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1862 April 2: Ben McCulloch

April 7, 2012

A very Northern obituary for Confederate General Ben McCulloch.  The battle of the Ozark Mountains is usually known as the Battle of Pea Ridge, which took place in the Ozarks.  For a less biased and briefer account of Ben McCulloch, see our Cast of Characters.

BEN McCULLOCH.

Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch, see footnote 1

General Ben McCulloch, who was killed in the battle of the Ozark Mountains, was a Tennessean by birth, and a vagabond and traitor by nature.  He went to Texas in 1835 with Crockett, fought the Mexicans, and afterwards the Indians’; settled in Texas, and took part in the border quarrels between Texas and Mexico.  The first act of treason for which he became known was committed in December, 1842, when he made part of a band which attacked the town of Mier.  The Texans were in turn, threatened by a vastly superior force, under Gen. Ampudia; and in order to secure their retreat, Fisher, the Colonel in command, sent McCulloch with a detachment to gather horses and mules from from [sic] the surrounding country and bring them into town.  McCulloch got the horses, but persuaded the men under his command to desert and leave their companions to their fate, who were decimated by the Mexicans, and long imprisonment suffered by the survivors.

McCulloch explained away this act of treachery, was forgiven, and was afterwards a member of the Texan Legislature, a ranger and spy in the Mexican war; in 1855 United States Marshal of Texas, and since the outbreak of this rebellion a traitor to his country.  He was a dashing partisan leader, but not a good General.

1.  This image is from the Civil War Trust’s Saving America’s Civil War Battlefields website, but can be found elsewhere on the Internet as well.  The original is in the Library of Congress.

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