Ellison Ballinger fought in some of the same battles in the Atlanta campaign as his under age son Jon. (Jon had lied about his age to enlist.) According to the stories told to Jon's granddaughter, after one bad battle, they ran into one another on the field. Ellison is reported to have said “Jon, what are you doing here”. Young Jon, shattered by all the fighting, started to cry and said he “wanted to go home”. Ellison said “straighten up, you got yourself into this, now you can get yourself out”.
After this, their Regiments went separate ways. Ellison’s regiment went on southeast with Sherman’s march to the sea while Jon's regiment went west onto the Nashville Champaign and the Battle of Franklin.
During the charge in the taking of Fort McAllister, on December 13, 1864, Ellison was shot on his right side below his ribs. He was mustered out with his company in Little Rock on August 4, 1865. He received a bounty of over $200. Military records state that Ellison was dark complexioned and was 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He had blue/grey eyes and dark hair.