Benjamin McCulloch (American National Biography)

Kenneth B. Shover, "McCulloch, Ben," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Following the war he joined the gold rush to California, but like so many others he failed in the quest for great wealth and returned to Texas in 1852. In 1853 President Franklin Pierce appointed him a federal marshal for Texas, a post he held until the spring of 1859. The year before, President James Buchanan had sent him to Utah to assist in settling problems related to the Mormons.

McCulloch achieved his greatest stature as soldier during the Civil War. He supported the secession movement in Texas despite his long association and friendship with Governor Sam Houston, a staunch Unionist. As ranking officer in the soon-to-be Confederate army of Texas, he accepted the surrender of Federal troops in San Antonio in February 1861. The following May, Confederate president Jefferson Davis appointed him brigadier general to command regiments recruited from Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. His charge was to defend his base in Arkansas and the Indian Territory to the west and to assist Confederate forces in Missouri as they fought to control that pivotal border state.
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