MER Griffith M.E.R. Graphic
TEXAS - 1900's


17th Arkansas Infantry


Major Ellis Ringold (M.E.R.) Griffith was born on May 11, 1846 in Lauderdale County, Mississippi - the youngest of four brothers to fight in Arkansas C.S.A. forces (see biography of Colonel John Griffith). He also lived with his parents and siblings on a large plantation near Greenwood, in Sebastian County, Arkansas just prior to the Civil War. M.E.R. married Miss Priscilla Broughton on January 2, 1876 in Comanche County, Texas and had the following children: John Moss (b. 1877), Samuel (b. 1882), William Harlow (b. 1884), Walter Ringold (b. 1890), and Ella Reagan (b. 1887).

Private M.E.R. Griffith was enlisted in company B (Adam's), 17th Arkansas (Rector's) Infantry, C.S.A. by Major G.W. Clark on October 21, 1861 in Fort Smith Arkansas' he was 15 years old and enlisted on the same day with his older brother, Private Benjamin H. Griffith (see biography of Private Benjamin H. Griffith). The day before, their father, Samuel Acass "Cass" Griffith had enlisted in Company B of the 17th Arkansas Infantry while their oldest brother , then Captain John Griffith also enlisted in the same regiment. After another of M.E.R.'s older brothers, Private Samuel Arthur "Moss" Griffith enlisted in the 17th Arkansas Infantry on February 14, 1862 (see biography of Private Samuel Arthur "Moss" Griffith) , three Griffith brothers served together with their father in Company B, 17th Arkansas Infantry, while the oldest brother, John Griffith, was their regimental Lieutenant-Colonel. Service records indicate that 15 year-old Private M.E.R. Griffith, together with his three older brothers and father, took part in the battle of Elkhorn Tavern. Arkansas on March 6 - 8, 1862. He likely witnessed the wounding of both his father and brother, Private Samuel Arthur "Moss" Griffith; an event that eventually took Moss' life.

Young Major was discharged from the 17th Arkansas Infantry on March 30, 1862 after the battle of Elkhorn Tavern because of severe pneumonia; he was sent home to the family plantation near Fort Smith in order to regain his health. After the war, he traveled with his oldest brother, Colonel John Griffith, and two other Arkansas Confederate veterans/future brother-in-laws, Joseph L. Bishop and Mat McCrary, to Texas in search of his family, which was found in Comanche County. M.E.R. joined Company A, Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers in Comanche County on May 25, 1874 and helped guard the notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin in 1877.

M.E.R. moved his family to Bluff Creek, in Taylor County, Texas sometime around 1877 and help build the old school house there. Private M.E.R. Griffith of Company B, 17th Arkansas Infantry, C.S.A. and Company A, Frontier Battalion, Texas Rangers, died in 1920 and is buried with his wife and three of his sons in the Old Bluff Creek Cemetery in Taylor County, Texas.

- By

  1. Jessie Jo Caveness - Junction, Texas
  2. Loraine Fleming Ake - Abilene, Texas
  3. Kenneth Elburn Byrd - Indianapolis, Indiana
  4. Rolene Guthrie Stewart - Junction, Texas
  5. Jim Hutchins - Jackson, Ms.

revised December 14, 1995

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kbyrd@iupui.edu
Last Revised 06/06/97

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