BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

OF

COLONEL ELKANAH GREER.

 

Colonel Greer was born in Marshall county, Mississippi, in the year 1825; received a liberal

education, which was just completed at the breaking out of the Mexican war. Though but twenty years of

age, he was among the first to volunteer as a private in the First Mississippi Rifles, the colonel of which

regiment was Jefferson Davis. Upon the organization of the command, it reported for duty to General

Taylor, beyond the Rio Grande. At the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista, in both of which it

participated, so signal were its services, that a grateful country expressed admiration for the conduct of both

officers and men. Colonel Greer returned home with the regiment on the expiration of their term of service;

and, though but twenty-one years of age, was prevailed upon, by his admiring fellow-citizens, to become a

candidate for Major-General of militia, defeating General James D. Alcorn, a very popular man, for the

position. Under General Greer's control, the militia was organized, drilled, and properly disciplined.

In 1848, he removed to Texas, and soon after, was united in marriage to Miss Anna Holcombe, of

Marshall, Texas, eldest daughter of Colonel B. L. and Mrs. Anna Holcombe, a beautiful young lady,

possessed of rare charms of both mind and heart. General Greer located at Marshall, and devoted his

attention to the civil pursuits of planting and merchandizing. Being an ardent State’s rights Democrat, he

was deeply interested in the weighty events of 1859 and 1860, which seemed to be culminating into war.

General Greer, at this time, probably enjoyed a political influence not surpassed by that of any man in

Texas. He was appointed, in 1859, "Grand Commander" of the secret organization known as the "K. G.

C’s," for the State of Texas, and employed himself in the organization of subordinate commanderies

throughout the State. He manfully opposed the conservative policy of Governor Sam Houston, in 1860, and

was urgent in his advocacy of a call for a sovereign convention. Upon the formation of the provisional

government, at Montgomery, Alabama, Colonel Greer received the first colonel’s commission issued to a

Texan, and proceeded immediately to organize the Third Regiment, of Texas Cavalry. Of his services in

connection with that regiment, the foregoing narrative speaks. At the expiration of the first year’s service,

Colonel Greer declined re-election to the colonelcy of the regiment, though he would have had no

opposition (so high was he held in the esteem of the men), and returned to Texas.

Of his services in the Trans-Mississippi Department, the author can not speak. Colonel Greer was

brave, cool in danger, quick to grasp the situation of affairs in the most critical juncture, and as prompt to

act. To these high qualities as an officer, he combined those of the gentlemen—kindness and

conscientiousness. Since the conclusion of the war, Colonel Greer has lived quietly and somewhat retired,

upon his estate near Marshall, Texas, respected and loved by his neighbors.

 

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/GG/fgr42.html