Son of Hon. Horatio Ballard, was born in Cortland, N.Y. His ancestors were among the first settlers of the Tioughnioga Valley. Lieutenant Ballard was possessed of fine natural abilities, to which had been added the polish of a liberal education.
In September, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company E, Seventy-sixth Regiment. In November following he was promoted to Second Lieutenant, and subsequently to First Lieutenant. He went with the Regiment as far as Fredericksburg, Va., where, in August, 1862, in consequence of a severe indisposition, he was forced to resign. In October, 1862, he was appointed to a clerkship in the office of the Secretary of State, which position he held until June, 1863, when he again entered the army as First Lieutenant of Company B, in the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Regiment N. Y. V. He was at Folly Island in the fall and winter of 1863-4.
On the twenty-second of February, 1864, the Regiment was ordered to Florida. Lieutenant Ballard served with the Regiment there until the close of June following, when he was obliged to resign in consequence of continued ill health. He reached home on the fourth of July, 1864, with the fatal disease fastened upon him, and lingered until the twenty-third of November, 1864, when he died.
In the quiet Rural Cemetery, which overlooks his beautiful native village, he sleeps the sleep of death. His friends may well mourn his early death; but let them be assured that death never comes too soon, if it finds us in the line of duty, and that life is not given in vain which is given for country.
- From the Regimental History of the 76th New York, A. P. Smith, 1867
The Gazette and Banner
Cortland, New York
January 23, 1862
Mr. T. S. Gillett, of Albany, has presented Lieut. John H. Ballard, with a splendid Revolver, accompanied with the following beautifully expressed note:
Albany, Jan. 18, 1862.
Lieutenant John H. Ballard:
My Dear Sir:
You are not a stranger to me. I have heard your father mention your enlistment in the ranks, and subsequent promotion, by election, to 1st Lieutenant in Company E, 76th Regiment. Your position, therefore, is won by merit. Accept of the weapon, which accompanies this note, as an evidence of my esteem for your father, and regard for yourself. Practice with it at leisure, that you may use it deliberately and effectively, if necessary.
T. S. Gillett
CORTLAND COUNTY REPUBLICAN
HOMER, NEW YORK
VOL X, NO. 16, WHOLE NO. 2064 Pg 2, COL 4
BALLARD - At Owego, Nov 23d. John Ballard, in the 23d year of his age.
John was the second son of Hon. Horatio Ballard the oldest son having died several years ago. He was a young man of a genial, social temperament and of good natural abilities which had been developed by a regular academic education. In September, 1861, he volunteered as a private in Co. E, of the 76th N.Y.S.V. In the following November he was commissioned 2d Lieutenant, and shortly afterwards 1st Lieutenant.
In the summer of '62 he was at Fredericksburg, was taken sick in August and resigned. From October of that year until the following June he held a clerkship in the office of his father, then Secretary of State of New York. He then again entered the army with the commission of 1st Lieut. in the 157th N.Y.S.V.
He served at Folly Island in the Fall of that year and the following winter. On the 22d of last February the regiment was ordered to Florida. He served there until toward the last of June. Having been called to do picket duty during a severe rain he took a cold which settled upon his lungs and led to the attack of that fatal disease, the consumption. Increasing illness compelled him to resign.
His vital energies gradually yielding to the ravages of disease he went to Owego a few days before his death with the vain hope of deriving aid from medical skill. The Destroyer there met him. His remains were brought home for internment in the Cortland Cemetery. He there sleeps his last sleep.
- transcribed by B. Conrad Bush
- Ballard is buried in Cortland Rural Cemetery. Tombstone photo by Mike Brown
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