Of genealogical interest to members of my family, perhaps. I have inserted footnotes into this obscure essay, which almost certainly came from the pen of Henry McCulloch himself. The old general was obviously the source of the information, or possibly misinformation, in the text, which could not have come from any other source. Most of this was never published anywhere else.
GENERAL HENRY EUSTACE McCULLOCH (From Lewis E. Daniell’s Personnel of the Texas State Government, with sketches of distinguished Texans, 1887)
HENRY EUSTACE McCULLOCH is the son of Alexander McCulloch and Francis LeNoir, who married in Nashville, Tennessee in 1799. He was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, on the sixth day of December, 1816. About two years after this, his father moved to North Alabama, and in the same year thereafter to Dyer County, West Tennessee, where H.E. McCulloch, the subject of this sketch, was principally reared. The winter he was fifteen years old, Henry, with the consent of his father, was put in charge of a wood yard, on the Mississippi River, under the supervision of the owner, Joseph Mitchell. The next three winters, he with his older brother, Ben, spent in rafting and boating on the Obion and Mississippi rivers. In the fall of 1835, when not quite nineteen years old, he accompanied his brother to Texas, but, on reaching Nacogdoches, Ben persuaded him to return and spend a year or two more with their parents. On his return to Tennessee, reaching the mouth of the Red River, he met his brother-in-law, W.L. Mitchell , who employed him in examining lands in the Mississippi swamps that winter. He then returned home to aid in making a crop in 1836, but, finding a volunteer company making up for the Florida war, he proposed to join it, but his father having spent several months in that section of the country with General Jackson during the Creek and British War of 1812 and 1814, and finding it very unhealthy, would not agree for him to muster in as a soldier, but consented to his going as an amateur, making arrangements with the authorities to supply him with arms, rations, etc., as the others, but to serve without pay until such time as he might desire to return home.
In the fall of 1837, he came to Texas to make it his home, and identified himself with her people. He spent his first winter in Washington, on the Brazos, building board houses, hewing the sills, plates, etc., and splitting the four-foot boards out of the red oak timber in the Brazos bottom. In the spring of 1838 he made a trip with Mr. Hunter, Joshua Robens and Jack Robens, from Robens' Ferry, which was then the upper house on the Trinity, to what was then known as the three forks on that river, their object being to locate and survey lands in that section, but they found the Indians so abundant that they regarded it entirely unsafe at that time and gave up the enterprise. Returning to Washington, he found Captain Chance, with a party of fifteen men, composed of Captain James Cook, James Shepherd, James Evitts, Sam Evitts, McFall, and others going out to explore the upper Brazos, and he accompanied them. This party, upon reaching the mouth of Little River, took up that stream and explored a great deal of that country drained by the Gabriel, Lampasas and Leon Rivers; and on this trip, while he and McFall were out hunting, they fell in with five Indians, and he got his first shot at a hostile Indian in Texas, and although there were only two white men, they killed two Indians and ran the other three into the timbered bottom on the Gabriel.
Returning to Washington, he spent a short time socially and resting among his friends at that place and about Independence, and, about the tenth of July, struck off for Gonzales, where he joined his brother, Ben and went to work in locating and surveying land and in aiding the settlers in defending themselves against the Indians, who seldom allowed the light of a moon to pass without committing some act of murder or theft upon the unprotected settlers. During the months of November and December 1838, the brothers, Henry and Ben McCulloch, divided the half league of land upon which Seguin is situated into one-acre, five-acre, and twelve-acre lots, the business lots having been surveyed by Swift and Campbell a month previously.
In January, 1839, Ben planned a raid against the Comanches, with a few Americans and a number of Tonkaway Indians, against which Henry protested but, unwilling to abandon his brother on such a hazardous expedition, he determined to go and share his fate. When the day to march came, there were five Americans, viz.; Ben and Henry McCulloch, Wilson Randle, David Henson, and John D. Wolfin, and thirty-five Indians, ready to take the field. Fortunately, after two days march, they met a band of hostile Waco and Comanche Indians on the head of Peach creek, on their way into the settlements, with whom a battle was commenced at once and resulted in the killing of five hostiles on the ground, with several others wounded, when they retreated into a large, dense thicket on the creek, into which the friendly Indians refused to follow, and the battle ended, with the loss of one friendly Indian killed. The friendly Indians, having lost a man and taken the scalps of the five hostiles, insisted on returning to their camp to mourn over the dead and celebrate the victory with a series of war dances, and while Henry was more than glad of it, his brother, Ben, had found that while their allies fought bravely, they did so little execution they were really not valuable in battle.
Winter being unfavorable for surveying, and there being a heavy crop of pecans, the brothers determined to build a small flat boat, 12 x 24 feet, load it with pecans and take it down the Guadalupe River to the Gulf of Mexico, which they accomplished, and sold the pecans near Pass Caballo. On returning home, they found that Captain Matthew Caldwell (Old Paint) was authorized by the President of the Republic to raise a company of rangers for six months, to defend the settlers at Gonzales and Seguin against the Indians and they at once agreed for Henry to join the company and Ben to carry on their land business. During the six months a great deal of active, efficient service was performed, and several parties of Indians routed, but not a single battle was fought, nor any depredation committed on the settlements; and, during this period, the brothers surveyed the wagon road from Gonzales to Austin, the newly established seat of government, under the protection of en escort from Captain Caldwell's company.
In November, 1839, Henry McCulloch met Miss Jane Isabella Ashby, a young lady who had been for three years attending school in her native state, Kentucky, to whom he became engaged to be married at a subsequent period and in order to have bread in the house after the marriage, he rented Mrs. DeWitt's farm, and made a crop of corn on it in the spring of 1840.
At the spring term of the county court, he was appointed assessor of taxes for that year, and as soon as he laid by his crop, he performed that service.
In August of that year, the Comanche Indians made a raid with a force of four or five hundred warriors, passing clear through the settlements, which were very sparse, to the coast, and sacked and burned Linnville, which was then the seaport on Lavaca Bay, killing all the men in the place who did not make their escape in boats and capturing a few families. All the force that could be raised promptly pursued them as they went down the country, and met them in the open prairie soon after they had sacked the town, and, though not strong enough to give battle with prospects of certain success, they were sufficiently strong to hold the Indians together, pursue them on their retreat and prevent them scattering, and thus save the settlers along their line of retreat. Meantime, another force was being raised on the Guadalupe and Colorado Rivers, and concentrated where the Indians would cross Plum creek; and about the time the Indians reached that point, Captain Caldwell, with about one hundred men from the Guadalupe, and Colonel Burleson, with about the same number of men from the Colorado, had formed a junction, and as General Felix Huston, who was major-general of the militia, was present, they turned the command over to him. He ordered the attack to be promptly made, sending forward a few men as skirmishers to bring on the battle. The Indians, being on the open prairie, soon discovered the movement and rallied their warriors at a point of timber, making show of fight, while they were rushing off their squaws and plunder. Upon this, General Huston halted and dismounted his force, and for some time awaited an attack, until at Captain Caldwell's request, Ben McCulloch suggested that it was best to mount his force and charge them. The order was given and promptly obeyed, Caldwell's company charging through and driving the Indians out of the point of timber, while Colonel Burleson charged those immediately in front of his force on the open prairie. The Indians gave way, and a running fight was kept up for several miles. During that run, a party of Indians were overtaken at a boggy branch, where his companions gave Henry McCulloch the credit of killing one Indian, while Ben and Henry E. McCulloch, Alsey S. Miller and C.C. DeWitt, leading the van after this, killed five Indians in single-handed combat, and it is conceded that Henry killed two of these.
On the twentieth of August, 1840, Henry was married to Miss Jane Isabella Ashby , and settled at a place that he and his brother, Ben had improved four miles above Gonzales, on the road to Austin, and when there was only one other on this road between that and the city. Here Ben opened a small farm that fall and winter, and put in a crop of corn the next spring.
In the fall of 1841, his brother-in-law, Judge B.D. McClure, died, leaving his family very much exposed on Peach creek, ten miles east of Gonzales, which with other circumstances rendered it necessary for him to leave his little farm in charge of his brother while he went to live with her until other arrangements could be made.
While plowing in the field, on the fifth day of March 1842, report reached Henry that the Mexican General Vasques had captured San Antonio with a large force, and that all the families from Seguin to Gonzales were on the move eastward. Knowing that his brother, Ben, Alsey S. Miller and others, were west watching the movements of the enemy, Henry rode hurriedly to Gonzales to try to check the stampede of the families until they could hear of the advance of the enemy from San Antonio; and finding he could not do this, he returned home, packed the wagon, gathered what stock he could hurriedly, and put them in charge of his wife, with a Negro boy and her two little brothers, to be taken to the settlements on the Lavaca, off the main traveled road, and wait for instructions from him, while he took the road to San Antonio with what men he could pick up. Just beyond Seguin, he met his brother, Ben and asked him whether it could be an invading force. "Yes", he replied, "we are too weak to attack them, and must necessarily watch their movements and wait for reinforcements;" and before any considerable number of reinforcements arrived, Vasques sacked the place and returned to Mexico. Henry returned immediately to his family, took them back home, and completed the cultivation of his crop.
In September of this year, the Mexican General Adrion Woll, with one thousand regular infantry, a field battery of two guns, and five or six hundred Ranchero cavalry, captured San Antonio again, and with it the district court, which was then in session. As soon as this news reached Gonzales, the McCullochs and others rallied all the force they could and marched to Seguin, where they established a supply camp sent runners out for reinforcements, and as soon as they had two hundred and two men assembled, organized a company of spies, or scouts, under Jack Hays, with Henry McCulloch as first lieutenant and C.B. Acklen as orderly sergeant, and moved on to the Cibolo and thence, after night, to a position on the east side of the Salado, about seven miles from San Antonio, and at daylight next morning, Hays's company was sent in to draw the enemy out. General Woll by some means unknown to this force, was about ready to move against it, and when Hays made his appearance, Woll's whole force of cavalry gave chase, which only ended when Hays reached the position of the main body of Texans. Skirmishing was kept up during the day, and the enemy made two bold efforts to dislodge the Texans by charging their line, but were repulsed both times with heavy loss, and, finally, at dark, they retired from the field.
As it rained all the next day, no forward movement was made, but on the next morning, the Texans marched upon the town and found that Woll had evacuated it and commenced his retreat at daylight that morning. They pursued Woll's forces, overtaking him on the Hondo, where he had taken strong position, and placed his battery so as to rake the road upon which the Texans would advance. Without knowing the position of these guns, Hays charged the Mexican rear guard, drove them in upon the main body, and captured the battery before the enemy had fired a half dozen shots; but the enemy, finding he was not properly supported, rallied in force and captured the battery.
That night the two commands laid within a few hundred yard of each other, and about three o'clock next morning the enemy continued the retreat the pursuit was abandoned. Hays had one horse killed and two men wounded in the charge.
The Texans, meeting considerable reinforcements on their return, when they reached San Antonio, it was agreed that they would make a raid into Mexico as early as possible, and all those who could do so were induced to remain at and near San Antonio, while others returned to their homes to get up recruits and gather beef cattle to supply the command on the expedition.
Without the aid of the government, an army of 800 men assembled on the Medina, twenty miles west of San Antonio, in November 1842, and without a wagon, tent, or breadstuff, marched for Mexico, driving the beef upon which they subsisted with them; took formal possession of Laredo on this side of the river, which had not been done before; moved down opposite Gerreo; crossed and captured that town some miles from the river and returned to this side of the river, where General Alexander Somervell, who was in command, ordered the forces to return to San Antonio.
Disgusted with General Somervell, and desiring to learn more of the country, Henry McCulloch got permission from Captain Hays and General Somervell to take a portion of Hays's company, of which he was first lieutenant, and proceed down the Rio Grande as far as he thought it safe to go, and return by a route south of that taken by the Texans' main body.
General Somervell's order to abandon the expedition was so unexpected and regarded as so unnecessary, that over 300 of the men, and some of the officers, refused to obey it, and organized a force under Colonel W.S. Fisher to proceed down to and capture the town of Mier, which was on a small stream a few miles from the Rio Grande. In organizing this force, and before electing Colonel Fisher, the command was first tendered to Ben McCulloch, then to Tom Green, and then to Henry McCulloch, but as they had left the command with permission, all refused to accept it, and Henry McCulloch declined to connect his command with it in any way, further than to go in advance of it with his thirteen men, and if he discovered any formidable force to report it to Colonel Fisher.
