Thomas Ballard, the son of John Ballard of Albemarle County, was born 7 March 1751, and removed to South Carolina with his younger brother, Bland, before the American Revolution. The bulk of what we know of his life is from his Revolutionary War Pension Application, which is quoted below in full.1
He enlisted in the Revolutionary Army from the Kershaw District in 1779 and was in active service for 366 days, until some time in 1782. He went on numerous scouting parties and fought at the battles of Ridgeway’s Fort, Hobkirk’s Hill and Bigham Church. His officers were Captain William Nettle, and Colonels Marshall and Frederick Kimball. After the Revolution, he was commissioned a Major of Militia in 1794 and on 29 November 1804, a Lt. Col. Of the 25th Regiment.
He was later living in Lancaster county, South Carolina in 1839 where he died on 28 December 1843. He married, first, Elizabeth Graham, the daughter of Francis Graham and Mary ________. We know the name of his first wife from the following deed recorded in Kershaw County, South Carolina: Thomas Ballard of Kershaw District, for $139, to Andrew Graham and James Trantham of Kershaw District, the undivided 1/7 part of land of Francis Graham, dec’d, by my wife Elizabeth, now deceased. — Thomas Ballard. Witness: R.L. Champion, James Ballard. 6 January 1804, recorded Kershaw Co. SC Deed Book D, p. 241.
His second wife was Mary, daughter of Samuel Parks. According to his pension record, his surviving children were:
Mary, who married William Russell;
Susannah, who married Samuel Caston;
Thomas Parks, who married Margaret Truesdale. Thomas Parks Ballard was born in Lancaster county, South Carolina on 17 November 1799, and died in Desha, Arkansas on 22 September 1866. On 5 February 1829 he married Margaret Truesdale, the daughter of John Truesdale and Nancy McDonald. Margaret was born 15 October 1808 in Kershaw District, South Carolina, and died there 20 August 1844. Their children were: 1. Mary Caroline Ballard, born 19 September 1830, married James A.M. Lanier; 2. Christopher Columbus Ballard, born 9 June 1832; 3. Nancy Emily Ballard, born 13 April 1834, on 4 March 1852 married Dr Robert Simpson McDow, son of Nancy Anna McIlwaine and Taylor McDow, who was born in Lancaster county, South Carolina 18 November 1825, and died there 29 December 1891; she died 25 November 1885. 4. Thomas M. Ballard, born 27 August 1836.2
The 1850 US Federal Census shows Thos. P. Ballard as head of a household in Lancaster County, South Carolina, age 51; C. C. Ballard (M), age 16, a student; E. Ballard (F), age 16; J.A.M. Lanier (M), age 31; M. C. Lanier (F), age 20; Thos. F. Lanier (M), age 1; also Thos. M. McDow (M), a Physician, age 30; and D.M. Creighton (M), 26, an Overseer. There is no mention of Thomas M. Ballard; the 1840 US Federal Census for the family shows one male born between 1831 and 1835; this would have been Christopher Columbus, which suggests that Thomas M. died young. 1850 US Federal Census, Lancaster, South Carolina, Roll M432_854, Page 198A, Image 398.
In 1860 Thomas Parks Ballard is living alone, though possessed of 46 slaves. 1860 US Federal Census, Lancaster, South Carolina, Roll M653_1221, Page 172, Image 347; 1860 US Federal Census-Slave Schedules.
1. National Archives File S.20283, Pension Application of Thomas Ballard, dated 10 December 1832, while a resident of Gwinnett Co., Georgia; he gave his place of birth as Albemarle Co., Virginia, March 1751.
2. John Bennett Boddie, Southside Virginia Families, Vol. 1 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1966), p. 21. There are numerous descendants in South Carolina.
Pension Application of Thomas Ballard, File No. S20283
Georgia, Gwinnett County: Inferior Court December Term 1832
Personally appeared in open court it being a court of record, now sitting, Thomas Ballard a resident of said County of Gwinnett and State aforesaid aged Eighty years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to attain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832.
