Texas Ben served in the Confederate States Army, then after the Civil War he headed south and served in Emperor Maximillian’s army in Mexico. When Maximillian fell Ben crossed back over the border into Texas, and spent the remainder of his life hiring his gun out to anyone who would pay, regardless of which side of the law it placed him on. Texas Ben even pinned on a badge as a legitimate lawman at times and supposedly put in time as a Texas Ranger at one point in his career. Thompson was even involved in the infamous Railroad War between the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe RR and the Denver & Rio Grande RR. In 1884 Texas Ben shot and killed San Antonio saloon and bawdy house owner Jack Harris. Later that year, passing back through San Antonio with fellow neglected gunfighter John “King” Fisher, he and his traveling companion foolishly entered Harris’ former establishment and were riddled with bullets by several of the dead man’s friends. Texas Ben’s trademark tall silk hat was placed on his coffin.
Also learn about Luke Short, Pearl Hart, and Long-haired Jim Courtright in this post at Balladeer's Blog. Link