When opposite Mier, he awaited the arrival of Colonel Fisher, and informed him that while he had seen no formidable force, he had discovered small scouting parties who were watching his movements, and could easily count his numbers as he marched along the river.
He declared his intention was to cross his troops that night and attack the town at daylight next morning; and rather than see him make a reckless attack on the town without any knowledge of what was in it, Henry McCulloch proposed that Colonel Fisher increase his force to twenty-five men, put them across in his ferry boats (having captured two on his way down the river), and place from fifty to one hundred men on the west side of the river to hold and protect the crossing, when Lieutenant McCulloch would make a reconnaissance of the town and report to him. This being agreed to, McCulloch marched upon the town at once, and finding no troops there, rode into the main plaza, received the surrender of the place by the alcalde, and was informed by a Mr. Jamison, whom he found there, and an old Mexican friend of the Texans, from San Antonio, that Colonel Canales, with 500 cavalry, was expected there in an hour and that General Ampudia, with 1500 infantry, was expected that night. After remaining an hour quietly, Lieutenant McCulloch returned, giving no intimation of their future movements, and as he reached the top of the hill, he could see Colonel Canales' command, some two miles off, as they advanced on the town.
He reported the condition of affairs to Colonel Fisher, who said he would move at three o'clock a.m. and attack the town at daylight with his whole force dismounted. Rather than see him do this, without any information as to the locality of the enemy, Henry McCulloch proposed that Colonel Fisher increase his force to fifty men, to act as his advance guard, etc., to which he consented, and he again marched into the town, and found that Ampudia had failed to reach it, though only a few miles off, and that Canales had left at four o'clock a.m. to join Ampudia. The town was again formally surrendered to ColoneI Fisher, and he made his demand for money and supplies, which the alcalde agreed to furnish. While his command occupied the town McCulloch kept pickets on all the roads leading into it.
On returning to camp that night, McCulloch found that, instead of Colonel Fisher having the supplies delivered at that place where he had his boats, he had agreed to receive them five miles lower down, and on the west side of the river, whereupon McCulloch said to Colonel Fisher:
"You have had a trap laid for you which I do not propose to fall into, but will leave you in the morning, and you will find Ampudia where you expect your supplies." Fisher found this prediction true, and yet he crossed his force in the face of the enemy, driving them before him into the city, fought them in it a day and night, gaining advantages over them, and was finally induced to surrender upon the enemy stating they had received large reinforcements, and offering liberal terms of surrender.
McCulloch, with his small command, leaving Fisher prior to the surrender, struck off through the country, without a road, and reached the Nueces and crossed it about ten miles above San Patricio, and crossed the San Antonio River at the old deserted town of Sobohea, or Goliad, and reached the Guadalupe river near where Cuero is now located.
When Henry McCulloch arrived at home, he found all well, and that a daughter had been born to his wife three weeks before, and that during his absence, without consulting him, his friends had placed his name before the people as a candidate for sheriff of the county, and the election being only two weeks off, it was too late to decline, or do anything of consequence to secure his election.
In February, 1843, Henry McCulloch was elected sheriff of Gonzales County by a handsome majority over C.C. DeWitt, the son of the empressario, and a very popular young man. He held this office two years, unprofitably however, it proving a loss to him of both time and means.
In 1844, he commenced merchandising in Gonzales, on capital loaned him without interest, by Captain Isaac N. Mitchell, who was one of his old fellow soldiers, and a farmer of considerable means.
Finding his wife's health failing in Gonzales, he moved to Seguin in November of the same year and there finding a stock of goods belonging to General A.W.G. Davis in the hands of Wilson Randle, to be sold on commission, he bought them and took Randle into partnership with him, opening out under the firm name of Randle & McCulloch. Being remarkably successful, he soon paid his friend the money he had kindly loaned him, and was able to go on with the business.
In February 1846, Thomas H. Holloman, a young man from Virginia, who had been raised a merchant, and had some ready money, came to Seguin and proposed to go into partnership with the firm. The proposition was accepted and the firm name was changed to Randle, McCulloch & Co. On the eighth day of June, 1846, McCulloch turned the store over to his partners for their management, and was elected captain of a volunteer company for service in the Mexican War, with orders from the Governor to report to Colonel W.S. Harney, then in command of San Antonio, who had the company mustered into the service of the United States by Lieutenant Colonel T.T. Fauntleroy, and ordered to establish a camp at the head of San Marcos River, where the town of San Marcos now is, and where there was not then a house in fifteen miles.
Having no treaties with the Indians, and fearing the Mexicans would induce them to commit more daring depredations on the frontier settlers than usual, Captain McCulloch's company was kept most of the time on the frontier, but was ordered into Mexico twice, going as far as Monclova on General Woll's line of march, and Monteray on General Taylor's line, and each time after rendering some service in breaking up guerrilla haunts, was ordered back to his camp on the frontier.
In the fall of 1846, the town of San Marcos was laid off by General Edward Burleson, Sr., and Colonel W.B. Lindsey, proprietors; and by June, 1847, a fine settlement had formed in and around it, extending down the river for several miles, and was regarded sufficiently strong to protect itself against the Indians.
In the early part of July, 1847, a regiment was formed of detached companies, of which Captain McCulloch's was one, and P. Hansborough Bell (afterwards Governor of Texas) was elected Colonel, who was put in command of all the troops in Texas, with his headquarters at San Antonio, with instructions to place his entire regiment on the frontier to protect the settlers against the Indians.
Upon receiving these instructions, and not being very well acquainted with the frontier, Colonel Bell called Captain Henry McCulloch, Captain Highsmith and "Big Foot" Wallace to his headquarters for consultation as to where the line of defense should be established, and the companies respectively posted, and it was agreed that Fredericksburg was the outside settlement, and that a line should be drawn about this distance from the main settlements, and Captain McCulloch's company was ordered to take post on it in Hamilton's Valley, on the Colorado River, seventy miles above Austin, with Captain Highsmith's company near Fredericksburg, west of the former company, and Captain Shapley P. Ross east of it, on or near the Brazos, about where Waco is now located. The companies on this entire line of frontier were required to have scouts from each to meet at a designated point between them once a week, with orders to report any failure upon the part of any company to do so, and to keep scouting parties constantly above this line, which General McCulloch now says, "proved the most efficient protection the frontier has ever had under any other plan that has ever been tried."
About the first of November, 1847, Captain McCulloch established "Camp McCulloch," on Hamilton Creek, about three miles below where the town of Burnet is now located, where this company remained until the twenty-second day of October, 1848, which was the end of their term of service, when they were regularly discharged; but a band of Indians having passed down west of Captain Highsmith's company, and committed depredations on the Guadalupe River, both the Governor and Colonel Bell urged Captain McCulloch to hold his company together, reorganize and muster in for an indefinite period, and remain until the arrival of United States dragoons, which he did, and on being relieved by them, his company was finally discharged from the service of the United States in the war with Mexico.
During these terms of service, covering the time from the eighth day of June, 1846, to the eighth day of December, 1848, Captain McCulloch was elected captain four times by the men, one term of over three months, two terms of twelve months, and the fourth for one month and seventeen days, without opposition after his election to the command of the first company. No better evidence could be produced of his popularity with his company, and as no charges or official complaints were ever made against him by his commanding officers, his services must have been satisfactory to them.
As he desired to be retired from the mercantile business and turn his attention to farming and stock-raising, and in order to give his partners ample time to make suitable arrangements therefor after being discharged from the service, he came to Austin and rented the "Swisher House", and kept hotel from the first of January, 1849, to the last of February, 1850. During this time, over ten thousand dollars were received and paid out, and Captain McCulloch's net profits amounted to just $103.25, with the services of himself, wife, two negroes and a brother-in-law, Travis H. Ashby, who he was raising, thrown in for good measure. During this time, he was made a Mason, in Austin Lodge No. 12, and as far as ascertained, Honorable John Hancock is the only Mason now living who was a member of the lodge at that time.
About the fourth of March, 1850, he returned to his home in Seguin, closed his mercantile business, in which he found his capital had increased, and that it had, under the management of honest partners, made money, after paying them liberally for carrying on his part of it, during an absence of nearly four years. But before he had time to do much in arranging for his farming and stock-raising, he was again called on by General Brook, then in command of Texas, to take the field for the protection of the frontier settlements, for twelve months, with a company of Rangers, which he raised under an order from him. He was elected Captain and mustered into service at Austin, on the fifth day of November, 1850, and ordered to report to him at San Antonio, where the company was fitted out for the field, and ordered to protect the settlements between the Nueces and San Antonio rivers, upon which the Indians committed constant depredations.
Under these orders he established his camp about the upper waters of the Aransas River above the settlements, and at once threw out his scouts to the San Antonio River, on the east, and the Nueces, on the west, and kept the entire line of same sixty miles constantly covered with scouts; but as the country was full of mustangs (wild horses), it was difficult to detect the trail of a few Indians that might pass along in the night with barefooted ponies. Captain McCulloch made an arrangement with the settlers below his line, to report to him promptly if the Indians committed any depredations, or any sign of them should be discovered.
It was only a few days before a party of fifteen Indians passed below the line and succeeded in stealing some horses, but one of his scouting parties under the command of Lieutenant J.R. King discovered the trail and pursued them all day through a heavy rain, overtaking them just at dark encamped in the forks of two deep ravines. King, as was the custom in those days, charged them with his ten men. The Indians dropped precipitately into one of the ravines, where they made a firm stand and, although they were wounded, the lieutenant, with an arrow at his first onset, and about half the guns of his party (getting wet by the rain) could not be made to fire, he held his ground and fought them until dark, and then came to the company's camp which was only about four miles from his battle ground. The night was so dark, that nothing could be done but at day break next morning, Captain McCulloch was on the ground with twenty men, and finding that the Indians had been gone a few hours, began chase at such speed he thought his horses could hold on a long chase through heavy ground ( a good deal of it boggy from the late rain), and at about twelve o'clock, after a chase of many miles, his men, who were mounted on horses of the best bottom, got almost within gunshot of them as they reached the edge of a dense thicket miles in extent, where they abandoned their horses, making their escape on foot, with nothing but their arms. One other party, of two Indians, succeeded in passing below the line and captured a little boy near night at Refugio. The citizens pursued in the direction the Indians took, but not being able to trail them in the night, notified Captain McCulloch of what had occurred, and where they thought he would probably strike the trail of the Indians; and by sunrise the next morning, he had reached that point, and, by accident, found the trail, and followed it with difficulty, up the Nueces for four days, hoping to find a larger party to which these two fellows belonged, but not doing so, gave up the chase. About two weeks after this, another party of about twenty Indians attempted to pass down near the Nueces, through an open country, and were discovered by a scouting party under Lieutenant Calvin S. Turner, who at once gave chase with fifteen men, but the Indians having a long way the start of him, reached the thickets on Sulphur creek far enough in advance to scatter and elude his pursuit.
The Secretary of War disapproved the twelve months' call but ordered the company to be mustered out and re-mustered at the end of six months for six months longer, which necessitated a reorganization of the company, and Captain McCulloch was re-elected captain without opposition, and re-mustered into service at Fort Morrill by Captain Gordon Granger, who freed the slaves by a military order, in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States, on the nineteenth day of June, 1865. In the meantime, General Brook had died, and General W.S. Harney was in command, and there had been no Indians seen for over two months on or near the line of operations, he regarded them entirely driven off that portion of the frontier, and, at his request, General Harney ordered Captain McCulloch's company to or near the head of the Llano River, where Kimble County is now located, from where he could completely protect the settlers on the upper Guadalupe, and partially, if not completely, protect those on the upper Medina.
