Major Ben Ficklin, C.S.A. (1827-1871)
Marker Text: Called Mystery Man of the Confederacy. Educated at Virginia Military Institute. At age 18 served as a corporal in Mexican War. In 1850s worked with stagecoach and mail lines from Missouri to San Francisco. Helped to start the Pony Express Line in 1860. Promoted idea of the railroad that later was the Union Pacific-- the first to span the U.S.
Was a soldier and state quartermaster in Virginia at start of Civil War. Appointed Confederate purchasing agent, his swagger and success in Europe excited Federal envy. Personally ran blockade and passed through New York and Washington on secret missions.
In 1867 was awarded U.S. contract for weekly mail run from Fort Smith, Ark., to San Antonio and El Paso. Had his operational headquarters 3 miles below Fort Concho. Owned 640 acres of land here. Built corrals, blacksmith shop, storage rooms, adobe house, kitchen and commissary. On a visit to Washington, died of swallowing fish bone. Was buried in Charlottesville,Va. Associates carried on the mail stage runs, later named town near Fort Concho for the late Major.
"Benficklin" was first county seat of Tom Green, serving until it was destroyed by flood in 1882. (1964)
Marker No: 1593
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: US 306 access road southwest side., near where it crosses Ben Ficklin Road, San Angelo