By Bartee Haile.
Gravely wounded in a Christmas Eve duel at Gonzales, Reuben Ross waited until Dec. 25, 1839 to die. The deadly dispute began two months earlier, when Ross challenged Henry McCulloch, brother of the famous Ben, to a duel on behalf of an offended friend. Angered by McCulloch's refusal to fight, the messenger became the antagonist and hounded the reluctant duelist until he finally agreed to meet him on the field of honor. Ross "won" the chivalrous combat by wounding McCulloch in the right arm. That should have ended the affair, but the victor would accept nothing less than the death of his opponent. Ross was "intoxicated and obnoxious," according to the Handbook of Texas, when he "drew his pistols" leaving a sober McCulloch with no choice other than to kill him.
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