Alonzo Ballard, a highly respected citizen and Civil war veteran, who is a resident of Barnes, Kan., is a native of Ohio. He was born August 24, 1843, at the village of Sparta, Morrow county, and is the son of Appleton and Epiphene (Ellenwood) Ballard, the former a native of New Hampshire and the latter of Nova Scotia. The father was a farmer in early life and later a merchant. When Alonzo was about five years old the family removed to Lansing, Mich., where the father was engaged in the mercantile business until his store was destroyed by fire, when he engaged in farming again. Alonzo Ballard was attending the public schools in Lansing, Mich., when the Civil war broke out. He answered the first call for volunteers, enlisting in Company C, First United States sharp shooters. This regiment was known as Burdan's Sharpshooters and was made up of companies from various States. It is well known fact that the mission of the sharpshooter keeps him constantly on the danger zone of military operations, and the First United States was no exception to this rule. The first real battle in which the regiment participated was at Yorktown and later Williamsburg. From here they went to White House Landing, where Mr. Ballard was stricken with fever and sent to the hospital at Yorktown and later Portsmouth, R. I. He returned to his regiment just after the second battle of Bull Run and joined it at Alexandria, Va. He was at the battles of Antietam, Blackman's Ford, Manassas Gap and Fredericksburg. They shortly afterwards went into winter quarters at Brandy Station, and in the following spring participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, which was one of the hardest fought battles of the war. Lee then made his famous invasion of Pennsylvania and the First United States was one of the hundreds of regiments that met the flower of the Confederacy at Gettysburg, and the world knows what happened. During this battle Mr. Ballard was with his regiment in the peach orchard fight; also at Little Round Top, where he was under the cover of the Union guns and watched the great charge of Pickett as his columns swept across the field to destruction. He participated in the skirmishing with Lee's retreating army and was at the engagements at Wappin Heights, Auburn, Kelley's Ford, Locust Grove and Mill Run. They then went into winter quarters near Culpeper, Va., remaining here until spring, when General Grant took command, and during the campaigns of that season he was in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, North Ann and Cold Harbor. The Union army then made a flank movement across the peninsula and here fought Lee's army in front of Petersburg for thirty or forty days in an effort to capture the Weldon railroad and thus cut off Lee's supplies. They also took part in the fight at Deep Bottom on the James river. His regiment was in other skirmishes too numerous to mention, and on August 20, 1864, he was honorably discharged from the United States service. He then returned home and remained until after the election, when he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He then entered Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where he remained until April, 1865. He then came west with his brother, David E., and settled in Washington county, Kansas, his brother having spent a few years in Kansas prior to this time. They came by rail to St. Joseph, Mo., which was then the end of the railroad; thence by boat to Leavenworth and overland to Topeka by stage. From there they drove to Washington, which at that time consisted of three or four houses. His brother, David, was one of the original incorporators of the town site. Here the Ballard brothers opened the first store in Washington, which they conducted two years, when they traded it for land.
When Mr. Ballard first came to Kansas he frequently went buffalo hunting with hunting parties and was usually very successful, as he was an excellent shot and his years of training as a sharpshooter in the army gave him considerable advantage over his fellow hunters and made it exceedingly dangerous for the buffalo. Shortly after he came to Kansas Governor Crawford, of this State, determined to put an end to Indian depredations, which were frequent among the frontier settlers for some time, and in response to the governor's call the Eighteenth Kansas was recruited and Mr. Ballard was commissioned one of the first lieutenants of this regiment. He recruited eighteen young men in Washington county and joined the regiment at Fort Harker and was mustered in as first sergeant. The regiment immediately advanced to Walnut creek, near Hayes city, and from here was dispatched on an expedition to overtake the Indians, who had stolen considerable cattle and committed other depredations, but the wily savages evaded the troops. About this time Mr. Ballard was thrown from his horse and seriously injured, and while he was in the hospital his captain and twenty-four of his company were surrounded by the Indians on the plains and a desperate battle ensued. After Mr. Ballard returned to his regiment it was detailed to guard the building of the Kansas Pacific railroad and after a summer of this service was discharged in the fall of 1867. Mr. Ballard then returned to Lansing, Mich., and engaged in the mercantile business about eight years, and in 1876, about the time the Central Branch railroad was completed, he returned to Kansas and located at Barnes, where he was station agent, postmaster and was also engaged in the grain business. He was the first postmaster of that town. After two years here he went to Colorado and was engaged in prospecting about three years. In 1881 he again returned to Kansas and engaged in the general mercantile business at Barnes, which he conducted until 1911, when he retired.
Mr. Ballard was married, in 1869, at Lansing, Mich., to Miss Belle Carmichael, of that place, and to this union were born two children: Eugene, now a farmer in Oklahoma, and Louise, who died in infancy. Mrs. Ballard died in 1873. In 1887 Mr. Ballard married Carrie Dikeman, a daughter of Frederick and Martha Louisa Dikeman, of Barnes, Kan. The Dikeman family were natives of Vermont. To this union was born one child, Martha Louise, a graduate of the Barnes High School, and an accomplished young lady, residing at home with her father. Mrs. Ballard departed this life August 18, 1911. Mr. Ballard was one of the early county clerks and registers of deeds of Washington county, holding these offices from 1865 to 1867. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights and Ladies of Security.Pages 430-432 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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