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Benjamin McCulloch

Texas Rangers Badge - Alan's Old West History Made Easy Trivia powered by ABEBorn: November 11, 1811
Died: March 7, 1862 (age 51)

He was a soldier in the Texas Revolution, a Texas Ranger, a U.S. marshal, and a brigadier general in the army of the Confederate States during the American Civil War.

What do you know about Benjamin McCulloch? Try this US Old West History Made Easy Quiz. "Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

1. Where was McCulloch born on November 11, 1811?

  • Rutherford County, Tennessee
  • Harrison County, West Virginia
  • Rutherford County, Ohio

2. Ben contracted measles and was bedridden for several weeks. He planned to go to Texas with a family friend and his men, however, the group left without him. Who did McCulloch plan to go to Texas with?

  • Jim Bowie
  • Davy Crockett
  • Mark Reynolds

3. McCulloch joined the Texas army under Sam Houston in its retreat to east Texas. Assigned to Captain Isaac N. Moreland's artillery company at the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836), he commanded one of the "Twin Sisters" -- two six-pounder cannon. What citizens sent the cannon to aid the Texans?

  • Cincinnati
  • New York City
  • Pittsburgh

4. He joined the Texas Rangers as lieutenant to Captain John Coffee "Jack" Hays. He acquired a reputation as an Indian fighter, favoring shotguns, pistols, and Bowie knives to the regulation saber and carbine.

  • True or False?

5. McCulloch served as a scout for Capt. Hays's Rangers. He and his brother, Henry, subsequently took part in the failed Somervell expedition and both escaped very shortly before most of the Texans were captured at Mier, Mexico in Tamaulipas. What was the date?

  • December 5, 1842
  • December 15, 1842
  • December 25, 1842

6. In 1852, President Franklin Pierce promised him command of the U.S. Second Cavalry. However who did Secretary of War Jefferson Davis gave it to instead?

  • Albert Sidney Johnston
  • Robert E. Lee
  • Thomas Jackson

7. McCulloch was appointed U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Texas in 1852, serving throughout the Pierce and Buchanan administrations.

  • True or False?

8. Texas seceded from the union on February 1, 1861 and McCulloch received a colonel's commission from Confederate President Jefferson Davis, with the comment that "to Texans, a moment's notice is sufficient when their State demands their service." When did he receive the colonel's commission?

  • February 14
  • February 24
  • March 14

9. McCulloch was placed in command of the Indian Territory. He set up his headquarters and began piecing together an Army of the West, with regiments from Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Where was the headquarters?

  • Dallas
  • Little Rock
  • Oklahoma City

10. On August 10, 1861, McCulloch's troops, though relatively poorly armed, handily defeated the army of General Nathaniel Lyon. What was the battle?

  • Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri
  • Battle of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • Battle of Joplin, Missouri

11. McCulloch commanded the Confederate right wing at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas (or Elkhorn Tavern). On March 7, 1862, after much maneuvering, he overran a key Union artillery battery. Union resistance stiffened late in the morning, however, and as McCulloch rode forward to scout out enemy positions, he was shot out of the saddle and died instantly. McCulloch always disliked army uniforms and was wearing a black velvet civilian suit and Wellington boots at the time of his death. Credit for the fatal shot was claimed by sharpshooter Peter Pelican. What was the unit?

  • 36th Illinois Infantry
  • 36th Tennessee Infantry
  • 36th New York Infantry

12. Where is Benjamin McCulloch buried?

  • Oakwood Cemetery, Austin, Texas
  • Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, Austin, Texas
  • Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas

Benjamin McCulloch
[Answers]

  1. Rutherford County, Tennessee
  2. Davy Crockett
  3. Cincinnati
  4. True
  5. December 25, 1842
  6. Albert Sidney Johnston
  7. True
  8. February 14
  9. Oklahoma City
  10. Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri
  11. 36th Illinois Infantry
  12. Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas, USA
    Plot: Republic Hill Section 1 Row N Number 4

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