Sons of Confederate Veterans

   Adam Washington Ballenger Camp #68

 

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The Promotion of Adam Washington Ballenger

Adam W. Ballenger was born in northern Spartanburg county (then called District) on January 17, 1844. His parents were Edward B. Ballenger and Cassia Ann Hempley Ballenger. He was raised on his father's farm, and soon after the beginning of the war, he enlisted at the Spartanburg Courthouse in Company C of the 13th Regiment. Ballenger was a sergeant in Co. C until 1863 when he was promoted for distinguished gallant service on the battlefield at the 2nd Battle of Cold Harbor. This promotion came from none other than General Robert E. Lee. At the battle, a charge was made against the federals and they were thrown in confusion ---so started an act of retreat. During all this, Ballenger separated himself from his command and alone, rushed forward and mounted one of the guns of the enemy's artillery. The union driver of the horses carrying the piece jumped off on the tongue between the horses and made his escape out at the end of the tongue. Ballenger immediately, in order to secure the capture of the gun, jumped off the piece, which he mounted. In returning to his command he met his Captain J.W. Carlisle, who told Ballenger that his brother, Joseph, was wounded and left in the rear. He then went to help his brother. In the meantime, a group of federals had come around on wing of the Confederate troops, but finding they were about to be cut off, retreated, and carried Joseph Ballenger with them. The federals put Joseph Ballenger in the prison camp at Point Lookout where he died shortly thereafter. The conduct of Adam Ballenger was witnessed by General McGowen. McGowen sent for Ballenger a day or two later. When Ballenger arrived at headquarters, he was congratulated by the general, who informed him that he had recommended that he be commissioned a first lieutenant. He received his officers commission and was assigned to Company H of the 13th Regiment.

A few months later, he was appointed to one of the companies of Dunlop's Battalion of Lee's Sharpshooters, three companies of which were made up out of McGowen's Brigade. He remained in this outfit until he was severely wounded in the arm and hip on the picket line at Petersburg. He was carried to a hospital in Richmond and was there at the time of the surrender at Appomattox. After four months, he was well enough to return home and was ordered to the State capitol building in Columbia to take the oath of allegiance. Ballenger didn't like this idea, so he slipped off and, bringing his army sword with him, he walked several miles out of the city and boarded the train for home. He finally returned home safely.

This story is from Dr. Landrum's book on Spartanburg County.

 

LETTER OF COLONEL ISAAC F. HUNT REGARDING PROMOTION OF ADAM W. BALLENGER

Hd Qua 13th Regt

November 25th, 1864

S. Cooper

General:

I would respectfully ask that Sergt. Adam W. Ballenger, Company C 13th S.C. Regt. be commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to Company E 13th S.C. Regt. for gallantry displayed during the battle at Deep Bottom, July 28, 1864.

After advancing through a dense wood and driving back the first line of battle the enemy we encountered the second line of battle with a battery of artillery posted behind field works. Our line being in considerable confusion and subjected to heavy fire from both artillery and infantry was about to retire when Sergt. Ballenger rushed forward causing others to follow him, routing the enemy and compelling him to abandon a portion of his artillery which fell into our possession, I consider our success due in a great measure to the conduct of Sergt. Ballenger.

Company H 13th Regt. being without an officer, I ordered Sergt. Ballenger to take command of said company with a view to recommend him for promotion should he establish himself as a disciplinarian. Since the 28th of July last he has commanded Company H in three engagements with credit to himself and command.

Company has two officers -- Captain and 1st Lieutenant, the Captain a prisoner of war and his right arm amputated. Enlisted men present 30. Total aggregate - 53. Having applied to have Company H disbanded is the reason why I now ask for him to be reassigned to Company E. There is no man in Company "E" that I can recommend for promotion.

I request that his commission date from the 28th July 1864.

I have the honor to be

Very respectfully

your obedient servant,

I.F. Hunt

Col. 13th S.C. Regt.

Adam Washington Ballenger is buried in the graveyard of Inman First Baptist Church, Inman, SC

[Sergt. Ballenger received his promotion, and took the oath on the 21 Jan. 1865 as 1st Lieutenant]

 

 

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