Husband: Henry M. Balis (1 2)
Born: Jan 1827 (3)
Married: 10 Mar 1861 in Orfordville, Rock, WI
Died: 19 Mar 1869 in Maple Grove Cemetery, Orfordville, WI
Father: Abiah Palmer Balis
Mother: Maria H. Clough
Spouses:
Wife: Mary Anzalett Batchelder (4 5 6)
Born: Sep 1844 in Vermont
Died: Mar 1873 in Spring Valley, WI
Father: Thomas J. Batchelder
Mother: Esther Philbrick
Spouses:
Children
01 (F): Henrietta Balis (7 8)
Born: 01 Apr 1862
Died: 23 May 1891
Spouses:
02 (F): A. Lenora Balis (9 10)
Born: 1865 in Wisconsin
Died: 1931
Spouses: John Logan Fleek
03 (F): Esther Balis (11)
Born: about 1868 in Wisconsin
Died:
Spouses:
04 (F): Margaret Balis (12 13)
Born: about 1869 in Wisconsin
Died: 15 Mar 1887
Spouses:
Additional Information

Henry M. Balis:

Notes:

This piece was written by Mary Anzolette Batchelder Balis. Her husband, Henry Balis, was the third son of Abiah and Maria Clough Balis. It came to me by way of Shirley Harris.

A Salute to my Husband

March 19, 1869. Yes, today is March 19, 1969. To you it is just a date, but to me it is the day of my darkest sorrow. This is the day upon which my husband, Henry M. Balis, departed from me and all of his friends below to be united with his Savior in the world above us.
We laid him to rest in a little cemetery in Orfordville between two of his friends whom he fought with in the Civil War. Here may he rest in peace.
I know you have all heard of the great George Washingtons and Andrew Jacksons and my husband may seem to you a small man next to them, but to me, his children, and his country, he, just as Mr. Washington, did his part. I salute you today, Henry A. Balis, my devoted husband, a loving father, a valiant Countryman, and a wonderful man.
Henry was born in Pittsford, New York, January 21, 1827. He had five brothers and one sister. He came to Wisconsin in 1845 to help break up the land around Orfordville. He lived in Orfordville for awhile and then moved to Spring Valley Corners looking for a better plot of land and more water for his cattle, where he set up farming.
I, Mary Anzolette Batchelder, was born in Orange, Vermont, and also moved to Orfordville. Here I met Henry and we were married March 10, 1861.
At the age of 34, Henry felt his duty to his country and joined the Union Army in early 1861. He was in Company G of the Thirteenth Regiment of the Wisconsin Volunteers. Company G, which Henry was in, was called the Orfordville Volunteers and was headed by Captain Bigney. The Thirteenth Regiment was recruited from Rock County and Walworth County, six companies of the regiment being recruited from Rock County.
I was very proud when Henry was made Second Lieutenant of the Orfordville Volunteers at Orfordville, on September 10, 1861, by Governor Alexander W. Randall.
Then on October 12, 1861, he was appropriated First Lieutenant of the Orfordville Volunteers. This was quite an honor and also meant an increase in pay. Coming from a First Sergeant with a monthly pay of twenty-one dollars, to a first Lieutenant earning fifty-five dollars, meant twenty-nine more dollars for us a month. Believe me with children to support it surely helped.
One thing we did notice concerning the pay the different officers received, the Confederates paid more for each position than the Union did. In comparison with the offices I mentioned above, in the Confederate army, the First Sergeant also received twenty-one dollars a month, but the Second Lieutenant received eighty dollars and the First Lieutenant received ninety dollars. Of course this didn't affect our boys any because when you know you're fighting for the right cause money doesn't make any difference.
The Thirteenth Regiment rendezvoused at Camp Tredway, Janesville, and was mustered in October 17, 1861. By advice and effort of the chaplain, even an “army church” was organized, in Janesville, with a membership of 102. It proved an active and useful organization.
From Janesville the Regiment went to Leavenworth, Kansas and then on to Kentucky. They more or less traveled all around the area near Ky., Tenn., and Ala. During the rest of their stay in the army.
I remember particularly one incident that happened while Henry was in the war. He mentioned it in one of his letters. He said, “I have been doing different kinds of work lately and have been getting forty cents a day. We have been working for eleven days and that means quite a bit of money for me.” It was during the month of July 1862. Much sickness was being endured by his outfit at this time to top it all off the water was contaminated. You see the Southerners were poisoning all the water that they could reach, that the army would use. The only way to cope with this situation was to install an underground engine, which would be used for supplying the troops at that post with water. Henry happened to be in charge of the detachment of noncommissioned officers and privates employed on extra duty as mechanics and laborers, who were employed in the construction of this engine. Then they also had to construct a Curbelt Archway in the excavation for the purpose of fixing ventilation to this engine. While they were in the construction of the archway, the fumes from the engine overcame Henry and several of the men. Had they not been removed when they were, the result might have been serious. This was the closest he came to death during his term in the army.
Henry received many orders during his time he was in the war but the saddest one he received was issued to him by the Commanding Colonel of the Regiment, Wm. Lyon, on June 16, 1864, at Claysville, Alabama. Here is what it said: Lieutenant Balis of Company G, will proceed to Nashville with the remains of his brother, Luther Balis, Private of Company G. He will take with him an escort of six men from his company, four of whom he will send back to the Regiment from Woodsville. He will return with all convenient dispatch.
You see his brother Luther had died of malaria at the camp where the disease had been prevalent through the entire summer. Since this was Henry's brother, he was put in charge of taking his body home.
This incident could very well have lowered Henry's spirits, but he kept on with his work, knowing that he would soon be able to return to his family.
Near the close of the year 1864, he was in charge of getting all the weapons turned in so everything would be ready when the order came for them to be discharged.
Henry was in San Antonio when the order came to make out the necessary papers for the mustering out of the outfit. On November 24, he was “mustered out” with the order to report at Madison, Wisconsin to be discharged from the service.
Henry and the others in the Thirteenth Regiment arrived at Madison, Wisconsin at noon on the twenty-third of December, and were discharged from service of the United States on the twenty-sixth.
In a newspaper article written by Chaplain J. I. Foot to show the people what a wonderful job the Thirteenth Regiment had done during the war, he said, “The Thirteenth regiment was made up of men who loved their honor and the right. Though it was not its lot to win glory on fields of battle it has won golden opinions by its stern integrity and unfaltering zeal.”
In this my last salute to my husband I am proud to say that he was one of the men about whom Mr. Foot spoke.
When Henry was issued out of the service the people of Orfordville turned out and presented him with a sword and a belt as tokens of their honor for him and his time spent in the service.
We noticed in the newspaper a short time after Henry had returned home, the tariff which would be used in the exchange of Prisoners of War. For the highest ranking officer – General Commander-in-Chief, sixty men to one, for a man that was in Henry's rank, First Lieutenant, four men to one, and for privates – man to man. This of course isn't the complete list but it will give you an idea of how they exchanged their prisoners of war.
Henry then returned to our farm at Spring Valley where he lived and farmed until now. At this time we owned two eighty acre farms and one forty acre farm.
Looking back into an old diary the Henry kept I find some things that strike me as being very amusing. The things you put in a diary are supposed to be very important, but it seems Henry left out the most important things and put down the little details that attracted his eye. For instance on February 10, 1867 he wrote, “Day warmer and thawing. Bought a cow from Mr. Heall for thirty dollars.” February 27, 1867, “I saw a wolf this side Narcis, fine looking beast.” March 2, 1867, borrowed from Frank Heall three shillings to buy tobacco.” March 12, 1867, “Dr. Fairman called today and bled Mrs. Balis.”
By these snatches I am just trying to show you what kind of a wonderful man Henry was.

