James Monroe Elliott was born on June 22, 1816 in Warren, Tennessee. His father was Stephen Elliott and his mother was Elizabeth; her last name is not known. In 1843, Monroe married Margaret Eoff in Tennessee, where they had three children. After the move to Sylamore, Izard County, Arkansas, Monroe and Margaret had 12 more children. Their last child, Almeda Ellen Elliott was born in 1867. She was Edith McIntire Holder’s grandmother.
According to family sources, James Monroe Elliott Sr. did not speak to his daughter Mary Jane (Elliott) McIntire for about 15 years because she married what he considered to be an unsuitable young man, John A. McIntire. The couple went on to have twelve children, including Thomas Hendrix, Edith McIntire Holder’s father. Edith’s father and mother were cousins.
Monroe Elliott was 45 years old and had a wife and lots of children when he was more or less forced to volunteer in the Civil War. At the time Monroe “volunteered,” his oldest sons were William and James, twins who were 13 years old, with three older daughters. Lucy, the oldest, was 20 years old; her husband died in the Civil War.
Arkansas Peace Society of 1861
There were many responsible family men around his age in the northern counties of Arkansas who simply did not want a war. They just wanted to be left alone to raise their families and survive the best they could. They formed the Arkansas Peace Society of 1861. This was a secret organization who organized as a home guard to defend their families and their property if they were attacked. The state of Arkansas was being run by a Confederate government and they accused its estimated 1700 members of treason. Monroe volunteered to serve the Confederacy, as did most of the men, rather than go to a prison camp. Monroe enlisted with the 8th Arkansas Cavalry (“Desha Rangers”), Companies F & S in Arkansas County on March 10, 1863, where he served as quartermaster-sergeant, a very responsible position.
In 1882, Monroe sold his land in Stone County, Arkansas, left Margaret and his youngest three daughters behind. He moved with another female relative, acting as his wife, to the Republic of Texas. (Monroe appears to be a bigamist, maybe twice! When he married Margaret, he was still married to a woman from Alabama. He must have been quite the ladies’ man.) Monroe died on July 16, 1897 in Gordon, Palo Pinto, Texas, United States at the age of 81, very poor.
- Rosters of the Desha Rangers, 8th Arkansas Cavalry, Carlton’s Arkansas Cavalry, and the 21st Arkansas Infantry are posted on Edward Gerdes’ Civil War Page at this URL: www.counchgenweb.com Edward Gerdes’ Civil War Page.
- Index to Compiled Military Service Records, film M376, roll 7.
- “The McIntires and Elliotts of Bickle’s Cove, Stone County, Arkansas,” by Pauline Mitchell Pierce.
Copyrighted, 2012 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho.