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Federal (USA)


Ballard Smith Humphrey

(c. 1836 - 1889)

Home State: Virginia

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: 1st United States Artillery, Battery I

Before Antietam

Giving his age as 21, a wheelwright, he enlisted in Richmond, VA on 1 December 1857 as a Private in Battery I, First United States Artillery. He was advanced to Artificer and First Sergeant by 1862.

On the Campaign

He was First Sergeant of his battery at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant on 29 October 1862 and was in the Department of the Gulf to July 1864, seriously wounded at Port Hudson, LA. He was in the defenses of Washington, DC to May 1865, then in Pleasant Valley, MD and Winchester, VA. He was honored by brevets to First Lieutenant and Captain for his war service.

After the War

He continued in the Army, sent to Texas, promoted to First Lieutenant in June 1866 (to date from June 1864) then at Jackson Barracks, New Orleans. He mustered out on 1 January 1871. He was commissioned again, 2nd Lieutenant, 9th US Cavalry, on 12 December 1872 and promoted to First Lieutenant on 24 June 1879.

Omaha, Neb. Oct 28. [1889] First Lieutenant Ballard Humphrey, of the Ninth Cavalry, United States army, dropped dead in this city, to-day, of apoplexy. He had been in the service since 1856, and was soon to have been promoted to a captaincy.

References & notes

His service from the Registers,1 Heitman,2 and Henry.3 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1850, and his death notice in the Indianapolis Journal of 29 October 1889, online, quoted above. His gravesite is on Findagrave; his stone has his age as 48, suggesting birth in about 1841.

He married Fanny Chevers (1842-1922) in September 1870.

More on the Web

He's seen in a group of officers of the First Artillery in an 1867 photograph sold by J. Mountain Antiques.


c. 1836; Fluvanna County, VA


10/28/1889; Omaha, NE; burial in Saint Johns Church Cemetery, Hampton, VA


1   US Army, Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914, Washington, DC: National Archives, 1956, Vol. 053, pg. 88  [AotW citation 28875]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 554  [AotW citation 28876]

3   Henry, Guy Vernor, Military Record of Civilian Appointments in the United States Army, 2 Volumes, New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1873, Vol. 1, pg. 211  [AotW citation 28877]