Camp Ben McCulloch was organized in the summer of 1896 at Driftwood Texas. The organized membership probably numbered seventeen. Beginning about 1930 it was the largest United Confederate Veterans Camp in the South. The first meeting was held at the “ Martin Spring ” near Driftwood on property belonging to Joe Rogers, a Confederate veteran and the date was set each year according to the full moon and between cotton chopping and cotton harvesting time.
Since its organization, Camp Ben McCulloch has staged at least three day attractive programs at each annual reunion and has invited the world to attend and the attendance has reached as high as six thousand in one year.
The annual reunions are held on the forty acre site on Onion Creek near Driftwood,Texas, twenty miles southwest of downtown Austin . The camp has electricity, running water and a splendid natural swimming pool. Some of the finest oak trees anywhere are found on the Camp Ben McCulloch grounds.
The camp was named in honor of General Ben McCulloch, who was killed while serving in the Confederate forces in the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, March 7, 1862. He had also served with distinction as a private in the Battle of San Jacinto and later in the Texas Rangers and in the United States Forces in the War with Mexico . Both he and his brother, Henry Eustace McCulloch, reached the rank of general in the Confederate Army. They were the only two brothers to reach the rank of general during the War Between the States. General Ben McCulloch is buried in the State Cemetery at Austin , Texas .
In his splendid book, “Eighty Years Under the Stars and Bars,” Thomas Fletcher Harwell, deceased of Kyle, Texas, who was the adjutant of the camp for more than twenty- five years, says: “The organization of Camp Ben McCulloch took place in the summer of 1896, by a group of Confederate soldiers and their families and friends, who lived in the ‘Hill Country’ of Hays County.”
“Capt. M.L. Reed of Henly, a Mississippian, and Captain in the Confederate Army, was the first commander. Jacob Quick, of the Mt. Gainer Community, was the first lieutenant. W. M. Weaver, of the Yell Community, was second lieutenant. W.W. Davis, of the Milseat Community, was third lieutenant. W.T. Chapman, of Dripping Springs, was adjutant. Dr. J.M. Pound, of Dripping Springs, was the surgeon. Santa Anna Cruze, of Wimberley, was bugler. Rev. C.M. Carpenter, though not a Confederate soldier, was elected Chaplain. The historian is not mentioned in Adjutant Chapman’s records.”