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T. H. (Timothy Horton) Ball.

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LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 239

We have had beautiful weather here for a
week past and the mud is all dried up. Ken-
dallville is quite a nice town, and has very
pleasant people in it ; at least the few I have
become acquainted with are. Soldiers you
know are always fond of society, so we ap-
preciate it very highly if any one takes notice
of us or treats us as friends. I have formed
the acquaintance of some real nice young la-
dies, so you can imagine I am not altogether
out of the way of the pleasures of social life.
Lieut. Sheehan, Stillman Bobbins, and I went
to a Mite Society last night. There weren't a
great many out, but we enjoyed ourselves pass-
ably. I am about as well acquainted here as at
Crown Point, * * * though I have only
been acquainted with any for two or three
weeks. But society can't suit me. Somehow
when the novelty has passed it makes me so
tired. * * * »

At Kendallville he became unwell, and orders
soon came for his regiment to proceed South.
He was detailed to serve as a staff officer and
was appointed sergeant-major, a position which
placed many responsibilities and duties upon
him, but which kept him generally at the head-
quarters ol the regiment.

The next letter is the following :

Hd. Qrs. 12th Ind. Cay.,
Shepardsville, Ky., May 13.
Sister Martha, — I suppose you were some-
what disappointed in not seeing me at home



240 THE LA.KE OF THE RED CEDARS.

again ; but after I had considered all the pros
and cons, I thought duty said go on with the
regiment. I had no idea when I left Kendall-
ville of going farther than Indianapolis ; but
thought I might as well go there, for I did not
feel able to ride from Hobart to Crown Point,
being unable to sit up but a few hours at a time
when we started. I found many very kind
friends in Kendallville to whom I am greatly
indebted for attentions.

I am getting quite strong now and stand
marching very well. We left Louisville about
sunset Wednesday night, but as I had been sent
down to express some money for the officers I
didn't get off for half an hour after all the rest,
so I commenced my first march all alone after
dark with my coat, blanket, Poncho, and day's
rations for self and pony. After riding three
or four miles I overtook the rear guard and the
mule teams. It is some fun to see the good
Southern teamsters. The mules had, the most
of them, been harnessed for the first time that
day, and they would get them started and run
awhile and then stop to rest. I soon passed
them and rode on the rest of the way alone,
till I came to the camp. The camp was in a
nice beech grove and camp fires were already
lighted all through it, while some of the last
companies were just going in. The dark gloom
of *the forest, the noise of a thousand horses
and men, the fires lighting up the green leaves
of the trees, and white tents, were all a sight
worth some toil. I soon found my quarters
and tried sleeping in a dog tent, bat it was too
chilly and I couldn't sleep ; so I had to get up



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 241

and roll myself in my blanket close to a fire
and passed the night pretty well.

Since then I have slept in an ambulance where
I rest finely. We shut it all up tight and have
a nice bed all cushioned. It is rather soft for
me, for I had become accustomed to sleeping
upon a bare board. Straw makes so much
litter Stillman and I had quit using it. By the
way, Stillman went with the Infantry. We
thought it would be more to his interest to do
so. I missed him more than all the rest of the
company, we had been so much together and
separate from the others, always sleeping alone
in the headquarters, separate from all the rest
of the regiment. I hardly know how to do
without him.

Yesterday morning we again took up our line
of march ; had a beautiful day — it had been cold
and rainy for several days before, but yesterday
it was warm and nice. I have a very easy place
for marching as long as we are not in the
enemy's country or in danger of meeting a large
force, for I take my own time for it and the
others have to stop at bridges and narrow
.places and then ride fast to close up ; while I
go in the rear and let my horse walk along — at
leisure.

We have remained in camp all day to-day on
the banks of Salt river.

Two companies went out scouting, and*I
should have gone out with them, but I thought
I had better save my strength. The next time
they go out I shall go.

Our wagon train all came up just before night,
and we shall go on earlv to-morrow morning.
11*



242 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

I have not seen much exposure yet, and so like
soldiering better and better. I was out in the
rain and mud a good deal one day at Louis-
ville, and expected it would make me sick
again. * * *

I am finishing my letter by candle light in the
ambulance. We are on the bank of the river
just above the ford and railroad bridge. One
regiment has just gone by on the cars ; they
stopped to water just opposite us. * * *
One battalion of our brigade has marched since
I commenced writing, and are crossing the river.
The water is about breast deep on the ford, and
they file past in the dim moonlight with a long
steady roar of plashing water, and horse hoofs
on the rocky bed of the stream. I expect we
shall hear the reveille by three or four in the
morning, so I must crawl under my blankets.

