces from their position. Riding through
the undergrowth to ascertain the new Union position, McCulloch was shot
McCulloch was originally buried on the field,
but later moved to the cemetery at Little Rock, Arkansas and finally
to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
Suggestions for further reading:
McCulloch Papers, Center for American History,
University of Texas, Austin, Texas
Rossiter Johnson, The twentieth century
dictionary of notable Americans, Boston: The Biographical Society,
1904, vol. VII
The new handbook of Texas, Austin:
The Texas State Historical Commission, 1996, vol. 4
Amelia Williams and Eugene Barker, The
writings of Sam Houston, Austin: Pemeberton Press, 1970, vol.
Thomas W. Cutter, Ben McCulloch and the
frontier military tradition, Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press, 1993
Vertical file, Texas Ranger Research Collection,
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Waco, Texas