8 thoughts on “Heritage Tree: the Ben Milam Bald Cypress

  1. Love that tree! My family made me take the barge tour many many times…and the story of the sniper is the only thing I ever remember.

  2. Fun article, but you seem to have an error in one of the photo captions. Circumference = 25 feet per your specs. (Diameter of canopy = 98 feet)

    • You got me there, Fiddlechick. Stat corrected. The more important question: does this tape measure make the tree’s trunk look fat? — MM

  3. C. F. Eckhardt in his essay, “Ben Milam – Forgotten Hero of the Texas Revolution,” describes how this Kentucky native helped plan and led the assault on San Antonio de Bejár.

    Eckhardt relates that Milam drew a line in the dirt with a stick and said “Who’ll follow old Ben Milam into Bejár?” Milam was old, he walked with a limp, and he carried a walking stick. In fact, Eckhardt suggests that Milam’s stick in the dirt line was the probable inspiration of the Alamo story of Travis’ sword in the dust!

    About 20 years ago, the UTSA anthropology/archaeology department verified Milam’s legs had arthritis and that his head was shattered by a large projectile. But Eckhardt says it wasn’t from a Mexican sniper. “What they had were special rifle battalions of highly-trained, well-treated troops who were armed with British-made .64 caliber Baker rifles,” he writes.

    And he doesn’t believe Milam stopped for a drink when he was shot in the back yard of the Veramendi house . “He hadda pee!”

    Check out C.F. Eckhardt’s excellent history at http://www.texasescapes.com/CFEckhardt/Ben-Milam.htm .

  4. Thank for publishing the story of this historic tree and the amazing story! You can see the story of the tree and 36 others in my book, “Living Witness: Historic Trees of Texas” (2012, Texas A&M University Press) To see more photos of the venerable tree, go to Livingwitness.net or download the free Living Witness iPhone app

  5. When dating age of The Ben Milam Cypress by DBH, consideration of two separate leaders emanating either from Coppice shoots (Which makes tree even older if top half regrown from existing root system), or that the smaller leader is an old sucker sprout from main trunk. Even that this could be two different trees including into one. A tree with a single main trunk and same DBH as this double leader one would be much older. Look up Dendrology methods. Thanks’ for documenting story w/photos.

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