Soon after establishing his camp well up the north fork of the Llano, Captain McCulloch started out with a scout of twenty-two men, intending to pass up that stream to its source, and thence westward to the Nueces, so as to cut across all the Indian trails that traversed that section, and, if no fresh trail was found to bear northeast to the headwaters of the San Saba, Concho, etc., making a scout of fifteen or twenty days; but, just at the head of the north fork of the Llano, he struck a fresh trail of Indians, going in the direction of the head of the San Saba, which he promptly pursued, and, thinking it likely he would find them resting at the first good water, he placed the detachment under the command of Sergeant Houston Tom, with instructions to move silently while he took one more with him to go in advance and spy out the Indian camp in the event of finding it. On approaching the first branch of the San Saba he discovered their camp, composed of some forty braves and two squaws, where the men were all loitering carelessly about in the shade of an oak grove, on the margin of a spring branch, with their horses grazing on a prairie some three or four hundred yards from them. The fact that some of our friendly Indians were permitted to roam and hunt in that section of the country rendered it necessary to use great caution in attacking any party that might be discovered, which prevented his taking all the advantages of them he could otherwise have taken; and, in order to be certain whether they were friends or foes, after getting within three hundred yards of them under cover of the timber on the branch, we advanced upon them in line, at a gallop, but did not open fire upon them until the warriors seized their arms and fired one shot, upon which he charged them, and they fled, scattering over exceedingly rough, broken, rocky and brushy ground, so that he had to turn his men loose with orders to attack them wherever they could come up with them, and in this way four Indians were killed, two squaws taken prisoner, and every horse they had, with all their camp plunder and camp outfit, captured while the rangers' loss was one horse killed, and one man slightly wounded by an arrow shot by a squaw, when he was making her a prisoner. This was a party of Comanches who had made a raid on the lower Rio Grande, and were making their way back to their main body on the upper Colorado River. After detaining the squaws about two hours, to get them quiet and learn all he could from them, Captain McCulloch allowed each of them to pick a horse out of those captured, take all the plunder they wanted, and then presenting each of them with a good blanket from his own stores, turned them loose to hunt up their men and tell them he was not fighting women, or for plunder, but for peace; that he would remain on the ground until twelve o'clock the next day, and if they would come in and agree to make peace, he would turn over all their property to them; that if they were afraid to do this, if they would hunt up a band of friendly Comanches, and report to the commanding officer at Fort Martin Scott, near Fredericksburg, in a month (a moon), and make peace, he would restore their property.
The property had to be carried back to camp, to be taken care of, and Captain McCulloch's party being too weak to divide and prosecute the scout, after remaining till twelve o'clock the next day, as promised, he returned to camp with his entire party and was exceedingly careful to have every piece of the plunder captured taken care of, so that it might be turned over to them in case they came in and made peace. In about three weeks, Captain McCulloch received notice from the commanding officer at Fort Martin Scott that they had come in and proposed to make peace provided he showed good faith by keeping his promise to them through the squaws. They also asked Captain McCulloch to come down and bring the property if he had it still in hand. In compliance with this request, he carried the property down and turned it over to the Indians, in the presence of the commanding officer of the fort, and they acknowledged that not an article that they could remember was missing. Although no one was authorized to make a treaty with them, an agreement was made for them to commit no depredations on our people, and they to be treated as friends until a proper treaty could be made and they moved to the reservation.
This was the last Indian fight Captain McCulloch ever commanded, although some of his scouts had several little brushes with them while in that section before being mustered out of the service at Fort Martin Scott (on the fourth day of November, 1851) by Captain James Longstreet, and this was the last military service he ever rendered under the United States flag.
Captain McCulloch returned to his home at Seguin, and at once went about making his arrangements to establish his farm and stock business on a solid basis, and invested some money in a piece of land upon which he put a ranch house and built pens. That winter and next spring (1852) he purchased some horses and put them and his cattle (except the milch cows) upon it, in charge of a Mexican, but giving it his personal supervision.
In the summer of 1853, Colonel French Smith, declared himself a Whig candidate for the State Legislature. Up to this time they had had no political divisions in the county, but the Democrats got together informally and determined to call a meeting and put out their man against him. The Colonel was a fine talker, and the Democrats tackled him with a considerable degree of hesitancy, but they finally determined that Captain McCulloch should make the race against him, and he having never made a speech up to that time, the Colonel laughed at the idea of pitting "Henry" against him. The Colonel made his appointments, and invited Captain McCulloch to meet him. Captain McCulloch never intimated to him or his friends that he intended to do so but rather intimated that he would not met him in debate.
Captain McCulloch, having business at Austin just before his first appointment, which was at Seguin, purposely stayed away until Smith had gotten well into his speech, which he commenced by asking the Democracy where their champion was, and when might he expect to meet him before the people, if ever. With that remark, "Henry is a star Indian and Mexican fighter, but you made a mistake when you selected him as a speech maker", and when McCulloch stepped in and took his seat near the door of the church in which he was speaking, it seemed to move him to his best efforts. As he drew to a close, and before waiting to be called, McCulloch rose to his feet, promptly indicating his intention to reply, and as he walked forward, he was cheered on all sides. Colonel Smith met him cordially and, having occupied the pulpit during his speech, he invited McCulloch to do the same, to which he replied-"No, no, Colonel; I am not only no preacher, but I am not good enough to occupy the pulpit," and as he was a very profane man, while McCulloch was not, this retort he felt to be a pretty hard lick. During McCulloch's ride to Austin and back, alone, he had plenty of time to think, and having about all the manliness that was in him called into requisition, it is doubtful whether he has ever made a better stump speech than he made that day. When he got through, Smith pushed his way through McCulloch's friends to tell him that "If this is a specimen of your speeches, you will prove as good a speaker as you have an Indian and Mexican fighter." The canvass terminated in McCulloch defeating Smith by a handsome majority. Captain McCulloch had no taste for the political life, although, as a patriotic and conscientious member of the Legislature, he did his duty and was afterwards, as will be seen, drawn into another contest.
In 1855, he was reluctantly drawn into a canvass (on questions of State policy) against his neighbor and friend, Colonel Thomas H. Duggan, who was a substantial Democrat, and while they both urged Democratic friends to hold a convention and decide between them, they failed to do so, and this gentleman ran the race through, and McCulloch was elected over him by a fair majority to represent the counties of Gonzales, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Hays and Comal, in the Senate for four years.
In the summer of 1854, Captain McCulloch, purchasing an additional 640 acre tract of land adjoining his ranch tract, on Mill Creek, eight miles west of Seguin, improved it sufficiently to shelter his family, sold his home and small farm in Seguin, and moved his family to his new home. He opened a small farm on it, fenced a small pasture, built good stock-pens, and the next spring invested all his spare funds in good jacks, stallions and mares, with the intention of raising horses and mules extensively.
His brother, Ben, had been United States marshal of Texas during President Pierce's administration, and when the State was divided into two judicial districts, President Buchanan appointed him United States marshal for the eastern district of Texas, and as he wished to spend a good deal of his time in Washington, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi and Tennessee, and Henry spent a good deal of his time in Galveston, when he could be spared from other interests, managing the office, at the end of the session of the Legislature which was held in the winter of 1857 and 1858, Ben resigned and President Buchanan appointed Henry United States marshal for the eastern district of Texas for four years, which position he held until Texas seceded, when he resigned.
The Secession Convention selected three men: Ben McCulloch, John S. Ford, and Henry E. McCulloch, and appointed them colonels, with authority to raise men and capture the stores at all the military posts of the United States in Texas. As soon as the brothers were informed of their appointment, they hastened home (eight miles north of Seguin at "Ranger's Home") to spend a day with the family, take leave of them, and be ready in every way to take the field, and, impressed with the certainty of approaching war, to make all arrangements accordingly. As was Captain McCulloch's custom on leaving home for any length of time, he made out full memoranda of all the debts he owed (his brother never had any, as he attended to all home affairs) and all that was coming to them, and then proceeded with what he owed as security for others, and when the last list was made, it being about ten thousand dollars, his brother seemed astonished, and being called on for his liabilities of the same kind, they amounted to about nine thousand, footing up a little over nineteen thousand dollars, and, as they had never had any separate interest, they felt severally bound for these debts if they had to be paid then.
On carefully looking over the future and calculating the uncertainties of war, and having about $3,000.00 in gold deposited with R.D. Q. Mills & Co., of Galveston, they placed this, subject to the order of the wife of Henry (Ben never married and the brothers had but the one home), to be used as she saw proper for the good of the family, with the suggestion, as they had plenty of beef cattle, mules and horses of marketable age, that she dispose of these to raise money for present use, and retain the gold for any great emergency that might arise, with the further suggestion, if both fell, and the war closed disastrously she should do what she thought best for herself and children. Here the brothers separated, to meet no more in life, Henry returning to Austin and Ben remaining at home awaiting orders and getting everything ready for his move to San Antonio.
The principal military post of the United States being at San Antonio, three commissioners were appointed, viz., Samuel A. Maverick, Thomas J. Devine and Philip C. Luckit, to take charge of the property after Ben McCulloch had captured it. A force of about twelve hundred men had already been raised in the counties of Gonzales, Caldwell, Hays and Guadalupe, for such purposes, by Colonel James C. Wilson of Gonzales; Colonel Ellison, of Caldwell and Colonel Henry McCulloch, of Seguin, who were called out by Ben McCulloch, and, on presenting this overwhelming force, Colonel Twiggs, who was then in command at San Antonio, surrendered the property. Colonel Ford was ordered to Brownsville as military commander, accompanied by Colonel E.B. Nichols, as commissioner, while Henry McCulloch was commissioned as colonel and military commissioner, and ordered to raise troops and capture the posts on the northwestern frontier. Leaving Austin without a man, with his rifle, pistols, Spanish blanket, and a change of underclothing in his saddle-bags, and only a few dollars in his pocket, he took the stage for Salado, where he entered the home of Colonel E. Sterling C. Robertson about three o'clock p.m., and, after telling him of his mission, told him he wanted him to select a man to raise a company hurriedly, to furnish him (McCulloch) a number one saddlehorse (suitable for active, hard, frontier service), with saddle, bridle, etc., and one hundred dollars in gold, and, if possible to have them all ready by breakfast next morning. Colonel Robertson put McCulloch to bed, saying "Go to sleep and I will have everything ready and wake you up to early breakfast." When McCulloch finished his breakfast the next morning, he found everything ready, with Captain Talley waiting for such orders as he might have for him. Having prepared several blank commissions before leaving Austin, he filled one up for Tally, and directed him to raise a company as soon as possible, of from fifty to one hundred men and report to him at Comanche, where Colonel McCulloch had already sent Captain T.C. Frost to raise a company. Mounting his horse, Colonel McCulloch took the road to Gatesville, where he made arrangements to have men raised to report at Comanche, and passing on through Hamilton County doing the same, he reached Comanche, where he left orders with Captain Frost to have his company ready to march as early as possible, and to hold all others who might come in squads until Captain Tally arrived with his company, take command of all of them, as senior captain, and report to him at Brownwood.
On reaching Brownwood, he selected a man, and sent him to Camp Colorado, which was then garrisoned by Captain E. Kirby Smith's company of the Second United States cavalry, to make a full examination of the place, make a sketch of it, and return to him at Brownwood, or meet him on the road. Captain Frost soon arrived with the troops, and when those raised at Brownwood were added, they numbered about four hundred men, and with these he at once moved upon Camp Colorado. Placing the troops under Captain Frost, as senior captain, with instructions to reach Jim Ned after night, and camp on the creek four miles below Camp Colorado, he went on in advance of the troops, and demanded the surrender of the post, with all its military stores, including the cavalry horses and arms of every description, leaving it optional with the troops to march peacefully out of the country, via Indianola, with transportation furnished, or take service with Texas. At first, Captain Smith positively refused to comply with the demand, but ultimately consented, with the understanding that while all other stores, arms, etc., were to be turned over on the ground, the horses, transportation and arms of the company were to be turned over at Indianola, where the troops were to be shipped to New Orleans or New York. This arrangement was made, and articles of agreement regularly signed. He left Captain Frost, with his company to receive this property and garrison the post, and pushed on to Fort Chadburn, with the remainder of the command, under Captain Tally, as senior captain, taking one man and going about a day in advance of the command. Here he found Lieutenant-Colonel Gouvenier Morris in command of the fort, which was garrisoned with two companies of United States infantry; and when the proposition of surrendering the property was made by Colonel McCulloch, without troops to enforce the demand, Morris not only refused but laughed at him. Meantime, Colonel McCulloch found that Captain Bill Burleson had a company of rangers about twenty miles off, which had been called into service by Governor Houston. He rode to that camp at once, and induced him to join the Texas command, and before Colonel Morris knew that there was any body of troops near him, the Texans marched upon the fort with about four hundred well-armed men eager for battle, and made a peremptory demand for an immediate surrender, to which Colonel Morris asked for an hour's time to consult his captains, which was granted, upon condition that during that hour he would make no preparation for defense, and Colonel McCulloch was allowed to place an officer inside the fort to see that this condition was complied with. At the end of the time, Morris notified McCulloch that he would surrender the property, but not the company arms, provided his command was allowed to occupy the fort until transportation was furnished them to Indianola. It was agreed that his command should occupy the fort until transportation could be furnished, upon condition that the stores should be turned over immediately to an officer, to be appointed by Colonel McCulloch, who should, with the approval of Captain Tally, issue to both commands, and that the arms of the companies should be turned over at Indianola, which was accepted by him, and articles of agreement signed to that effect. Upon this agreement, although Colonel McCulloch had not heard from San Antonio, he wrote to the commissioners and asked them, if possible to furnish the necessary transportation to move this command, and leaving Captain Tally, with his company, in command, took Captain Burleson's company and the balance of the command and moved at once upon Phantom Hill, which he found deserted, with only a few stores left. Knowing that he would be able to pick up Captain Buck Barry's company of rangers (ordered out by Governor Houston) on the route, Colonel McCulloch left Captain Burleson's company at this place and pushed on with the remainder of the command under Lieutenant Green Davidson, of Captain Tally's company, to Camp Cooper, where he expected to find Captain Carpenter with two companies of the Second Cavalry. Soon after picking up Captain Barry's company he met Captain Carpenter, who had been compelled to surrender the stores at Camp Cooper to an unauthorized force to whom he could not capitulate, and, in order to relieve him from his embarrassment as far as possible, and guarantee his peaceful passage out of the State, Colonel McCulloch entered into articles of agreement with him similar to those entered into with Captain Smith, he passing on to San Antonio with his command and McCulloch pushing on to Camp Cooper, to secure what stores he might find at that place.
