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J. Balsley

J. Balsley

Federal (USV)


Joseph Balsley

(1835 - 1912)

Home State: Indiana

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 27th Indiana Infantry

Before Antietam

A 25 year old carpenter from Bedford, he mustered as First Sergeant, Company H, 27th Indiana Infantry on 12 September 1861. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company D on 2 June 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded the Company as senior officer present from 9 August to 17 September, and was wounded by gunshot to the left knee in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was treated a private house in Sharpsburg and at a hospital in Frederick, MD, and returned to duty on 15 November 1862. He was slightly wounded in the thigh in action at Gettysburg, PA on 3 July 1863. He was promoted to Captain of Company H on 1 December 1863, and mustered out at Atlanta, GA on 4 November 1864.

After the War

He was in Bedford to at least 1870. He then worked as a carpenter and stair builder in Seymour, IN, where he was also a city councilman and one-time mayor (c. 1898). He retired and moved to Indianapolis in 1898. After his wife Fidelia died in 1910, he moved to Chicago and lived with his son Abe. He was active in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), serving as Quartermaster and Adjutant General of the Indiana Department, and was a member of the George H. Thomas Post #5 in Chicago.

References & notes

Casualty information from Nelson1. His service from Brown,2 and the Historical Data Systems database. Further details from K. A. Polsley Bryan's Genealogy of the Baltzly-Polsley Family (1939) and his obituary in the Indianapolis Star of 3 May 1912. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture, from one of unknown provenance. His photograph is also found in Brown's regimental history (pg. 269).


11/09/1835; Connellsville, PA


05/02/1912; Chicago, IL; burial in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN


1   Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pg. 121  [AotW citation 16253]

1   Brown, Edmund Randolph, The Twenty-Seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, Monticello, IN: E.R. Brown, 1899, pp. 586, 608  [AotW citation 18480]