Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Terry

Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Terry

Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, USA
Death 17 Dec 1861 (aged 40)
Woodsonville, Hart County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
Plot Section E-1
Memorial ID 6839175 · View Source
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Civil War Confederate Officer. Benjamin Terry was born in Russellville, Kentucky to a family with a strong tradition of military service. While a child, his father abandoned the family and he and his four brothers were raised by their mother Sarah in Mississippi until 1833, when they moved to Texas to join his grandmother. Sarah and her brother Major Benjamin Smith settled in Brazoria County, and when Sarah died a few years later, Benjamin became the guardian of the five children. When Major Smith died in 1841, Benjamin Terry became the overseer of the estate, marrying Mary Bingham that same year. He and a partner were awarded the contract to build the first railroad in Texas, which stretched from Harrisburg to Richmond, in 1851. Upon completion in 1856, the thirty-mile-long track opened up trade quickly, causing a boom in the area. Terry took the money from this, and a second contract on a railroad for Houston, and purchased a sugar plantation. It too was highly successful; Terry was a very wealthy man. Benjamin became a leader in the Fort Bend area, and he was elected a delegate in January 1861 to the convention in Austin to decide where Texas stood regarding the coming Civil War. With his two fellow delegates, Thomas Lubbock and John Wharton, Terry conceived of offering the Confederacy their services to organize a company of rangers, finally making the trip in June. Terry served as an aide to General James Longstreet in the First Battle of Bull Run, afterwards he and Lubbock were given the authority by Jefferson Davis himself to organize the Eighth Texas Cavalry, whose main function was to operate as scouts for larger cavalry companies. Returning to Texas for volunteers, they quickly rounded up over a thousand men and marched north towards Virginia in November 1861, their company being hailed as "Terry's Texas Rangers". Things did not go well. On the way to Virginia, they were instead diverted through Tennessee, where Colonel Lubbock was stricken with illness and had to be left behind. Terry pressed onwards, and outside of Woodsonville, Kentucky, Terry's Texas Rangers fought in their very first battle - a battle that claimed the life of Colonel Terry. Terry's Rangers went on to distinguish themselves throughout the Civil War, fighting 275 battles in seven states. Only twice during the Civil War, was a cavalry unit able to defeat an infantry unit - both times it was accomplished by the Rangers. Terry's body was sent back by railroad to his homeland, lying in state in Nashville, New Orleans and Houston, before finally being interred. Terry County, Texas was named in his honor.

Bio by: Screwtape

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Clay Homister
  • Added: 8 Oct 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6839175
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Terry (18 Feb 1821–17 Dec 1861), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6839175, citing Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .