Corporal Benjamin Franklin “Dock” Burris, (CSA)

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Corporal Benjamin Franklin “Dock” Burris, (CSA)

Also Known As: "Benjamin Frank Burris"
Birthplace: Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas, USA
Death: May 16, 1914 (73)
Cotulla, La Salle, Texas, USA
Place of Burial: Cotulla, TX, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin B Burris and Susan Adeline Burris
Husband of Jane Elizabeth Burris
Father of Alexander Shannon Burris; Lemuel Frank Burris; John Joseph Burris; Earl Hays Burris, Sr.; Hattie Burris and 2 others
Brother of Mary Burris; John Johnson Burris; Basil R. Burris; Andrew Jackson Burris; Joseph Benson Burris and 7 others

Managed by: George Wayne Harcourt
Last Updated:

About Corporal Benjamin Franklin “Dock” Burris, (CSA)

Benjamin Franklin “Dock” Burris, Texas Ranger, Confederate soldier, cowboy, and stockraiser, was born on August 24, 1840, in Galveston, Texas, to Benjamin B. Burris and Susan Adeline (Riggs) Burris. His father was a farmer from Ohio. According to Burris’s own reminiscence in 1910, he left Galveston on his own and moved to Karnes County in 1855, where he worked as a cowboy in South Texas until 1858. He then drove a freight wagon between Indianola and San Antonio.

In 1859 Burris enlisted at Helena in Karnes County as a private in Capt. William G. Tobin’s Company of Texas Mounted Volunteers. Tobin raised a company of 100 rangers from San Antonio, and they were sent to Brownsville. Burris was one of forty men who joined Tobin’s company enroute to Brownsville. Burris transferred to Capt. Peter Tumlinson’s Company of Texas Mounted Volunteers in 1860 and served in this frontier battalion of the Texas Rangers on the Rio Grande during the Cortina War. Burris’s brother, Joseph Benson Burris, also served in the Texas Mounted Volunteers, sometimes in the same company.

In 1861 B. F. Burris enlisted in a cavalry company in Gonzales County under Capt. Marcus L. Evans, which later became Company C of the Eighth Texas Cavalry or Terry’s Texas Rangers. The unit was mustered into the Confederate service at Houston, on September 12, 1861. Burris saw service at Woolsonville, Kentucky; battle of Shiloh; and Perrysville, Kentucky, before being promoted to third corporal in August 1862. On December 31, 1862, in the battle of Stones River near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Burris suffered a gunshot wound to the arm. He also served with distinction at the battle of Chickamauga.

Capt. Alexander May Shannon of Company C was reassigned to the command of the secret service of the Army of Tennessee in 1863. Burris was chosen as a member of a thirty-man specialty unit to be known as “Shannon’s Scouts.” This unit scouted behind Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's position during the Atlanta campaign. The scouts were famed for making raids on Sherman's divisions and carried out reconnaissance missions—locating routes and relaying military intelligence back to Confederate command. In one of the scouts’ raids, these men, often disguised in Federal uniforms, killed more than fifty Federal troops and captured more than 100. Burris was captured at Fayetteville, North Carolina, on March 10, 1865. He was held in a prison pen until forwarded to Hart's Island, a short-lived prisoner-of-war camp in New York, and was paroled in June 1865. Burris was later awarded the Cross of Honor by the United Confederate Veterans.

Benjamin Burris married Jane Elizabeth Johnston on July 24, 1866, in Karnes County, Texas. The Burris family had six or more children; the 1880 census listed four sons and two daughters in Bee County. After the Civil War, Burris returned to the cattle industry and drove cattle to Abilene, Kansas, as well as to Rockport on the Gulf Coast. He was involved in stockraising in Bee, Goliad, and Karnes counties throughout the 1870s and into the 1880s before immigrating to LaSalle County in 1883.
Benjamin Franklin Burris died on May 16, 1914, in Cotulla, Texas, where he is buried in the Cotulla Cemetery. Burris was the grandfather of Earl Hays Burris, Jr., who served the state of Texas as a Texas Ranger and a cattle inspector for the U. S. Department of Agriculture during World War II.


B-Aug. 24, 1842 D-May 16, 1914 Married-Jane Elizabeth Johnson Jul. 24, 1866. Buried: Cotulla Cemetery-Cotulla, La Salle County, Texas.

Muster Rolls:

Private Benjamin F. Burris Commanding Officer-Wm. G. Tobin Mounted Volunteers Oct. 30, 1859-Nov. 3, 1859

Private B. F. Burris Commanding Officer-Captain G. J. Hampton Mounted Volunteers Nov. 12, 1859-Jan. 1860 Company called into State service for suppression of Cortina Rebellion on Rio Grande Frontier by Gov. H. R. Runnels.

Benjamin F. Burris Commanding Officer-Captain Peter Tumlinson Mounted Volunteers Jan. 1, 1860-Feb.10, 1860

B. F. Burris 8th Regiment,Texas Cavalry (Terry's) (1st Rangers) (8th Rangers) Company C Rank In: Private Rank Out: Corporal

Benjamin served as a Texas Ranger 3 times.

The following from "Texas Ranger Indian War Pensions" as abstracted by Robert W. Stephens copyright 1975 Note: Date of birth is incorrect - it should be 1840 not 1849

BURRIS, Benjamin F. (Ind. Sur. No. 9059) Born August 24, 1849, i~ Galveston, Republic of Texas, died May 16, 1914, in Cotulla, Texas. Married Jane E. Johnson July 26, 1866, in Helena, Texas; she was born April 17, 1846, in Scott County, Mississippi. Application based on service in Captain William G. Tobin’s company in 1859 and in Captain Peter Tumlin- son’s company in 1860 during the CortinaWar. Applica- tion rejected.

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Corporal Benjamin Franklin “Dock” Burris, (CSA)'s Timeline

August 24, 1840
Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas, USA
June 5, 1867
Cotulla, La Salle, Texas, USA
December 6, 1868
Karnes, Texas, USA
November 18, 1871
Beeville, Bee, Texas, USA
September 4, 1873
Beeville, Bee, Texas, USA
October 1874
Beeville, Bee, Texas, USA
November 8, 1877
Beeville, Bee, Texas, USA
August 25, 1884
Age 59
Justice Precincts 1, 3, 5, La Salle, Texas