On reaching Camp Cooper, Colonel McCulloch found Major Rogers of Waxahachie, in command, with James P. McCord as quartermaster and commissary, taking an inventory of the captured property on hand; and although it had been seized by an unauthorized force, Major Rogers had allowed but little of it, if any, to be appropriated to private use. Colonel McCulloch relieved Major Rogers, furnished his command with supplies for the trip home, placed Captain Barry in command, and appointed McCord temporary commissary and quartermaster to continue to take an inventory of the property under Captain Barry's orders, make issues to the troops, etc. until other arrangements should be made. Leaving Captain Barry in command of Camp Cooper, Colonel McCulloch pushed on with his remaining force, under Lieutenant Davidson, to Fort Belknap, which he found had been deserted by the troops who had left the State for Fort Arbuckle, in the Indian Territory, and if they had left any supplies, they had been carried away by other persons. McCulloch then marched his force back to Camp Colorado, where he disbanded it, furnishing them rations, etc., to their homes, and after a day's rest returned to Fort Chadburn, accompanied by Lieutenant Davidson. On reaching Ford Chadburn, he learned from Captain Tally that Colonel Morris had refused to recognize Tally's authority, suspended the officer whom he had appointed to take charge of the property and given official notice that he did not intend to conform to the articles of capitulation which he had signed, but would supply Tally's company with forage and rations until McCulloch returned. Calling on him immediately, in order to have this affirmed or contradicted by him in person, Colonel McCulloch asked him to invite his two captains who had witnessed the articles of agreement to meet them at his office to witness the conversation. This being done, when called upon by McCulloch, he informed him that upon mature deliberation, he had determined not to comply with the written articles of ageement, and when ready, would move out of the State in-the direction of Fort Arbuckle, if he moved at all. Meantime news had reached there that in surrendering the property at San Antonio, General Twiggs, as the commander of the forces in Texas, had stipulated with the commissioners (Maverick, Devine, and Luckett) to allow the troops to leave the State at Indianola, where they were to be furnished transportation and supplies, and were to carry their arms out with them, but Colonel McCulloch did not consider that this changed in the least the terms entered into with him, as his was a separate and distinct command, but agreed that on arrival at San Antonio, that these commissioners might change the agreements made with him, so as to put all the United State troops upon the same footing, if they desired to do so, of which he informed Colonel Morris.
A long discussion of an unfriendly character, more or less, ensued, in which McCulloch accused him of violating his official honor, and of disgracing the flag of his nation, and notified him that he would assemble a force at once to hold his command in the fort until he could get artillery from Fort Mason to batter the houses down over his head, and if he undertook to move out by any route without conforming strictly to the written articles of agreement, he, McCulloch, would fight him at every ravine, creek, branch and river to the line of the State, as long as he had an officer and man to shoot at, and he was left with one to fire a gun or pistol. Upon this, Captain W.W. Wallace, who commanded one of the companies, informed Colonel Morris that he considered the articles of agreement, as signed, binding upon the command, and that his company, while he commanded it, would not participate in their violation if it came to hostilities. Finding his own household divided, Colonel Morris asked two hours further time to confer with his officers before McCulloch took further action, which was granted, and at the end of two hours he invited McCulloch to return, and in the presence of all the officers of his command and Captain Tally, pledged himself to carry out the written articles of agreement on his part, and here the trouble ended. After giving Captain Tally instructions as to his future course, Colonel McCulloch left for Camp Colorado, which he had established as the headquarters of his command.
He remained at Camp Colorado two days, giving orders for the general disposition of his forces for the protection of the settlements on the frontier, as well as the careful management of the captured property; put Captain Frost in command as a senior captain in his absence, and returned to Austin to make a full report to the Executive Committee (of which Honorable John C. Robertson was chairman, which had been appointed by the Convention to manage the military affairs of the State until more permanent arrangements could be made) of all his actions, receive their approval or disapproval, and be relieved of the command or receive further orders. On receiving his report, in writing, his course was approved by the committee unanimously, and he was directed to return to Camp Colorado, and give all the protection in his power to the frontier people until more permanent arrangements could be made to that effect.
On the night after receiving this order, and before he had left Austin, he received a commission from his Excellency, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, to raise and command a regiment of mounted riflemen for the protection of the frontier of Texas. In the absence of any other Confederate officer, and in order that he could control the necessary supplies to fit out this regiment, put it in the field and support it, it became necessary for him to assume command of the Department of Texas, which he did; and upon informing the Executive Committee of these facts, they authorized him to exercise full control of all the supplies captured at San Antonio and the posts north of it, and that he should retain command of the troops which he had placed on the frontier until he could replace them with Confederate troops.
After issuing his first order, assuming command of the Department of Texas, with headquarters at San Antonio, he granted authority to ten select men to raise companies for twelve months' service in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, to report to him as early as possible, within the next twenty days, at San Antonio except those to be raised by Captains T.C. Frost, Buck Barry, and Green Davidson (Captain Tally having informed him that he did not desire to remain in the service but a short time) who were to remain at their respective posts. Each of these ten select men were instructed to receive no habitual drunkard or regular gambler into his company, and all, without exception, with the distinct understanding that no leave of absence would be granted to an officer, or furlough to a non-commissioned officer or private, in the twelve months, unless it should be in case of actual necessity, which the colonel commanding would judge. Under these instructions, they had but four married men in the regiment, and it was certainly one of the finest regiments of men and horses ever seen mustered into the volunteer service. Going immediately from Austin to San Antonio, to make arrangements with the State Commissioners to turn over the military stores to him as the representative of the Confederate States, and completing his arrangements with them to that effect, Colonel McCulloch continued the officers in charge of them which they had appointed; and, after granting Captain W. M. Edgar authority to raise a company for artillery service, he took leave of absence to spend a few days with his family, near Seguin, while the mounted companies were being raised and equipped to report.
On the seventeenth of April, the first company of the ten reported, and Captain Sayers, who had been sent from Montgomery by the Secretary of War to muster the regiment into service, having arrived, it was mustered in immediately, and as the other companies arrived, one by one, they were mustered, and, in a few days, the six companies that were ordered to report at San Antonio were regularly mustered into service, and Captain Sayers dispatched, with an escort, to the posts on the frontier to muster in the four companies in that section.
It requiring a few days to fit out the six companies fully for the field, as well as Captain Edgar's company of light artillery before any further movement of troops was made, Colonel Earl Van Dorn arrived with full instructions from the Secretary of War to take command of the department and as the war had actually commenced, capture all the United States troops that had not gone out of the department; and after arresting all the officers that were in San Antonio, he hurried off to Indianola with his staff, to capture the troops that were waiting at that point for transportation, with orders for Colonel McCulloch to follow, by forced marches, with his six companies of mounted men, and Captain Edgar's battery, who were all ready for the field; and, although Colonel McCulloch made fully fifty miles in each twenty-four hours, on arriving in Victoria he was informed that all the troops that had not left Indianola had surrendered to Colonel Van Dorn, and that any further advance of his command was unnecessary.
Here Colonel McCulloch remained for two days awaiting the return of Colonel Van Dorn, on orders from him, which was beneficial to both men and horses; and when he returned, he pushed on to San Antonio, and directed Colonel McCulloch to return to that place with his entire command, as expeditiously as practicable without injury to his horses, as troops were expected to arrive there from Forts Clark, Stanton, Davis and Bliss, under the command of Colonel Reeves. Reaching San Antonio before the arrival of these troops, Colonel Van Dorn directed Colonel McCulloch to establish a camp with his six companies and Captain Edgar's battery on the Leon, at or near the crossing of Fort Clark road, where he, McCulloch, would receive reinforcements, and await the approach of Colonel Reeves, who was known to be within a few days' march.
This being the first time McCulloch's troops had had any rest, he ordered an election for lieutenant-colonel and major of the regiment; and, although being fully authorized by his commission to command them, as they were volunteers, he submitted his own claims for their ratification or the election of any other person they might think proper to elect to the command, and Captain Nelson, who commanded one of the companies, became a candidate for colonel against him. All of the companies of the regiment were embraced in the order, including the four that were absent as well as the six in camp, and the contest resulted in the election of Captain T. C. Frost, lieutenant-colonel, Edward Burleson major, and Henry McCulloch's appointment endorsed by a large majority. Here he was reinforced by temporary troops under the command of Captain Samuel A. Maverick, James Duff and James R. Sweet; and just before Colonel Reeves came in, Captain T.T. Teel reported with his battery. On being informed of the near approach of Colonel Reeves' command, Colonel Van Dorn came out from San Antonio, in person, selected his position, and formed his line of battle to receive Colonel Reeves' advance. This being discovered by Colonel Reeves, he took position at a stone house surrounded by a yard fence built of the same material, about two miles off where he awaited Van Dorn's attack. As soon as Colonel Reeves had taken his position, Van Dorn advanced in force, placed his men in line of battle, located his batteries, and demanded a surrender of Colonel Reeves and all his forces, with notice that if the demand was refused, he would open fire with his guns and batter down the walls of the house and fence at once, and then prosecute the fight with his small arms. Seeing that defeat was inevitable, Colonel Reeves surrendered himself and command as prisoners of war, and all his troops were allowed to pass through the Southern lines with their arms (which troops remained perfectly silent), which they turned over to an officer at San Antonio, where the prisoners were furnished quarters.
This service performed, as Colonel Van Dorn had sufficient temporary troops to guard the prisoners and property, Colonel McCulloch was ordered, with his six companies and Captain Edgar's battery of six guns, to proceed to the frontier and dispose of his regiment to the best advantage for the protection of the frontier.
Having performed this duty, which ended by posting three companies of his regiment and Edgar's battery on Red River, at the mouth of "Big Wichita," under the command of Major Edward Burleson of that regiment, to watch the reserve Indians who had been abandoned by the United States government at Fort Cobb, as well as to protect the settlers on that portion of the frontier against the hostile Indians. Then, returning along the entire line, to inspect the troops, to see how they were performing their duty, and see, personally, to the condition of his supplies, when he reached Captain Fry's command of two companies located on the Concho, he was overtaken by an order from the Secretary of War to leave his regiment under the command of his lieutenant-colonel, proceed immediately to San Antonio, and relieve Colonel Van Dorn, who had been appointed brigadier-general and ordered to Richmond.
Furnishing Lieutenant-Colonel Frost with a copy of the order (which was sent to him at Camp Colorado by courier), Colonel McCulloch proceeded at once to San Antonio, which place he reached about the tenth day of August, 1861, and in reporting to the Secretary of War, requested to be relieved as early as practicable and allowed to return to his regiment.
In a few days, he was informed by the Secretary of War that Brigadier-General H.H. Sibley had been authorized to raise a brigade of three regiments for service in New Mexico, and directed Colonel McCulloch to fit them out with arms, ammunition, forage, rations and transportation, and to raise and organize other troops.