Footnotes
  1. Veith, Michele (Ged-com file imported 17 MAR 2002).
  2. Civil War Certificate from WI State Historical Society.
  3. Balis, Henry M. - tombstone.
  4. Shirley Nyman Harris, Various papers copied and sent to DZStevens in August 2003.
  5. Veith, Michele (Ged-com file imported 17 MAR 2002).
  6. Census, Federal - 1870 - Rock Co., Wisconsin, Spring Valley, Ancestry p. 23.

    Line 22 Dwelling # 174 Family # 176

    Batchelder, Esther age 57 value R.E. P.E. 1800 b. New hampshire
    Balis, Ansolet 25 8300 1400 Vermont
    Balis, Henrietta 8 Wisconsin
    Esther 2 WI
    Maggie 1 WI

  7. Shirley Nyman Harris, Various papers copied and sent to DZStevens in August 2003.
  8. Census, Federal - 1870 - Rock Co., Wisconsin, Spring Valley, p. 23.

    Line 22 Dwelling # 174 Family # 176

    Batchelder, Esther age 57 value R.E. P.E. 1800 b. New hampshire
    Balis, Ansolet 25 8300 1400 Vermont
    Balis, Henrietta 8 Wisconsin
    Esther 2 WI
    Maggie 1 WI

  9. Nyman, Ina - various papers.
  10. Lenora Balis Fleek, Covered Bridge Poem.
  11. Census, Federal - 1870 - Rock Co., Wisconsin, Spring Valley, p.23.

    Line 22 Dwelling # 174 Family # 176

    Batchelder, Esther age 57 value R.E. P.E. 1800 b. New hampshire
    Balis, Ansolet 25 8300 1400 Vermont
    Balis, Henrietta 8 Wisconsin
    Esther 2 WI
    Maggie 1 WI

  12. Shirley Nyman Harris, Various papers copied and sent to DZStevens in August 2003.
  13. Census, Federal - 1870 - Rock Co., Wisconsin, Spring Valley, p.23.

    Line 22 Dwelling # 174 Family # 176

    Batchelder, Esther age 57 value R.E. P.E. 1800 b. New hampshire
    Balis, Ansolet 25 8300 1400 Vermont
    Balis, Henrietta 8 Wisconsin
    Esther 2 WI
    Maggie 1 WI

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Revised: November 26, 2016