That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated, to wit: That he entered the service in the State of South Carolina the part which is now called Kershaw District. That he was then Captain of a militia company and that he together with his Company was called into service by Colonel Kimbrel [Frederick Kimball] as volunteers. That he was then by Colonel Kimbrel brevetted Captain of said Company that he was in Major Thompson’s Battalion & Colonel Kimbrel’s Regiment that during this service he was with General Marion [Francis Marion] six weeks when his company was relieved and allowed to return home. That this service was during the year 1780 & 1781. That this was a three months Tour but that he was relieved & allowed to return home a few days before the Term of service expired. That afterwards in the year 1781 the Company which he commanded was again called into Service under the Command of Major Thompson in General Henderson’s [William Henderson’s] division for a three months Service. That he was stationed at Captain Young’s house in the State of South Carolina in the fork of edisto River [Edisto River] and was engaged during this Service in skirmishes with the Tories and at the end of the Service he returned home. That he did not receive a written discharge in either of the above mentioned Services because he did not concede them at that time necessary. That his brevet has been lost or mislaid. That the two several tours of duty were served in the State of South Carolina and that he has no documentary Evidence nor does he know of anyone now living except Michael Branham, who can establish the same. That since the revolutionary war he has resided first in South Carolina Kershaw District from thence he removed to Gwinnett County in Georgia where he now resides that he was born in the State of Virginia in March 1751. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension Old of the agency of any State.
Sworn to & subscribed this tenth day December 1832 in open Court.
Attest: S/ Wm Maltbie, Clk
S/ Thos. Ballard
[p 40: Hosea Camp, a clergyman, and John F Martin gave the standard supporting affidavit.]
Georgia Gwinnett County:
Before me, a Justice of the Peace for said County came in person Michael Branham and being sworn on oath saith that he served six months under the command of Thomas Ballard in the revolutionary war – who was a Captain of the Militia of Kershaw District in the State of South Carolina – and further states that said six months service is mentioned and correctly stated in the within declaration.
Sworn to & subscribed before me this 10th December 1832
S/ John Clower, JP S/ Michael Branham, X his mark
State of South Carolina Fairfield District
Personally appeared before me Henry Moore of the State & District aforesaid and being sworn as the Law Directs says on oath that he was introduced to a Captain Ballard either before or shortly after the fall of Charleston but it is so long since that he cannot fully identify him at this late period. Further that he thinks the forgoing certificate of Mr. John Clanton entitled to undoubted credit this 9th September 1838
S/ William Moore, QU S/ Henry Moore1 Capt Lt. of Artillery
Regt. So. Carolina
State of South Carolina Kershaw District:
Before me appeared John Clanton of said District after being Duly Sworn as the Law Directs made oath that he became acquainted [with] Thomas Ballard in the year 1780 and in the year 1781 we served together a tower [tour] in the service in behalf of the Liberty of the State and US we joined the whigs at a place called the foreholes [Four Holes] in South Carolina. Thomas Ballard was a Captain and Commanded the Company called the Bever Creek Company of said District. I Father [further] state that I was his Cook for his mess. I believe him to be as good a whig as the State had at that time according to the opportunities he had to show it.
Sworn to before me this 3 July 1839
S/ Elijah Sill, J. Q. S/ John Clanton, X his mark
South Carolina Lancaster District
Personally came before me John Trousdale aged seventy-one years last March & after being duly sworn, maketh oath & saith that in & about the year 1781 the fall of the year he became acquainted with Colonel Thomas Ballard, who was then Thomas Ballard, & had the character of a good & valiant Whig in the revolutionary Army, in & about the neighborhood of Hangrock [?] & Beaver Creek Kershaw District South Carolina in which neighborhood & place both deponent & Thomas Ballard resided – shortly afterwards Thomas Ballard was called Captain of the Beaver Creek Militia Company Kershaw District South Carolina & generally received opinion of that time & up to this day was that Thomas Ballard was an officer a Captain in the revolutionary war & bore the character at that day & since of a brave & courageous defender of the liberties of his country – deponent has known Colonel Ballard from about 1781 2 [“to”] 1821 at which last period he removed to Georgia where he remained until 1838 & at this time is living in Lancaster District South Carolina.