Why we should start just now I dont know,
but armies always do their work nights and
Sundays.

You may as well direct to me at Nashville.
Good night,

Your loving brother,

Charlie.

The regiment went on to North Alabama,
and the headquarters were for some time at
Hunts ville.

*Here one of the West Creek boys, one of the
soldiers of Hanover township, a special friend
of the sergeant-major, and who had shared in
the Sabbath school influences of Cedar Lake, was
taken sick and died. He was mentioned in the



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 243

preceding letter as going on with the infantry
bnt he met with his friend again at Hunts ville,
and by him the following published obituary
notice was written :

Died. In Huntsville, Ala., July 18th, 1864,
Stillman A. Bobbins, of Co. G, 12th Indiana
Cavalry, aged 22 years and 8 months.

There are those who recollect, a few years
ago, a bright little boy, deeply interested in
mastering that key to knowledge, the magic
alphabet ; then, in early boyhood, leaving the
sports of other children, and stealing away by
himself with his favorite books, treasuring with
care a neglected Sunday School library ; then
in the academy the attentive scholar, winning
the love of teachers and classmates by obedi-
ence and politeness ; and soon again in the
business of life with a mechanical taste becom-
ing a skillful engineer ; and they saw in the
child, the boy, and the man, a characteristic
nobleness, manliness and energy, that ever at-
tracted attention, and won respect and love.

In November, 1863, when returning after a
five months' absence, the young engineer find-
ing a cavalry company recruiting in his neigh-
borhood, after spending bat a few hours under
his parents' roof, enrolled himself as a volun-
teer.

Soon after the organization of the regiment
he was detailed as clerk in the adjutant's office,
where he soon won the confidence and esteem of
all the officers in the regiment by his attention



244 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

to business and soldierly conduct. At Hunts-
ville he was again detailed as chief clerk in the
provost marshal's office, which position he tilled
for a month with great credit, when he was
taken with a fever from which he was just re-
covering, when a hemorrhage suddenly closed
his career.

He sleeps where " southern vines are dressed
above the noble slain," none the less a martyr
to his country than if he had wrapped his col-
ors round his breast in some blood red field of
battle ; and there is no nobler grave than that
of a patriot soldier. His loss was deeply felt by
all the regiment — "talk not of grief till you have
seen the tears of warlike men" — but who shall
speak of the loss to those parents who had given
up their two brave boys, their all, without a mur-
mur, to their country ? C. Ball.

While at Hunts ville the sargeant-major of the
Twelfth Indiana Cavalry had assigned to him a
somewhat dangerous duty. He had taken with
him from Cedar Lake as good a horse for cav-
alry service as he could find, probably one of
the best that ever went out of Lake county.
Not having been raised at Cedar Lake, where
such names as Selim, and Dove, and Bayard,
and Mungo Park, and Dufronnal, and Stella,
and Mudjekeewis, were common, this charger
was called Tom. But un classical as was the
name, Tom was a fine animal, of medium size,
very solid, with a heavy mane, a good and easy



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 245

traveller, and very hardy. He was stolen twice,
and the last time he was not recovered.

Mounted on this hardy and faithful animal
the sergeant-major started from the headquar-
ters and passed out of Huntsville alone to carry
orders. He knew not what moment the aim of
a concealed foe would be upon him, but proceed-
ing upon a gentle gallop, he slacked not rein,
nor did his trusty steed break his pace, till a
ride of about twenty miles was accomplished.
He passed all the dangers unharmed.

The following is the next letter at hand :

Hd. Qrs. 12th Ixi). Cay.,
Tullahoma, Tenn., Oct. 22d, 1864.

Sister Martha. — I believe I have not written
to you in some time, so I will do it to-night,
as Clark Farwell is going home and I want to
send by him. I had a pocketful of chestnuts,
which I send to Herbert and Georgie.

If I had known of this opportunity I would
have gathered some more. There are some
chestnut trees around here, though n*)t so very
plenty. We are in a very good country here,
but don't expect to stay here, as we have no
orders to make winter quarters yet. We do
not get south very fast, but I expect before
another year to have the way opened, so one
can go to Grove Hill without difficulty.

It looks very sad to see the sunny south so
desolated by the hand of war. You can travel
for miles and see no sign of human dwelling, or



246 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

rather of people living. Old orchards and a
pile of stones where the chimney stood, alone
mark the place where formerly stood the abode
of some wealthy planter, whose time was taken
up in pleasure and where every stranger found
a cheerful welcome. Now what a change : All
the citizens we see have a sort of downfallen,
wobegone look, that contrasts strangely with
the brisk, wide-a-wake appearance of our north-
ern people.

I have lately seen several regiments of negro
soldiers, and indeed they look quite as mar-
tial and ferocious as white troops. They
have a good deal of pride, I can tell you, and
come out on dress parade with their paper
collars and white gloves as if they were some,
and indeed they are, and will, I think, some
day make very good business men.

I should like much, indeed, to go home but
have no expectation of doing so until the war
is over, unless we should get our winter
quarters assigned us in the rear, and hadn't
much ,to do ; but the prospect is better for
being sent to the front, and I sincerely hope
we shall be, though I am contented as a kitten
anywhere. I believe people at home often get
an idea that soldiering is not so fine a thing as
boys pretend, and that they would all be glad
to get out of it if they could ; but I find I like
it better all the time, although I have hardly
seen enough of hardships to judge of it. We
have pumpkins and sweet potatoes quite often
in our mess, and pumpkin pies, too, occasionally.

It is getting quite cool here of nights. Quite
well. As ever your brother, Charlie Ball.



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 247

One more letter from £ ' the tented field ' ' is
given here.

Hd. Qrs. 12th Ind. Cav.,
Camp near Nashville, Feb. 3d, 1865.

Dear Sister Martha. — It has been so long
since I have written you, I am beginning to
feel almost, like a stranger, but as you have
been long enough in your new home, certainly,
to receive company, it is about time for me
to make my first call, which I do with a great
deal of pleasure in the only way I can ; that is
on paper. I have been very careless about
writing lately or I should have written sooner,
but I wanted to fix up comfortably first, and
as I have got my domicil at last completed to
my notion, and we have received orders to be
prepared to march at a three hours' notice, I
will now take this moment of leisure to do
what might have been done three weeks ago.
I don't know whether to say I am glad or
sorry- that you have left Crown Point. I know
it will make it seem lonesome for our folks at
home, but then it may be pleasanter or better
for you.

I feel sorry when I think how very little
I was allowed to be at the Parsonage last
fall, but then I am glad that I was there some.
It isn't so bad as when you kept house at Am-
boy, and I never called at all. I used to regret
that so much.

But I am glad the past has been so pleasant,
and you have been a very dear sister to me;
that was such a pleasant time — the fall that
I was at home sick.



248 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

Well, now, do you wonder how I am enjoy-
ing myself? Pretty much as usual. I have
seen something of the hardships and perils of
war in the last two months, but have not felt
much of it. That is I have never felt anything
to be a hardship, being borne up by my
patriotism (?) O egotism ! One don't stop to
think whether he has a country or not in such
times. I will say then being borne up by my
love of novelty, and the buoyant spirits and
good health with which I have been blessed.

I have lain down on the frozen ground some
pretty cold nights, and after watching the stars
till my nose got too cold, placed my hat over my
face and slept as sweetly as if my head rested
on a pillow of down instead of on my saddle.
But O my! didn't fried chickens and pigs used
to taste nice after a day's march! When we
went back from Murfreesboro' to Tullahoma,
I went through with a wagon train and a de-
tachment of our regiment, and as we started
without rations, we had to take what we wanted
from the inhabitants. The way the pigs and
chickens suffered was ludicrous, but not very
pleasant to the owners. It looks funny to a
parcel of soldiers to break for a house and race
the chickens around the yard, while the poor
owners beg in vain for their property. Forag-
ing, though is something I dislike and I have
never, except for my horse, taken anything
from a citizen yet ; still when, as in this case,
the fortunes of war cut off our supplies, it must
be done.

/never took anything, but some of my mess
always did, and at night when we would get



LIEUTENANT CHAELES BALL. 249

into camp and get up a big fire, boil our coffee
and make up our corn cakes, fry chicken, and
about 9 o'clock we'd have supper and eat
enough fresh meat and grease to make a family
sick ; but when one is breathing the clear frosty
air all night, it don't hurt any one, — in fact
oil is necessary to keep up heat. Then I have
been in battle. From that I escaped unharmed,
the closest ball only touching my whiskers,
though I heard a great many pass close to my
head. I saw a shot coming one time, but hadn't
time to move my position when it struck the
pike about twenty feet in front, throwing the
gravel up on to my horse, and " ricochetted "
and passed over my head and the rest of the
regiment. We were all in column then on the
pike, but we got out of that and formed a line
behind a hill in a hurry.

One other time I had to carry an order to
some companies who were stationed behind
a fence close to the line of the enemy. As soon
as these saw me coming, they let the bullets fly
at me so it reminded me of a swarm of bees ;
but I knew the order must be conveyed, and
both honor and principle were at stake ; so I
rode on with less of fear than I have felt many
a time when carrying a hive up to put over
a swarm of bees.

* * * I have been down to-day in Nashville
at a court martial. It was in the State House,
so I had an opportunity of seeing that splendid
building; but I find I haven't time or space
for anything of a description of it.

Feb. 4. This is a most lovely morning, warm
as spring and so lovely. I hope it will be as
12



250 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

pleasant on onr trip. We expect to go down
the Cumberland and up the Tennessee to East-
port. I shall write to Carrie soon, if I can ;
but tell her I should like to hear from her pen.
As ever your loving brother

Charlie.

(A removal from Crown Point is mentioned
in this letter. This was from Crown Point to
Ladoga ; but as it was only for the three months
of January, February, and March, in 1865, it has
not been referred to in the preceding narrative.)

One week after the letter, given above, was
written, the Twelfth Cavalry started for New
Orleans, where they arrived March 12th and
passed over to Mobile Bay. While in South
Alabama Lieut. Charles Ball visited his sister,
Mrs. E. H. Woodard, at Grove Hill. It proved
to be their last meeting. His regiment per-
formed duty in Florida and Georgia, and then
marching across Alabama to Columbus, Mis-
sissippi, arrived there May 20, 1865. They
ought then to have come home, but were re-
tained by the army authorities, and were finally
mustered out of service at Vicksburg, Novem-
ber 10th, and, returning to Indiana, the soldiers
were paid off and discharged, November 22d,
1865. But he who had been so long at the
regimental headquarters, who knew so well
its muster-roll, and all the routine of duty,
whose ready pen had been so busily employed



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 251

at headquarters, had in that last summer con-
tracted disease, and had returned in the early
autumn, on a short furlough, to his loved home
where life had so brightly budded, near the
Lake of the Red Cedars, to meet once more
father, mother, sister, brothers, and to lie down
and die. His death has been elsewhere men-
tioned as the greatest grief of that household.
It seemed, in all the circumstances, almost too
hard to be borne. None but his near kindred
knew all the love and hope and joy that went
out of this world when he expired. True, he
was but one among a multitude of young Amer-
ican soldiers whose lives were sacrificed in those
years of strife ; but he was one whom those
who loved him knew not how to spare. His
manly form was laid away to rest in the Crown
Point cemetery amid a little group of anguished
hearts and a large circle of sympathizing friends.
The burial was masonic, not military. And his
only monument is in the hearts of those who
know how much of love and tenderness they
lost in him, when his sunny, gentle, ransomed
soul, soared away from earth, away to the un-
seen but beautiful world where dwells a glorious
throng.

In his regiment he had been recognized dis-
tinctly as a Christian. Amid the temptations
and perils of a soldier's life, like Havelock and



252 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

Hedley Yicars, he had preserved his character
unsullied,' had maintained his principles invio-
late ; and with the pureness of his unstained
boyhood, with the refined delicacy of his sen-
sitive nature, all unchanged, he was privileged
to enter upon his last sleep sharing the fullness
of a mother's and a sister's love.

The regiment with which he was connected
gained no distinguished .war honors, but it per-
formed a large amount of what was supposed
to be useful service. It was said by one ob-
server to contain "the finest, most gentlemanly
officers and men of any regiment he ever saw."
And this observer was in a position to see
many. Col. Karge, of the Second New Jer-
sey, who commanded different brigades through
all the war, said ' ' that the Twelfth Indiana was
the best regiment he ever commanded.' 1 And
finally "The regiment was highly and specially
complimented by Major General Grierson, in a
letter to Governor Morton, for its gallant con-
duct and military discipline." See Adjutant
General's Report, Vol. Ill, page 268.

But whatever honors as a citizen soldier, he
of whom this record is made may have gained
or failed to achieve, as a Christian soldier
there is no brighter name among those who
have lived or died in Lake than the name of
the clerk and trustee of the Crown Point Bap-
tist church, Charles Ball of Cedar Lake.



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 253

Closing up earthly life in the flush of a prom-
ising manhood, leaving a few hearts to mourn
for him through life, all that he might have
done left unaccomplished, a broken column of
him a fitting memorial, it is a glad hope that
the day of the great family reunion is drawing
near — the day of the re-appearing, the corona-
tion day of the soldiers in the Christian army.
And when severed hearts meet there the days
of mourning will be ended. Until then, or
until life ends, one heart at least in view of
his early death will ever bleed.

Of the ten of kindred blood, who for many
years dwelt so happily at Cedar Lake, five have
crossed the mystic river, have gone safely on
before; and soon there will be none left on
earth of these to enter a lonely home.

" Up to that world of light
Take us dear Saviour,
May we all there unite

Happy forever:
Where kindred spirits dwell,
There may our music swell,
And time our joys dispel,

Never, no never."

Note. One of the poems which had been treasured in
that retentive memory contains the following lines in regard
to a dead English soldier among the Pyrenees :

"The oaks of England wave

O'er the slumbers of thy race,
But a pine of the Roncevalle makes moan
Above thy last lone resting place."



254 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

Of Lieutenant Charles Ball of Holyoke,
Massachusetts, who died in old age, some
record may be found on monumental marble
in the old West Springfield burial place ; but
over the dust of Lieutenant Charles Ball of
Cedar Lake, there is only what Ossian some-
times mentions, a grassy mound, and as a head
stone there fittingly stands a cedar tree taken
from the Lake of Cedars.

Mary E. M. Fuller.

One of that cluster of girls who were mem-
bers in 1857 of the West Creek Lyceum, one
of the fruits, it is believed, of that meeting
in 1856 at the new West Creek, at the Graves
school house, was Mary Fuller. She was a
very gentle, lovely girl. Her parents were
Presbyterians and she united with an inde-
pendent Presbyterian church. Pleasant was
her short life. Strong and true was her re-
ligious attachment to the home missionary of
1856, and very grateful to him was the feeling,
when in 1863 he returned again to the region
of those precious experiences and remem-
brances, that such a heart cherished such a
truly loving, sisterly regard. She had in the
mean time been away from home at school
and had returned. She was fond of writing.



MARY E. M. FULLER. 255

Written by her pen was probably the little
poem of 1857, " Our Minister." She now
contributed to the Literary Department of the
Register, then edited by T. H. Ball. She
wrote as there published, "The Santiagoan
Funeral Pile," a poem, and "The Drama of
Life." This article closes, referring to "those
who have gone before, " " Like them we may
act and endure to the end, then ' departing,
leave behind us footprints in the sands of
time,' mementos of our lives although our
deeds be not great or lofty ; gentle w$rds
may effect far more ; but we must be ; up and
doing,

With a heart for any fate,
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.'

We must also

' Finish our work, then go in peace,

Life's battle fought and won;
Hear from the throne the Master's voice,

Well done, well done ! ' "

And soon it was so with her. In early
womanhood she died, and it was assigned to
her Baptist friend and "minister" to conduct
the burial services.

The day was one of the loveliest that early
spring ever brings to this latitude. An unusu-
ally large number of friends assembled to con-



256 . THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDABS.

vey that young form, then changed in death, to
its last resting place. Seldom has so long a
funeral train ever been seen in this county.
And after the usual religious exercises, when
they came to the quiet family burial place,
then one of the most lovely spots for such a
purpose that had been selected in the county,
in the retirement of a sheltered slope over-
looking the West Creek valley, where some
other young dust had been laid, the forms of
some who had attended the meetings of 1856


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Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 13 of 19)