Soon after this, he was informed that P.O. Hebert, of Louisiana, had been appointed brigadier-general, and ordered to relieve him of the command of the department.
From some cause, General Hebert did not reach Texas until October, and stopped at Galveston to examine the coast, giving directions for its defense, and finally determined to remain at that place and Houston, instead of going to San Antonio. Although McCulloch knew that General Hebert was in the department, as he had issued no orders assuming command or relieving him by any order, Colonel McCulloch continued to exercise the authority as commander of the department until early in December, when, for the first time, the orders conflicted in the use of Lieutenant Sparks, whom McCulloch had directed to muster some troops into the service, and General Hebert had ordered on some other duty. Upon this, the Lieutenant wrote McCulloch, asking whose orders he should obey, and he replied that "he must obey my orders," and sent General Hebert a copy of the Lieutenant's letter and his reply. On the receipt of this, he wrote McCulloch, requesting him to call on him at Galveston, which he did promptly, and on the meeting, which was quite friendly, he tried to convince McCulloch that the mere knowledge of his presence by him personally was all that was necessary for him to have, in order for him to recognize General Hebert as the commander of the department, while McCulloch rightly contended (and it was so decided by the Secretary of War) that he could only recognize him by an official order, and that if he had retired from San Antonio without such an order he would have been liable to arrest and court martial for deserting his post, and to remain there without exercising the command would have been to render himself, ridiculous, which he did not propose to do. So, in order to right up matters, as far as possible, he issued an order assuming command of the department, and validating all the acts of McCulloch from the date of his arrival in the State, and assigning him (McCulloch) the command of the Western District of Texas, with headquarters at San Antonio, where he remained organizing and fitting troops for the field, and sending them to different points as they were needed, until some time in May 1862, when he was relieved by General H.P. Bee.
In the meantime he had been appointed brigadier general and just at this time received notice of the fact, with orders to report to General Van Dorn, east of the Mississippi River; and as it would naturally take a few days to appoint his staff and make suitable arrangements to take the field, he determined to spend that time with his family at his home.
General McCulloch appointed Dr. Jesse Boring of San Antonio, brigade surgeon, with the rank of major; John R. King, brigade commissary, with the rank of major; W.G. King brigade quartermaster, with the rank of major; John Henry Brown, of Belton, assistant adjutant general, with the rank of major; Wm. A. Pitts, ordnance officer, with the rank of captain, and Ben E. Benton, aide-de-camp, with the rank of captain. Sending his quartermaster to San Antonio for a first class wagon and team, to haul the staff baggage, and an ambulance and team, for his own use and to have along in case of sickness, he awaited his return with the property, to see that the staff was properly fitted out, and after agreeing upon the route they would travel, General McCulloch took leave of his family and took stage for Houston, where he called on General Hebert, who informed him that he had just received orders to forward all the infantry regiments in his department, except Colonel Luckett's to Little Rock, Arkansas, without delay, which he said it was impossible for him to do, as he had no transportation or means to obtain it, whereupon General McCulloch advised him to seize the war-tax money in the hands of the collectors, purchase transportation, and send them on. The suggestion of interfering with the civil department of the government startled him, and he promptly rejected it, and remarked that "he believed McCulloch had advised him to do-what he would not do himself," in which he assured him he was mistaken; and in the conversation General McCulloch, learning that the regiments of colonels Roberts and Hubbard were in camp only two miles from Houston, suggested that if General Hebert would send these regiments to Millican by rail, with authority to impress wagons to haul their baggage to Tyler, with instructions to remain there until they could get up transportation by further impressment, if it was necessary, that these officers would manage to take their regiments to Little Rock in a reasonable time. Upon this suggestion he sent for the officers, submitted the plan to them, which they said was practicable, and with such orders they could carry it into effect; and the next morning they took the train for Millican. General McCulloch then intended to take the stage at that place for Munroe, Louisiana, thence by rail to the Mississippi, opposite Vicksburg, where he could cross it and make his way to Van Dorn, wherever he might be. On reaching Munroe, he found a message from Van Dorn, ordering him to take a position in East Texas, favorable to supplies, and organize and forward troops to Little Rick, Arkansas, for a fall campaign into North Arkansas and Missouri, and he determined at once to adopt Tyler as the point, where he would find two regiments already organized, in a good farming country. So informing Van Dorn by his returning messenger, he returned to Tyler by stage.
Reaching Tyler at night on the second of June 1862, he put up at the hotel kept by Dr. Irvine, and said nothing to any one about his business until next morning, when he issued an order assuming command of a certain district of country, over which he declared martial law for military purposes, without interfering with the execution of the laws by the local civil authorities, to whom he pledged himself to give his support, and the next order was to declare Tyler a military post, and the headquarters of that district. These orders were published in the Tyler papers. Here he found Mr. Yarbrough acting as quartermaster and commissary, without a dollar of public funds, a two-horse wagon, four mules, and twenty-five bushels of corn in his quartermaster department, and thirteen hundred pounds of side bacon in his commissary department. The next thing was to dispatch a courier to meet his staff and turn them to Tyler, with instructions to reach it as early as possible, and another to Captain M.M. Boggess, who had just finished a twelve months' service in McCulloch's regiment, from which he had had just about enough time to reach Henderson, his home, with his company, ordering him to reorganize, with what men he could collect, and report to him immediately at Tyler, with instructions for the remainder of his men to come on as early as possible. The next step was to put Mr. Yarbrough to work among the citizens to get up additional forage and commissary stores corn, meal, bacon, fresh beef, and salt), for which he directed him to give memorandum receipts, promising that they should be taken up by paying the cash for them within a month.
Learning that Captain Ball's company of Colonel Young's regiment was near them, with measles having broken out in it, General McCulloch took possession of the Federal courthouse for a hospital; and having made the acquaintance of Mrs. Robertson (wife of Colonel John C. Robertson), appealed to her, and through her to the ladies of Tyler, to get up bedding, etc. to fit up this hospital for immediate occupation; and they not only did this promptly, but organized a "Ladies Aid Society," which rendered valuable service, which was indispensable in fitting up the troops with tents, clothing, etc., but especially in fitting up hospitals and taking care of the sick, of whom there were a great number, as the measles had found its way into nearly every regiment before they reached Tyler; and they also selected and procured the service of a doctor, a resident physician, to take charge of the sick until the brigade surgeon could reach headquarters. The regular staff arrived in three or four days, accompanied by Hon. A.W. Terrell, and C.L. Robards, Esq., of Austin and Colonel E. Sterling C. Robertson, of Salado, who tendered their services as volunteer aides-de-camps on the General's staff; and as he had need of their services, he accepted their kind offer and put them on duty at once, aiding in gathering up supplies. In the meantime, he had picked up a squad of mounted men (one at a time), and placed them under the command of Captain Wm. A. Pitts, to be used as necessary. Captain Boggess soon reached headquarters with some sixty men, whom the General directed him to organize with a full quota of officers, to be mustered in at once, with orders to complete the company as early as practicable. With this company and the squad of mounted men under Captain Pitts, the General could see his way clearly for gathering a supply of money, and he issued an order directing the seizure, by force, of all the war tax money in the hands of county collectors within his district, and dispatched squads of men, under the command of prudent officers, in different directions; and in about two weeks, they had gathered in two hundred and eight thousand dollars in actual cash, which enabled the General commanding to pay for all the supplies he needed to fit out or aid in putting sixteen regiments in the field in Arkansas. Colonel E.S.C. Robertson being a man of means, with many friends in Houston and Galveston to vouch for him, General McCulloch sent him to Houston, with Dr. Boring, to purchase from twenty to thirty thousand dollars worth of medical and hospital stores, to be paid for in from thirty to sixty days, and to hire or purchase mule teams to transport them to Tyler; and in order to carry out his instructions successfully, he, backed by his friends, became personally responsible for the payment of the purchase money, and brought the needed stores to Tyler.
In order that no man should be responsible for this money except himself, the General had it turned over to his aide-de-camp, Captain Ben E. Benton, who disbursed it by turning it over to the officers of the different departments (quartermaster, commissary, ordnance, and medical), on their requisitions and General McCulloch's orders, and these officers invested it in purchasing supplies for the troops under McCulloch's immediate orders, so that he knew that not a dollar of it was wasted.
This took over three months; but just as soon as it could be done, the General had his accounts made up, charging himself with this money and crediting himself with sums turned over to the officers of the different departments, and made a full report to the Secretary of War of the whole matter, embracing a copy of his orders forming the district, declaring martial law, and seizing the money by force, with his reasons therefor and the necessities of the case, and sent Colonel A.W. Terrell to Richmond to lay it before the authorities, where he succeeded in getting them to pass the accounts (they being perfectly correct), and the Secretary of War to write General McCulloch a letter exonerating him from all blame, and rather commending his course, under the circumstances, although he had interfered directly with one of the civil departments (treasury) of the government.
General McCulloch, having pushed the regiments forward, except Colonel Speight's, left the necessary funds for its aid in the hands of the post quartermaster and commissary; took Captain Bogess' company, and, with his entire staff, went on to Little Rock, where he reported to General Holmes, who put him in command of all the troops at Camp Nelson (twenty-five miles east of Little Rock), consisting of sixteen regiments of Texas and six of Arkansas troops, with Colonel Nelson, of Waco (afterwards brigadier-general), second in command. Unfortunately for General McCulloch and the service, General Nelson soon took sick and died, and the camp was named after him.
These troops were all new in the service; knew but little of discipline, and less of tactics; and, without the necessary army regulations, or works on tactics to distribute among them, the officers were compelled to come to the General's headquarters for such information as they were compelled to have to enable them to understand their duties. This made it exceedingly laborious on the General and his staff, especially as Brigadier-General Nelson and Colonel Horace Randle (West-Pointer) were the only officers he had that had ever exercised any command of troops until a few months before.
At this time, from over work and malarial affliction, the health of Major John R. King, chief commissary, and Major John Henry Brown, assistant adjutant-general, on the staff failed so completely, that they were compelled to resign, and the General appointed Aide-de-Camp Captain B.E. Benton assistant adjutant-general, and secured the services of Major Isham H. Earle, of Waco, as his chief commissary, and appointed Alexander McCulloch, of Colonel Parsons' regiment, aide-de-camp.
As early as practicable, General McCulloch organized these regiments into brigades of four regiments each, except the Arkansas troops, of six regiments, which he put in one brigade under the command of Colonel McRea, and placed all in one division.
Soon after they were organized, General Holmes ordered General McCulloch to send McRea's brigade to General Marmaduke, in North Arkansas, and his best brigade to the post of Arkansas. As soon as he put these brigades in motion, he preceded Colonel Dishler to Little Rock, where he called on General Holmes, and not only protested against his sending it to the Arkansas post, but begged him not to do so, as it certainly would prove its sacrifice if the enemy attacked it in force, and that the regiment that was there was altogether sufficient to defend it, unless the attack was made in force; but his protest and argument availed nothing, and the command was captured.
As soon as he was placed in command of the troops at Camp Nelson, he urged General Holmes to apply for a major-general of experience to be put in charge of them; and in order that this might be effected as early as possible, he wrote to his friends in Congress to see the President, and urge upon him the necessity of its being done as early as practicable. Notwithstanding this, General McCulloch was kept in command of the division, under the command of General Holmes, doing nothing except marching from place to place about Little Rock, through rain, snow and mist, crossing and re-crossing the Arkansas River without seeming to have any object in view.
Just before General Nelson took sick, General Holmes informed General McCulloch, by letter, that he had received orders to send all the Texas regiments under his command across the Mississippi River, and wished General McCulloch would come in and bring General Nelson with him for consultation; and while Generals Nelson and McCulloch were delighted with the prospect of seeing the command get where it might do something for the cause, when they reached Little Rock they found General Holmes not only opposed to it, but had already made up his mind not to obey the order if he could avoid it, and asked Generals McCulloch and Nelson to sustain him in his objections, which they refused to do; and as he had said, among other things, to the Secretary of War (written before their arrival), that "the Texas troops would not cross the Mississippi and leave their State exposed to invasion without sufficient force to defend it," they insisted that he should change that portion of his letter or permit them to write to the Secretary of War, through him, that the Texas troops in that camp were ready to wherever ordered. He changed that part of his letter, and as neither General Nelson nor General McCulloch agreed with him, he dismissed them, but fought it out alone with the Secretary of War, and held the command of the west side of the Mississippi.
On arriving at Camp Nelson, most, if not all, of the Texas regiments had passed through the camp measles, in a virulent form, and were still suffering from its sequence; and, coming from a healthy country into one filled with malaria, in an unhealthy location, poorly provided for in every respect, and especially with poor, unhealthy food (poor Texas beef, coarse corn meal, without sifting in many instances, and a sloppy drink made of corn-meal bran), they suffered greatly from sickness, and the mortuary report showed that, for about six weeks, the deaths ranged from ten to twenty-five per day, and one day twenty-seven.
When General Walker arrived, General McCulloch had been first ordered to report to General Henderson, in North Arkansas, and then to General Dick Taylor, in Louisiana, until he had ferried the entire division across the Arkansas River; and at that time it was about equally divided one half on one side and the other half on the other side. When General Holmes directed General McCulloch to consolidate it so as to turn it over to General Walker, General Walker was greatly amused when General McCulloch asked General Holmes which side of the river he must place it, and he replied, on the south side. After resting a day or two at General Holmes' headquarters, to have ample time to confer with him, and give him a fair opportunity of preparing the officers and men in the division for the change in commanders, General Walker came out with his staff, was well received and took command of the division, kindly offering General McCulloch the privilege of selecting the brigade which he preferred to command; and as one of the brigades was composed of regiments from three divisions of the State (Colonel Waterhouse from East Texas, Colonel Fitzhugh from North Texas, and Colonels Flournoy and Allen from West Texas), General McCulloch selected it, so that he could not be accused of sectional feeling in the selection.
Preparatory to breaking up "Camp Nelson," General Holmes wrote General McCulloch to "select his best colonel," and direct him to report at (Holmes') headquarters immediately, to select, prepare and command a convalescent camp near Little Rock. General McCulloch carefully and conscientiously selected Colonel O.M. Roberts (since Governor of Texas), furnished him with a full copy of General Holmes' letter, and his order directing him to so report, and at the same time informed him that he would meet him at a given time and place, and ride with him to see General Holmes with regard to the interest of the command generally. They met, and after an interchange of greetings, Colonel Roberts surprised General McCulloch by remarking, "you have laid me on the shelf," in which he showed a good deal of feeling. General McCulloch assured him that nothing was further from his thoughts or intentions; that he had acted conscientiously in making the selection, and felt that he had really paid him a high compliment in selecting him as the "best colonel" out of sixteen. "Yes," he said. "most like an old woman; make a good nurse, make a good nurse;" and, finding that he was not to be reconciled, and not being willing to undo what he had done, General McCulloch dropped the subject, and still feels that Governor Roberts never forgave him for it, but played for even with him when he dismissed him as Superintendent of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum when he (Roberts) was Governor.
Two days after General Walker took command, General Holmes ordered him to move the division down to Pine Bluff; and it had been in that vicinity over two weeks, when he was informed by General Holmes that a large force of gun-boats and infantry had attacked Arkansas Post, and to go to its relief at once by forced marches; and in an hour after General Walker got the order, the division was on the road down the Arkansas River in fine spirits, hoping to reach the Post in time to meet the enemy and prevent the capture or loss of the Post to the Confederates; but, as the division was fully sixty miles off, and the roads in wretched condition from the effects of recent rains and snow, it was obvious that the division would be late; when it arrived within twenty miles of the Post, the command was informed that the Post had been captured, the works destroyed, and that the enemy had retired in his transports down the Arkansas River. Here it halted, rested the tired troops two days, and returned to Pine Bluff, where they went into winter quarters.
About the time that spring opened, General E. Kirby Smith, who had succeeded General Holmes in command, visited them, and after speaking of what he had learned of the corruptions practiced in the cotton trade on the Rio Grande, asked General Walker to spare General McCulloch from his brigade until the next fall, to be sent to Brownsville, on the Rio Grande, to put a stop to it, and place business out there on an honest basis, and also consulted him about his willingness to go. Both General Walker and General McCulloch objected, but General Smith was importunate, and General McCulloch yielded, with the distinct understanding that he was to be returned to his brigade in time for the contemplated movement into Missouri in the fall.
In order to have honest men to aid him in the performance of his duty, General McCulloch was permitted to take his staff with him, and with them, reluctantly started for Texas. On reaching Camden, Arkansas, he found a telegram awaiting him from General Walker, saying: "I am ordered to report to General Taylor, at Alexandria via Camden -- expect warm work, and am sorry you can't be with me." Upon receipt of this, Colonel McCulloch telegraphed General Smith at Little Rock, that he would abandon the trip to Texas, and join Walker. He sent messengers to General Walker, that owing to the overflowed condition of the bottom of Bayou Bartholomew, it was impossible to cross it with his infantry, and to turn down on the east side of it, and he, General McCulloch, would meet him at its mouth, with plenty of quartermaster and commissary stores on steamers.
In order to do this, General McCulloch had to assume command at Camden, order the post quartermaster to furnish the steamers and quartermaster stores, and the post commissary to furnish the commissary stores, and, although they demurred, they obeyed the orders; and shipping his staff on board one of the steamers, he reached the mouth of the bayou one day before General Walker arrived with the command.
As there was no traveled road on the west side of Black River near this point, General Walker embarked his troops on these steamers, and steamed down to Monroe, from whence he had a good road to Compton, on Red River, and from thence down Red River to Alexandria, where he met General Taylor, who ordered him to march across the country east, to a small stream which empties into Black River on the west, where they were embarked on steamers, ran down this stream and up Black River to the mouth of Bayou Tensas, thence up that stream to a point opposite Perkins' landing on the Mississippi River, where they debarked, and McCulloch's brigade ordered to march to attack a force at Perkins' landing, which they hoped to surprise; but, being delayed a few hours by a deep bayou, which had to be bridged, General McCulloch found the enemy ready to receive him. Having ridden forward with a small squad of mounted men, General McCulloch made a casual reconnaissance on the enemy's position, arranged his troops for the attack, threw forward his skirmishers with instructions to feel the enemy immediately in front of the main position of his command, while he placed the two guns of Captain Edgar's battery, which he had with him, on his left, with Colonel Waterhouse's regiment to support it, and directed Captain Edgar to shell the camp, which was on lower ground than that occupied by the brigade, and at the same time try his hand on some transports which were lying in the river; but the banks were so high that but little of them was in view. As soon as he opened fire, he was answered by a gunboat, which was hidden from view by the high bank on the river, but this bank was so high, and it had to lay so close to it, that they could not depress their guns sufficiently to reach the Confederates by direct shots, and the shells they threw passed over them, but bursting so close to them that a fragment of one of them struck and killed General Garland Smith, who was, at his request, serving on General McCulloch's staff that day, and of whom General McCulloch says: "He was one of the best men I ever knew." Smith was within a few feet of the General when he fell dead from his horse, without a groan. General McCulloch then ordered the guns and supporting regiment to advance about seventy-five yards nearer the river and await further orders. Then riding to the front to get what information he could from his skirmishers, he returned to the main portion of his command, which was standing in line of battle, anxious for the fray, and was just directing Captain Benton to say to Colonel Waterhouse that he would advance to the attack with his main force, and, when parallel with him, to do the same with his regiment and Edgar's battery, when he received a note from General Walker, who was fully four miles away, advising him not to make the attack, by which his plan was not only frustrated, but he had to retire from the field when he had every reason to believe that a victory was certain.
On returning to General Walker and asking the cause of his writing the note, he informed General McCulloch that one of General Taylor's staff, who had accompanied him, had returned and informed General Taylor that the enemy were in large force, strongly posted under the protection of gunboats, and that he was confident, if McCulloch attacked him, he would be repulsed. The next day, they took up the line of march. along a road which led up the Mississippi River, and only a few miles from it, until they reached the little town of Richmond, situated on a bayou, about ten miles from Milliken's Bend, on the Mississippi, where they pitched their tents about ten o'clock a.m., and raised camp fires to cook dinner. About two o'clock p.m., General Taylor sent for General McCulloch to come to General Walker's headquarters. On his arrival, he informed McCulloch that he wished his brigade to march to Milliken's Bend as soon as it was dark (so as to prevent the movement from being discovered by the enemy), and, if possible, surprise and put them to death with the bayonet. He said he was informed by a friend of his, who was perfectly reliable, that he was in their camp at eight o'clock that day; that there was not a gun-boat there, and only about sixteen hundred negro and four hundred white troops. The General said he knew the country well, and that the road McCulloch would travel was a plain one that would lead direct to their camp, and that on either side there were deserted farms over which he would find no difficulty in marching if he found it necessary to march through them; furnished him with a sketch of the bend, the locality of the enemy's camp, and how his road would lead him into it, and sent a squad of Colonel Harrison's Louisiana cavalry to pilot him into the place. After giving him all the orders and instructions, he asked McCulloch what he thought of it. McCulloch replied, that he was a soldier; had received his orders; had no right to an opinion or to think anything except carrying out his instructions as well as he could; but, in the presence of General Walker, he insisted on McCulloch's giving his opinion. McCulloch told him, if required, he would give it, and, if he did so, he would give it plainly and candidly; and, as General Taylor seemed to have made up his mind to make this attack, it would not suit him (Taylor); and yet General Taylor said he wanted it, when McCulloch replied: "Seven days ago I made a feint at Parker's Landing; since then we have marched up and within a few miles of the Mississippi River, through a heavily timbered country; have passed by a few farms occupied by negroes, and had no cavalry to scour the woods on our flank's course. The enemy could have watched and counted us every day. We reached here at ten o'clock a.m.; took no precaution whatever to prevent some negro from giving information to the enemy (which, I have no doubt, had been done), so that by the time I reach the vicinity the enemy will have all the troops and gun-boats they want and the route to the bend picketed, and I will have to fight a force assembled to give battle to General Walker's division, and the prospect of success is extremely doubtful."
General Taylor then remarked that McCulloch seemed to "take rather a gloomy view of it," when McCulloch replied: "Yes, and have said about enough to make you think I am a coward; and, if so, I wish you to accompany me, and if I act the coward, or fail to play my part, try and save my command." The General replied, with some warmth of feeling, that he doubted neither McCulloch's courage nor ability, and that he would find an opening on every road to a victory for his command. General McCulloch replied that he could not think so, but would make the fight, and, if possible, whip it; but that it would have to be done at a heavy sacrifice of some of the best men Texas has in the field. At dark, General McCulloch marched across the bayou on a temporary bridge and moved on silently, and without interruption, until within about two miles of the bend, when his advance guard, the mounted Louisiana scouts, were fired on by the enemy's pickets, when they dashed back on his column like all the Yankees in the nation were at their heels. Placing one regiment in line at the head of his column, and sending forward skirmishers, he moved forward, and soon drew another fire from a small force, which retreated, but kept up random fire; and, from the course of their retreat, he became convinced that the road he was following would not strike their main camp. He pursued this retreating party through an abandoned farm, which was cut up with dry ditches and bois d'arc hedges, while small detachments of the enemy kept up almost a constant fire on his skirmishers, but never made any stand. The night was dark (starlight), and General McCulloch pursued these small parties of the enemy over this rough ground by their fire, and just at daylight, he found that he had evidently reached their main body, which he could not see plainly because of an intervening hedge, which was within some twenty-five or thirty yards of their breastworks, (a levy about eight feet high), upon which they had placed cotton bales, through which there were several openings, but none of them, over ten paces wide, so that McCulloch's line could not be formed to make the charge until this hedge was passed. Under a destructive fire his command moved forward, steady and without wavering, up to and through these openings in the hedge, where his men fell in piles, formed a line and charged the breastworks, driving everything before them, but not without the most stubborn resistance by the negroes, so much so that the bayonet clubbed guns were freely used. The white troops fled when the charge was made, but the negroes never even struck a trot, but fought like wild beasts until they were driven across their parade ground (about two hundred yards), through their tents, over the river bank, and under the protection of their gun-boats. By the time the Confederates reached the top of the breastworks, daylight had opened fully, and the General discovered that he had only covered about half their front; that he had only driven back their left wing, and that a large body of negro troops were massed behind a low cross levee, which intersected the main levee at an angle, which, if manned, would expose McCulloch's command to an enfilading fire from that direction. This rendered a recall of the troops necessary, and as soon as this was done the fire of four gun-boats was directed against that portion of the works from which the enemy had been driven. As soon as he could form his command, General McCulloch made a second charge on their right wing, before they had discovered the advantage the angle in the levee gave them, and had manned it with only a moderate force. It was carried by a gallant charge, with but little loss, comparatively, and the enemy driven under the river bank, which was not so far here as it was at the other point of attack. Although the levee protected the Confederates completely from the fire of the gun-boats, they continued to rake the space between it and the river, which rendered it impracticable to prosecute the fight; and after remaining in possession of the breastworks for several hours, resting the tired men and removing the killed and wounded, General McCulloch withdrew his command in good order, and was not pursued by the enemy.
In this fight his loss was one hundred and ninety-two killed and wounded out of 1100 men, and he stated in his report that the killed and wounded of the enemy was 1000. Since the war the General met a Federal officer who was on the ground, who said they estimated their loss at 1200 men, mostly negroes; and the report of the officer who commanded the Federals published in the war records, estimated his force at about 1200 and admitted that his loss was about half of his command. Moving back only a few miles from the battlefield, General McCulloch encamped his command for the night; and as it was about noon the next day before he reached Richmond, General Taylor had left, and he has never seen him since.
At the time McCulloch was ordered to make the attack on the bend, General Hawes was ordered to attack Young's Point, some few miles lower down the river. He found the enemy so strong and backed by gun-boats, that he declined to attack the place, with which General Taylor was very much dissatisfied; and on reading his book, written since the war, General McCulloch found that he had made only a slight allusion to these movements, and had not mentioned his name or that of General Hawes in connection with them.
General Walker established a hospital at Richmond, in which McCulloch's wounded were placed, and apparently intended to spend several days, but he had no cavalry force to watch the movements of the enemy, or if they did move, to give him any idea of their strength, and in a few days he was surprised at finding them within a mile of his command and advancing upon him with infantry and artillery. He threw Colonel Culberson's regiment across the bayou to feel them and hold them in check, and at once commenced moving his wounded and baggage to the rear; and contrary to General McCulloch's advice (which he asked), retreated with his whole command without giving battle.
The command moved to Delhi, where General Walker was called to a sick family, and the command turned over to General McCulloch, with instructions to return to Alexandria by steady but early marches. He shipped the baggage and troops from Delhi to Monroe by rail, and empty transportation via wagon road. Rested two days at Monroe, waiting for transportation, then took the road to Alexandria via Camden and Nacogdoches. Two days before the command reached Alexandria, General Walker, revoked the command, with orders to General McCulloch, from General Smith, to report to General Magruder in Texas for service on the Rio Grande. On arriving in Alexandria he took leave of his brigade, directed his staff to take the nearest road to San Antonio, with all the property and baggage, while he traveled by stage and rail to Houston, to report to General Magruder.
On General McCulloch reporting to General Magruder at Houston, he ordered him to proceed to Galveston at once to suppress rioting among the troops. This service performed, McCulloch asked for orders to proceed to the Rio Grande, but General Magruder detained him on other service at Houston and Galveston, until he had time to correspond with General Smith, to have his destination changed from Brownsville, on the Rio Grande, to the command of the Northern Sub-District of Texas, with headquarters at Bonham, which was as far from the location of the cotton frauds as he could be put within General Magruder's district. General Magruder gave him permission to go by home and visit his family, en route to Bonham, and he sent a messenger to hunt up his staff and turn them to Bonham.
Spending four days with his family, he took stage for Bonham, which he reached before his staff arrived, but issued orders at once assuming command of the sub-district, declaring Bonham a military post, and assigning Colonel Samuel A. Roberts, assistant adjutant-general, to the command of the post.
Here he found himself a brigadier-general in command, without staff or soldiers; but his staff soon reached him, and special instructions from General Smith with regard to the enforcement of the conscript law. In a day or two after reaching Bonham, Captain Emzi Bradshaw arrived with a fine company of mounted men, on his way to join some command in the Indian Territory. General McCulloch ordered him to remain at Bonham until further orders. This gave him one company, with which to manage the affairs of the sub-district and enforce the conscript law. Meantime, he had learned there was from two to three thousand deserters and disaffected men in squads laying in the brush, all under command of Henry Boren, who was a deserter from Colonel Martin's regiment, and that this vast horde was subsisting off the citizens, who dared not refuse them any supplies that they demanded.
This condition of affairs rendered it necessary for him to know the true sentiments of the people, and he called a council of the leading men of both parties (secessionists and unionists), at his headquarters, and found that, owing to the course pursued by Colonel William Young and other secession leaders at the beginning of the war, there was considerable disaffected element within the limits of his command, who were probably giving encouragement to these men in the brush. After full and free consultation with these men in council, General McCulloch marked out the course of policy he intended to pursue, which had the effect to neutralize this element, and bring their leaders generally to his support.
President Davis had issued a proclamation of amnesty to all deserters who would return to their commands within a given time, and having no troops to use against these men in the brush, General McCulloch obtained an interview with Boren, at his headquarters, under the promise that he would not allow him to be arrested until he returned to the brush. He informed General McCulloch that his command numbered about twenty-five hundred men, composed of deserters from various commands, and disaffected men, who had joined them to evade the conscript law; that they were pretty well armed, and scattered in squads in order to be able to get subsistence from the people. The proposition of amnesty was fully discussed, and the fact that his command would be broken up by main force, if it could not be done otherwise, being firmly but kindly impressed upon him, he seemed inclined to accept the amnesty if his men would consent to it, and agreed to have as many of them together as he could assemble in four days, at a lake in the Jernigan thicket, in the upper edge of Hunt county, to confer with him on the subject.
At the time appointed, General McCulloch took Major John W. Wicks, who was a volunteer aide-de-camp on his staff with him, and, on reaching the ground, Boren informed him that there were about seven hundred men present to hear what he had to say to them. These men being assembled, General McCulloch mounted a wagon, made them a talk of some forty or fifty minutes, in which he laid the disgrace of their course of conduct plainly before them, as well as the penalty of the laws which they had voluntarily incurred, and closed by offering them full pardon for their offenses, with fifteen days' furlough to arrange their affairs, and meet him at that place, provided they would agree and bind themselves to return to their respective commands; and four hundred and eighty-nine accepted the proposition. Having sent forage and rations to the place to supply them for three or four days, on the day appointed he met them, and four hundred and eighty-seven out of the four hundred and eighty-nine who had given their names were present; but Boren told General McCulloch candidly that he had little or no confidence in their promises to return to their commands, and unless he had some means of compelling them to do so, that all that had been done would amount to nothing, but that he had notified these and all the others that had been under his command, that he had accepted amnesty in good faith, and would have nothing more to do with those who did not, and would aid in forcing them to leave the country or submit to its laws.
This ended his trouble with these men (those in the brush) as an organized force, but there were so many places in the district where they could secret themselves in small squads, that their presence was a great annoyance to the commanding general and the citizens of the country up to the close of the war, notwithstanding his constant efforts to have them arrested and punished according to law.
General McCulloch's district embraced the northeastern Indian frontier, upon which the mounted regiments of Colonels James Bourland and Buck Barry were posted, which added very much to the labors and responsibilities of the command, as the Indians seemed unusually hostile.
Having but little well organized, available force at his command, and it being made his duty to watch the movements of the Federals at Fort Smith and other points, and prevent an invasion of our State from that district, as well as he could, by calling out the State troops, or reserved corps, he managed to get spies into both Fort Smith and Little Rock, who kept him very well posted in all the movements of the Federals west of the Mississippi, and who informed him of the plan of Banks' (information from both sources corresponding ) campaign, of which General McCulloch informed General Smith in time for him to have all the cavalry from Texas on the ground, and in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.
Although asking several times to be relieved from this exceedingly unpleasant and laborious command, which embraced the getting up and forwarding supplies to the troops in the field, as well as all the other duties embraced in the command of a sub-district, General McCulloch's requests were always refused upon the ground of his successful management of the affairs of the district, which General Smith seemed not willing to entrust any one else, so that he was retained in this command until the close of the war; and when he received news of the surrender of the troops of the Trans-Mississippi Department, he issued a general order disbanding his troops, and returned to his home near Seguin, without a surrender himself or any soldier of his command to any one. Before leaving Bonham, General McCulloch was informed that General Joe Shelby intended to go to Mexico with his command, and join Maximillian, and wished him to join him with what force he could command.
McCulloch replied that "he did not know what he would do until he reached Seguin, and if his wife and children were at home he should not leave the State under any circumstances; that he was a strong secessionist, had done what he could to bring the trouble upon our people, had done the best he could to bring success to the cause we had lost, and while he might not be able to be of any service to his friends, he would stay with them, share their fate, and try to do them good."
On reaching home, General McCulloch found his wife and children still there, with their home and what stock had not been stolen during his absence, and that of his oldest son, Ben E. McCulloch, who was mustered into Captain Boggess' company as a private at Tyler in 1862, when only seventeen years old, and put on detached services by order of General Smith, soon after taking command of the department; was captain commanding a cavalry company at the close of the war, and at present for the last four years Assistant Superintendent of the State Penitentiary at Huntsville.
During the war General Ben McCulloch had fallen. As the brothers had no separate interest, Henry fell heir to his property and shared his liabilities; and on a careful examination into their financial affairs, the General found that they were involved in surety debts of over nineteen thousand dollars, and he could see plainly that he had these debts to pay, and the stock of horses and cattle, with some valuable property they had in Galveston, the only available means he had to pay with. As soon as he understood that the United States Government did not intend to confiscate property, General McCulloch called on the parties who held these obligations, and assured them that he intended to pay them if possible, but asked time, and went to work to that effect, and at the end of three years had paid them all. But this had not only taken that much of his time, and prevented his going into any other business at the time when money could have been made, but had taken about all the available means he had to do business on; and when just fairly out of the embarrassments he had a devoted friend who foresaw he must necessarily fail as a merchant, who begged him to accept his assignment, honestly made with preferred creditors, which he believed his creditors would accept, with General McCulloch as assignee, and which all but one did accept; he brought suit, put his friend into bankruptcy, sued the preferred creditors with a proviso that, upon recovery, if the money could not be made out of them, that McCulloch should be held responsible, and obtained his judgment accordingly; and the man (Colonel Frazier) to whom McCulloch had paid most, failed and refused to pay any part of it back, and General McCulloch had to fork over two thousand and seventy-two dollars in that case.
This found him with nothing but his farm that would bring half its value in money and, rather than sacrifice his other property, which was worth but little then, but promised to be worth something more at a future day, he then purchased a place in Seguin as a temporary home for his family to occupy while educating his children and some orphans he was raising, with the intention of returning to the farm as early as practicable. Although the security debts he had paid amounted to about ten times as much as this one, they had all been paid by the sale of horses and cattle and Galveston property that he had never used, and, consequently, not felt like this one, which forced him to dispose of a place which he and his brother had intended to make their home for life, and which he felt had really left his family without a home, as he had not been entirely without a farm, though sometimes small, after he improved the one near Gonzales.
This loss seemed to render it indispensably necessary for him to try to make some money, and leaving a little money with his wife for her immediate use, he took the balance for which the farm sold, and went into the cattle shipping business from Indianola to every market within reach where he thought he could make a dollar fairly, including New Orleans, Mobile and Havana, and wound up by shipping about six hundred beeves, by steamer and rail, from Indianola to East Virginia, where they were sold at a small profit to farmers who intended to put them on their blue grass meadows (it being in the early part of May) until fall, and then stall-feed and ship them to eastern markets. Prosecuting this business vigorously for three years, he found that he was making nothing, gave it up and returned home with just $333.25 clear profit over all expenses, claiming nothing for his services, or any interest on the money he was using in the business; and although he had to borrow money from friends to aid him in the business, he refunded every dollar that he borrowed, and every dollar that he had contracted to pay for any purpose, and his three hundred and thirty-three dollars and twenty five cents was, all in clear cash, actually his own money, and against which no man had a claim for a dime.
Just as he was ready to leave for home, he was employed by the managers of the Gulf, West Texas and Pacific Railway Company as their door or field agent, in hiring men, purchasing wagons, teams, etc., to rebuild their road to Victoria from Indianola. Soon finding that the work of repairing the old road-bed, in that flat country, had to be done with the mattock and shovel, and that neither white men nor negroes could be induced to work in the cold water and mud, he made a trip into Mexico and brought out a Mexican force to do this work, and was then kept on duty as paymaster and outside agent until the work reached Victoria; then as right-of-way and land agent until the road reached Cuero. He had superintended the location of the line to Gonzales, and had obtained the right-of-way and secured the necessary depot grounds whereon the stations were to be built. This company paid him a good salary, and continued his services as long as they had anything for him to do in his line.