Sworn to & subscribed before me 5 November 1839
S/ J. H. Witherspoon, Junior Q.W. E. Off. S/ John Trusdel
South Carolina Lancaster district
Personally came before me Thomas Mackey Senior age 77 years last February & maketh oath & saith that during the revolutionary war he this deponent was a private in Colonel Kimbrell Regiment, previous Colonel Marshall, & that he knew Thomas Ballard, that he was attached to said Regiment & commanded as Captain in the Beaver Creek Company Kershaw District South Carolina, deponent can’t say positively how long Thomas Ballard & this deponent remained in the same Regiment, his impression is that the Company Thomas Ballard commanded was sent out on a scouting party & this deponent & the company he was attached to was ordered to Purysburg, deponent served three months & is satisfied that Thomas Ballard was also out during that tour of three months, he verily believes that Thomas Ballard served much longer, he was always regarded a true & Brave Whig, & rendered [indecipherable word] services to his Country during the revolutionary struggle.
Sworn to & subscribed before me 6 November 1839
S/ J. W. Witherspoon, Junior, Q. W. E. Off S/ Thos. Macke
South Carolina, Lancaster District
On this Sixth day of November A.D. 1839 personally appeared in open Court before the Court of General Sessions & Common Pleas now sitting, Thomas Ballard, a resident of the State & District aforesaid aged eighty-nine years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832. — viz. That he entered the service as a militia man (Volunteer) in Captain William Nettles company (militia) in Colonel John Marshall’s Regiment (militia) in the year 1780 about six or eight months before Gates defeat near Camden [Battle of Camden, August 15-16, 1780], at the time of Gates defeat he was with General Sumter [Thomas Sumter] as a Volunteer afterwards in the spring of 1781 he received a commission to Command the Beaver Creek Company Kershaw District South Carolina from Colonel Kimbrell who then had the Command of Colonel Marshall’s Regiment Colonel Marshall having gone to Virginia served under Colonel Kimbrell & General Marion three months as Captain in Santee Swamp near McCord’s ferry South Carolina was in pursuit of the British & caused them to evacuate Bigham [sic, Biggin] Church [July 16-17, 1781] & fire the same was at the Battle of Hobkirk Hill [April 25, 1781] near Camden South Carolina between General Greene & Lord Rawdon, he afterwards returned with his company & remained at home for about three months, he then as Captain & with his Company returned to the service and Joined the Whigs at the “Fore Holes” [sic, Four Holes] thinks a Colonel Henderson had Command & continued with him three months in the fork of Edisto River watching the movements of certain forces in that neighborhood he & his Company then returned home, don’t recollect what has become of his discharge, or whether he received one, his Commission has been mislaid it was signed by Colonel Kimbrell.
Sworn to open Court the day & date above mentioned
S/ S/ Beckham, Clk S/ Thos. Ballard
[J. P. Thompson, a clergyman, and Samuel B. Hammond gave the standard supporting affidavit.]
1. Where & in what year were you borned?
2. Have you any record of your age, if so where is it?
Answer – Have none
3. Where were you living when called into service, where have you lived since the revolutionary war, & where do you now live?
Answer – When called into service lived in Kershaw District South Carolina moved to Georgia in 1821 – returned to South Carolina Lancaster District in April 1838
4 – How were you called into service, were you drafted did you Volunteer or were you a substitute, if a substitute for whom?
Answer – Called into service as a militia man
5th State the names of some of the Regular Officers who were with the troops where you served, such Continental & militia Regiments age you can recollect, & the General circumstances of your Service.
Answer – Was in Colonel Kimbles Regiment Nettles Company, was at Bingham Church [sic] when it was fired by the British – was at a Battle at Hobkirk Hill near Camden South Carolina
6. Did you ever receive a discharge from the service, if so, by whom was it given & what has become of it?
Answer – don’t recollect that he received a discharge.
7th did you ever receive a Commission, if so, by whom was it signed & what has become of it?
Answer – had a Commission Received it from Colonel Kimbrel don’t know what became of it
S/ Thos. Ballard
State of South Carolina, Lancaster District
Personally appeared before me James H. Witherspoon Jr Judge of the Court of Ordinary Lancaster District Colonel Thomas Ballard Senior of the said District & State, aged ninety years, 7 March next, who being duly sworn maketh oath & saith, that he was born in the County of Albemarle & State of Virginia 7 March 1751 & resided there until the year 1789 [sic, 1779?], when he removed to South Carolina, Craven County now the district of Kershaw where he resided & lived until the year 1818, when he removed to Georgia when at County & resided & built there until the year 1838, when he removed back to South Carolina Lancaster District, where he now resides. This deponent further states that shortly after he removed to South Carolina to wit in the fall & winter of 1779 & 1780 he entered the service of his country under Captain William who was attached to Colonel Marshall’s Regiment, the deponent was out & engaged in said service at various times, principally in scouting & routing certain Tories who were then lurking in Kershaw district, he was then residing in Captain William’ beat, and as a militia man was called out sometime in December 1779 & was engaged & out in service until May 1780, whenever the Company was on duty, the duty of this Company at that time was principally the routing & keeping in check the Tories in the district — deponent further saith that sometime in August or September 1780 he went on a visit to Virginia, that while there, he heard that a great many Tories had assembled near the Brushy Mountains in North Carolina he then volunteered under Colonel Bryce Martin in Henry County Virginia to march against them after marching several days under him the Regiment was dismissed by Colonel Martin upon learning that the Tories had left & abandoned that place. This deponent then returned to South Carolina Kershaw District where his family were still residing. He was there afterwards engaged in various services, but not regularly — until he was present & assisted in taking Rudgeleys [Rugeley’s] Fort [December 4, 1780]. In March or April 1781 this deponent received a Captain’s Commission from Colonel Kimbrell to command the Beaver Creek Company in Kershaw District. He then marched his Company to Camden & was at the Battle of Hobkirk Hill near Camden, he then afterwards with his Company under Colonel Kimbrell marched & joined general Marion near Biggin Church, deponent as Captain served under General Marion three months — in this State — and afterwards marched his Company to Edisto & there remained three months to the best of his recollection — deponent has either lost or misplaced his commission, he cannot now find it — deponent in conclusion states, that to the best of his recollection, he served six months as a militia man under Captain Nettles, ready to perform duty whenever called upon – – is perfectly satisfied that as Captain he was three months under General Marion in active service — and also three months in the fork of Edisto & was upon duty as Captain — altogether six months — besides other duties & services — deponent further saith that he has never received any compensation for said services either from the State or the United States.
Sworn to & subscribed Before me 19 January 1841
S/ James H. Witherspoon, Jr., Judge of Court Ordinary
Lancaster District S/ Thos. Ballard
[p 34: Original of a bill of sale dated April 5, 1820 by which Thomas Ballard conveyed to Elizabeth Thompson for $800 one Negro woman by the name of Rody aged 19 or 20 and her child Charrity [sic, Charity].]
[p 18: On February 25, 1847, Col. Thomas P. Ballard, 47, son of Capt. Thomas Ballard on behalf and the other children of Capt. Thomas Ballard, to wit, Susanna Caston & Mary Russell sought to recover the pension he said was due his father.
Comptroller General’s Office Columbia South Carolina October 30th 1846
Indent 165 Issued 9th of August 1785 to Captain Thomas Ballard for 156 pounds 17 shillings
1 ½ D 4 366 days duty in 1780, 1781 & 1782 as per account audited
Principal £156.17.1 ½D Annl. Int. £10.19.7D
Account 165 Captain Thomas Ballard
For 288 days duty under Colonel Frederick Kimball in General Sumter’s Brigade at 60 shillings per day – 40 days under Colonel Frederick Kimball at 60 shillings per day – 38 days under Colonel Kimbrell at 60 shillings per day in all 366 days
Sterling £156.17.1 ½ D.
I certify the above to be a true copy from the Records in this office
For Comptroller General
S/ J. Aug. Black
[Veteran died at the residence of Mrs. Susanna Caston in Lancaster District SC on December 28, 1843]
[Veteran was pensioned at the rate of $240.66 per annum commencing March 4th, 1831 and terminating December 28, 1843 upon his death. His pension was granted for 12 months and one day service as a Captain in the South Carolina service.]