Benjamin Rush Milam
Benjamin Rush Milam (1788-1835) was a true Texas hero. Born October 20, 1788 in Frankfort, Kentucky, Ben Milam was a soldier, colonizer, and entrepreneur that played an important role in Texas gaining their independence. From 1812-1835, Milam fought in the War of 1812, was commissioned a colonel in the Mexican army, cleared the great Red River raft of debris from the upper part of the Red River (giving access for boats to pass), and was even granted Mexican citizenship as he helped Mexico in their efforts to gain independence from Spain.
In 1835, while trying to establish settlements in Texas, Milam learned that Santa Anna was headed to Texas with an army after he had overthrown the Mexican government. Milam tried to flee Texas, was captured, imprisoned, and eventually escaped. Milam encountered George Collinsworth and his soldiers, where he learned about the movement in Texas to gain independence from Mexico. He joined the company, helped them capture Goliad, and then continued on with them to join the main army to capture San Antonio. While scouting the area, Milam heard a majority of the army had decided not to attack San Antonio, which is when Milam made his famous plea, “Who will go with old Ben Milam to San Antonio?” Three hundred volunteered and they entered battle on December 5, 1835. They won the battle on December 9, 1835, but Milam was shot and killed on December 7, not living to see their victory at the Siege of Bexar.