SAR marks grave of Revolutionary soldier

Published 9:40 pm Monday, May 16, 2011

On a brisk Sunday afternoon beneath the towering oaks at Pea River Cemetery near Tennille, three fifth-generation grandsons of John Griffin unveiled the headstone that marks the final resting place of the patriot of the American Revolution.

The Grave Dedication Program for John Griffin, a Revolutionary War soldier from Pike County, was conducted by the Wiregrass Chapter, Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution.

Dr. David Billings, president of the Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution, told the large gathering of family members and friends that John Griffin was a true patriot who was willing to fight gain the independence and freedoms that Americans enjoy today.

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“Let us remember our obligations to our forefathers,” Billings said.

The family of John Griffin gathered to remember their obligations to their “great” grandfather, a true American patriot.

Dr. John Pugh of Atlanta said that he was humbled by the sacrifice of his great grandfather and all of the others who fought and died for America’s “freedom.”

“We owe everything to our ancestors,” Pugh said. “We stand on their shoulders.”

Pugh’s ties to Pike County are through the Pugh and Griffin families. He had a strong desire to locate the final resting place of John Griffin. He wanted to “make it right.”

“But for a long time, it seemed that it would never be,” he said. “I resigned myself to not knowing where he was buried.”

However, information surfaced that placed John Griffin’s final resting place next to that of his son, Isaac, in the Pea River Cemetery.

“It was almost as if ol’ John had reached out his hand to us with the grit and determination of a true patriot,” Pugh said.

As the headstone was unveiled, the wind swept through the cemetery causing the limbs of the giant oaks to bend, almost as a salute to John Griffin, American patriot, and, as an indication that the century oaks will be the sentinels for the American Revolutionary War soldier.

Floral tributes were made. “Amazing Grace” was played on the bagpipes and the SAR Color Guard gave a final musket salute to Griffin. An obligation had been paid. Perry Vickers, president of the Wiregrass Chapter SAR, said Griffin was born in either Virginia or North Carolina. He fought in the American Revolution and carried British lead in his body to the day of his death. “John Griffin came to Alabama before it was admitted as a state and settled in Greene County,” Vickers said. “He came to Pike County in 1822 and settled on the Mulkey place, close to where Bethel church now stands.

“He remained there until 1826 when he went to Columbus, Georgia, with his son, Isaac, but returned to Pike County in 1832. He died in 1840 at the Carpenter’s mill place, about two miles east of Troy at the advanced age of 110 years. “Griffin was one of many Revolutionary War soldiers who, following the war, went westward”