Merrick, George Washington (1831–1890)

By: Stephanie P. Niemeyer

Type: Biography

Published: April 26, 2011

George Washington Merrick, farmer, law enforcement agent, and Confederate cavalry officer, was born on June 1, 1831, in Humphreys County, Tennessee, to Griffith Merrick and Elizabeth Hall. In1839 the family moved to Lamar County, Texas, where Griffith Merrick was a farmer. In 1853 George Merrick moved to California to seek his fortune in the gold fields, but he stayed only a few months before returning to Texas and farming. In 1860 he joined a "ranging service on the frontier," and on October 6 of that year he married Frances C. Hudson in Fannin County, Texas. The couple had ten children.

In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, George Merrick joined Company C of the Twenty-second Texas Cavalry as a private. By June of that year he was promoted to major by Lt. Col. Edmund Kirby Smith at Camp Allston. It is believed that one of his duties was to return to the Fannin County area and retrieve men missing from the camp. Throughout the war Merrick served in Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. He fought in battles at Newtonia, Missouri; Mansura, Louisiana; and Yellow Bayou, Louisiana. After the May 18, 1864, battle at Yellow Bayou, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and commanded the Twenty-second until the end of the war.

After the war, George Merrick settled in Fannin County where he farmed. His wife Frances died in 1881, and he followed nearly a decade later on December 14, 1890. The couple were buried next to each other in the Ladonia Cemetery in Fannin County.

Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas (Chicago: Battey, 1889; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Mary Helen Haines, "A Short History of the 22nd, 31st and 34th Texas Cavalries of North Texas" (, accessed April 19, 2011.

Time Periods:
  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Stephanie P. Niemeyer, “Merrick, George Washington,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 26, 2011

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