Allen County Indiana Revolutionary Soldiers
Allen County Indiana Cemetery Project

James Ball

Revolutionary Soldiers

James Ball

Like many other veterans of the Revolutionary War, James Ball felt the challenge to move west into the new wilderness country that was offering unlimited opportunity for settlement.

He was born “in the lower part of Maryland in the year 1751” according to his own statement at the time he applied for the pension due him as a soldier in the Revolution. His claim was dated October 10, 1832, at which time he gave his age as eighty-two. However, he said he was “unable to furnish proof as his father’s Bible was lost or taken by his brother”. He had spent the early part of his life in Fredericktown, Frederick County, Maryland, and had moved later to Sugar Loaf Mountain, also in Frederick County. When asked to name all of the places where he had lived since the war, he said that he had lived in so many that he couldn’t recollect them. However, he had been a resident of Allen County, Indiana, for two years. He referred to one of his sons who was a clergyman in the neighborhood. This would appear to have been Vachel Ball who is listed in the 1850 census of Root Township of Adams County, Indiana. This area was a part of Allen County at the time that James Ball was living there. There are known to have been at least two other sons, Daniel and James Ball, Jr.

While he was still a resident of Fredericktown, Maryland, James Ball enlisted in the army on August 1, 1776. He was a member of Captain Philip Maroney’s Company (which was shortly after commanded by Lieutenant Elisha Beall), Colone Shryrock’s Maryland Regiment. In his application for pention he remembered that on his first tour of duty he was in a skirmish with the British troops at Hell Gate in New York. He also recalled that on this same tour his unit fought in the Battle of White Plains under General George Washington whom he claimed to have known personally. However, this event occurred at a time when he was on the sick list and he, himself, did not participate. He was discharged about Christmas and returned home to Fredericktown. In 1777, about a year from the time he first enlisted, he again joined the armed services, this time as a sergeant in Captain Ralph Hillary’s Company, Colonel Baker Johnson’s Maryland Regiment. He told of long marches through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. In speaking of the Battle of Germantown in which he took part, he reminisced, “it began in the A.M. and lasted ‘til about 1:00 P.M”. We stole a march on the British and routed them out of their beds at 4:00 A.M. He subsequently served for two months as a private, guarding prisoners at Fredericktown and two months guarding the magazine there.

Little is known about Mrs. Ball although there is a marriage record on file in Montgomery County, Maryland, for a James Ball and Cassandra Ellis, dated November 11, 1779. (Montgomery County was formed in 1776 from Frederick County.)

James Ball died in Allen County, Indiana, on May 8, 1834, and is believed to have been buried in the Reynolds Cemetery in Root Township in what is now Adams County, that county having been formed from Allen the following year.


D.A.R. Tract book of Adams County, Indiana, with index of Deeds. Copied by Electa I. Baltzell . . and Virgil L. Andrews Dick . . .Daughters of the American Revolution, Antoine Rivarre Chapter, Decatur, Indiana, and Dick D. Heller, Sons of the American Revolution, James Halberstadt Chapter, Decatur, Indiana. 1971

Lochner, Electa Iantha Baltzell. The Revolutionary Soldiers, Charles Andrews, Thomas Archbold and Joshua Ceciland their descendants. Fort Wayne, Ind., Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter, DAR, 1949-1963.

Maryland Archives, Volume 18.

O’Byrne, Mrs. Roscoe C., comp. & ed. Roster of soldiers and patriots of the American Revolution buried in Indiana. n.p., Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution, 1938.

Revolutionary War Pension Claim S38107.

© 2008-2011 Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter NSDAR