At this time, Colonel Pearce commenced extending what is known as the Sunset road from Columbus to San Antonio, and employed General McCulloch as right-of-way and land agent on that line, with a good salary. He remained in this employment in that capacity until the right-of-way and depot grounds were secured to San Antonio, when his services were no longer needed in that capacity.
While acting as Colonel Pearce's agent, and with his consent, when the road was put into successful operation as far as Harwood, opposite Gonzales, General McCulloch opened a lumber yard, in connection with his third son, Sam L. McCulloch, who was placed in charge of it, under the firm name of "McCulloch and Son," and when the road reached Luling (where it was expected to remain some time), General McCulloch, with his oldest son, Ben E. McCulloch, and Captain W.M. Edgar, of San Antonio, opened a receiving, forwarding, and commission house, with family groceries attached, under the firm name of "Edgar & McCulloch," with Captain Edgar and Ben in charge; but they soon bought Captain Edgar out, and as Sam had sold out their lumber yard at Harwood, they continued the business at Luling under the firm name of "McCulloch & Sons," with the sons, Ben and Sam, in charge. When the road reached Kingsbury, they established a branch of this house, with a lumber yard attached, with Sam in charge, leaving Ben at Luling until he sold out, and he and the General sold out to Sam at Kingsbury, and the General took charge of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Austin.
After Richard Coke was elected Governor, in 1874, and before the time arrived for the assembling of the Legislature and the inauguration of the Governor, it became pretty well understood that E.J. Davis, then Governor of Texas, intended to hold the office by force, and about two weeks before the Legislature was to assemble, General McCulloch left home and went to Austin to try, if possible to learn for himself the true condition of affairs, and what Davis' intentions were and, as they were what they had been reported to be, upon consultation it was deemed advisable to call the strong men of the State to Austin to consult together and adopt some plan by which Davis should be defeated in his intentions-- the legally elected Legislature organized, and the legally elected Governor inaugurated.
After the plan of proceedings was adopted by the council, of which Governor Coke was president, General McCulloch was selected as the commander of the armed force to be used by the Democrats in carrying out the plan agreed upon. McCulloch then, in order to be clothed with authority to keep the peace, sought and obtained the appointment of deputy sheriff under George B. Zimpelman, then sheriff of Travis County, under which McCulloch exercised the command of all the armed forces until the Legislature was organized, the Governor inaugurated, and all the State officers put in charge of their respective offices. As soon as Governor Davis commenced assembling and arming his forces (mostly negroes) in the basement rooms and halls of the Capitol, an advantage was taken of him, by suddenly, and to him unexpectedly, taking possession of the Representative Hall, Senate Chamber, and all the upper rooms of the Capitol, by what seemed to be a gathering of unarmed citizens and members of the Legislature, but what really was a force armed with six-shooters, ready for the bloody work, if forced upon them. This enabled the Legislature to organize; and, when organized, they sent the usual committee to inform Davis of that fact and that they were ready to receive any communication that his Excellency, Governor Davis, might send them, upon which he informed them, in writing, that he declined to recognize them as a legislative body, or hold any official intercourse with them, which was the first official act publicly indicating what his intentions were, and which enabled the Democrats to see most clearly the necessity of promptly organizing a sufficient force openly to meet and overcome any that he might present to prevent the inauguration of Richard Coke, Governor elect, and obtaining full possession of the State offices; and, for the first and only time in the history of our government, the governor of a sovereign State had to be, and was, inaugurated under the protection of an armed force; and that, too, of a governor who had been elected by a very large majority over his opponent, according to the laws of the State, and a proclamation of the very governor who was then trying to keep him out of the office by force of arms; and yet the Republican party of Texas claim to be a respectable, law abiding political party.
On the first of March 1876, Governor Coke appointed General McCulloch superintendent of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, and, although he had the influence of the Republicans to contend with on the outside, and trouble with dishonorable aspirants to his position on the inside, he was sustained by the trustees, and both Governors Coke and Hubbard, and held the position until dismissed by Governor O.M. Roberts, on the first of September, 1879, when he returned to his home in Seguin, where, with his son-in-law, W.S. Brown, he opened a furniture store, but after a few months trial, found it would not pay two, and sold out to Stephen Golihar.
Not contented with a life of idleness, General McCulloch bought a small tract of land on the south bank of the Guadalupe River, and improved it with the aid of W.S. Brown, and while this improvement was progressing, and the first crop being made on the farm, Colonel W.L. Moody, a large commission merchant in Galveston, employed him as an agent (drummer) to solicit business for his house; and although he made as faithful efforts in this as he ever did in anything he ever engaged in, he did not succeed to his own satisfaction, and voluntarily retired from his service.
He then sold his home in Seguin, the small farm he had improved on the Guadalupe River below the town, and bought the Sheffield and Oliver farms (adjoining, not even a fence between), which lay in a bend on the south side of the Guadalupe River, about three miles below Seguin, which is one of the most beautiful and valuable farms on the river; and here (on the Sheffield place) his family now reside, having sold the Oliver place to his son-in-law, A.J. Dibrell, in order to have one family of his children near to their parents in their old age.
In August, 1885, he was employed by the State Land Board, as their agent in the management of the public school, university and asylum lands, with Presidio and El Paso counties as his field of operations, with special instructions to examine carefully into the mining and timber interests in those counties. In the discharge of this duty, General McCulloch found a ten stamp mining mill, owned by a California company in full operation and located in the Chenati mountains, about forty-five miles from Marfa, in Presidio County, which was reducing their ore to bullion at the rate of from twenty to twenty-four thousand dollars per month, at a cost of about four thousand dollars, and that a goodly number of leads had been discovered within an area of twenty miles, which promised to be as rich, if not richer, than the mine this company was working. General McCulloch says: "In fact this range of the Chenati mountains, in which this mine is located, seems to be almost a bed of valuable mineral, and there have been mineral leads found in other portions of this county which are pronounced to be equally, if not more valuable." He also found, in the eastern portion of El Paso County, near Sierra Blanco and Carrizo, a good many partially developed leads of silver which were regarded as very valuable.
In the timber line, he found a section of country in the Davis mountains on the waters of the Lympia creek, commencing within some ten miles of Fort Davis, where a valuable body of pine and juniper timber, covering an area of from sixty to seventy thousand acres of land, once stood, but that all the valuable timber within the reach of human effort, suitable for lumber, had been cut and sawed up (by steam saw mills) by the United States troops in the construction of the houses, etc., at Forts Davis and Stockton, for which a claim could and should be made against the United States Government. When this, and similar agencies, was created by the State Land Board, they paid the agents one hundred and fifty dollars per month and their actual expenses. Called them in on the twentieth of November 1885, detained them in Austin one month; made a new contract with them for a year, to commence on the fourth of January, 1886, at the same salary, but they to pay their own expenses, and granted them leave of absence until that time (without pay) to go home and arrange their affairs to be absent for twelve months; but notwithstanding this contract (verbal), on the fifteenth day of the next June they discontinued the salary, leaving it optional with the agents to resign or retain the agency for the fees of office, which were worth in McCulloch's district about three dollars per month; but as the board had granted him the privilege of performing the duties through a local sub-agent, to whom applications for leases and purchases could be made, holding him directly responsible to them for his acts, and as he wished to accommodate the people, facilitate settlers, and augment the school fund, he retained the agency until the thirteenth day of March, 1887, when he resigned, having accepted an agency under the Board of Directors of the Confederate Home, to canvass the State and get subscriptions for the present support of the home, where they have already inmates to provide for, and which takes him out of State service and places him in a field of charity, where he can work faithfully, with heartfelt interest, as well as from a sense of duty.
This is a brief narrative of a most eventful life, which is filled with heroism and the performance of manly duty, which cannot fail to impress the reader with the purity of the life of Henry McCulloch, and serve as an example and incentive to the youth of the land.
 Married to Henry McCulloch's older sister (b.1807) Mary Ann.
This would have to be based on Henry McCulloch's personal testimony, or written by him.
The author, who is almost certainly working with material written or spoken by Henry McCulloch, makes no mention of McCulloch's killing of Reuben Ross on Christmas Eve, 1839, an action witnessed by his bride-to-be. McCulloch was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense, after a jury trial.
 Born in Shelby County, Kentucky, in 1822, daughter of John M. Ashby and Mary Garnett.
 Married to Sarah Ann Ashby, who later married Charles Braches of Gonzales.
 The source of this quote has to be McCulloch, trying to put as favorable a spin as possible on his leaving the expedition.
Mary Frances, born in December of 1842, died in August of 1843.
 John Hancock was an Austin merchant.
 Probably John Rhodes King, the brother of McCulloch's brother-in-law William G. King.
 The"we" here could possibly be construed as a "we Texans" usage on the editor's part (as in the "our friendly Indians" above), but could also be something McCulloch wrote in the first person that did not get editorially changed to third person. Note that the usage in the rest of the sentence is "he".
 This story has to originate with McCulloch himself. Who else would know where McCulloch had been before the speech, or what he was thinking as he rode back. Moreover, McCulloch himself used the "profane man" epithet, referring to himself, in a letter to his mother written before his conversion to Methodism at a camp meeting in Seguin. The1851 letter says, in part, "with regard to religion dear Mother I must acknowledge frankly that I make no pretensions to be a professor at all. Upon the contrary I am a profane man." So it was a phrase on his tongue, reflecting his psychological concerns. After his conversion, he was no longer the "profane man" but he was still concerned with "profanity" (presumably irreligiosity in general, rather than specifically profane speech in the modern sense.)
 Personal information that could only have come from Henry, since Ben was dead at the time this was written.
 Again, information that most reasonably had to originate with Henry McCulloch.
 Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson, grandson of the Empresario.
 Kirby Smith's surrender to McCulloch at the outset of the war may have colored their later relationship, when Kirby Smith was McCulloch's commanding officer.
 W.G. King was McCulloch's brother-in-law, married to McCulloch's wife's sister Euphemia Texas D. Ashby. J.R. King was W. G. King's brother.
 Brown was a friend of Henry and Ben McCulloch, and knew Daniell. Possibly an intermediary for the material in this publication.
 Benton was a nephew of Henry McCulloch.
 McCulloch's tendency to construe all orders from superiors in such a way as to give himself the greatest possible latitude, his tendency to act high-handedly, and to place his primary trust in friends and relatives, is exemplified perfectly in this episode.
 Henry McCulloch's nephew, son of John Stokes McCulloch.
 Not only does McCulloch disobey Kirby Smith's direct order, he assumes command of troops not under his authority.
 To get from Monroe, Louisiana, to Alexandria, Louisiana via Camden, Arkansas and Nacogdoches, Texas, is a geographical absurdity. This is a misprint or a slip of the pen.
 Is this a quote from McCulloch, put in the form of someone's account of McCulloch's statement? If really from some source close to McCulloch, who could that source be? A letter from McCulloch to B.H. Epperson written a few days before McCulloch disbanded his troops, expresses similar sentiments in similar language, so obviously the quote is accurate. As is so often the case in the article, the least problematic explanation is that this is from McCulloch's pen and modified by the editor to look like it is from an anonymous source.
A story told by descendants of E.S.C. Robertson is that at the end of the Civil War McCulloch rode into the Robertson place in Salado on a lathered horse, on his way to Mexico, pursued by Yankee soldiers. Robertson gave him a fresh horse, sent him on his way, and when the soldiers stopped and asked if a man on a lathered white horse had come by, Robertson replied truthfully, "no," inasmuch as the man had not "come by" but stopped, and left on a bay horse. (Robertson family story recounted to Jim McCulloch by T.S.Sutherland, great-grandson of E.S.C. Robertson.) Although McCulloch was on his way to Seguin, rather than Mexico, his unpopularity among deserters and Union sympathizers in North Texas had required that he leave his command with an armed escort, so he he may very well have been pursued by armed men.
 The "who gets the credit?" controversy with Rip Ford surrounding this event is not mentioned here.
 McCulloch was dismissed after charges of nepotism arose concerning his employment of his relatives at the asylum.