BENJAMIN FRANKLIN CATES, Danville Mounted Riflemen


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014

B. F. Cates was born in 1839 in Alabama and moved to Texas at an unknown date. His name was likely Benjamin Franklin Cates, and it is probable that he was the Benjamin Cates, age eleven, who was in the household of William and Sarah Cates in Sumter County, Alabama, in 1850.

At the time of the 1860 census, he was living in the town of Danville, Montgomery County, Texas. He was in the household of William Harrison and wife, Frances; his age was given as twenty-one. He may have been related to them in some way, or he may have been a boarder.

B. F. joined the Danville Mounted Riflemen some time after its formation on May 4, 1861. The Danville Riflemen were a part of the Seventeenth Brigade, Texas State Troops. B. F.ís name appears on the muster roll of September 13th. He was a private.

B. F.ís name was not on the Riflemen muster roll of February 14, 1862, and he did not join the Second Texas Lancers with the other Riflemen in March of that year.

However, he is probably the B. F. Cates who enrolled in Company G of the Seventh Texas Cavalry. H. W. Fisher was the enrolling officer in the town of Huntsville, Walker County, on August 24, 1861. B. F. joined for a term of three years or the war. A notation on the muster roll states that his horse was valued at $150 and his equipment at $35. It was 250 miles from his home to place of rendezvous, Camp Pickett, where he was mustered in on October 26, 1861.

On the muster roll of February 28, 1862, there is a notation that B. F. died on December 19, 1861. The place of death is not stated. However, Confederate researcher Frank Johnson offers the following: “It appears that the Seventh Texas had just left Fort Bliss on December 20, so Cates probably died at Fort Bliss, El Paso. ”

It is likely that B. F. was afflicted with one of the many diseases or epidemics which plagued the Texas troops, especially since the Seventh Cavalry had not yet fought its first battle.

The Seventh would soon fight in the deadly Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico.

That above was compiled from census records, from the muster rolls of the 17th Brigade, Texas State Troops, housed in the Texas State Archives, and from the Compiled Service Records of the Confederate States Troops, originals housed at the National Archives, Washington, D. C..

For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at or by contacting Frank at [email protected]

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© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2003-2014
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