Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cpt. Cyrus Balleu Co. A 115th N. Y. Inf.-Hangman

The story of my Great Grandfathers brother in law, his part in the family genealogy and events around his life Capt. Cyrus Balleu, born in Montgomery Co. New York about 1826, a house painter at a very early age, a trade that he worked at all of his life. He married Anna Margaret Lasher in 1853, she was sister of John "Jack" Lasher, my great grandfather.
Cyrus and Anna lived in the little house on the left behind the new Court House in Fonda, New York. They were both very devoted to the Canawaga Church, were all of the children were baptized. however they had very bad luck trying to establish a family There was a total of 8 children. Mary A. bn 1854, James bn 1855, each died during the first few months after birth. Then Louisea born 1856 over came the odds and lived for many years. then they had Eliza 1857 she died same year. Followed by Willard C.D. born 1859 died 1861, then they had Cyrus S. born 1861 he drowned in the Mohawk River 1 Mar 1873.

In spring of 1860, Dewitt Lasher and his wife Margaret, brother of Anna, came to live with Cyrus
and they were both engaged in house painting. The civil war began and Cyrus enlisted 18 Aug 1862 with his brother in law John Lasher.

Cyrus was given a clerks position and attained the rank of Sargent. under Captain Van derVree, and Col Sammons in Co. A, 115th New York Infantry called the "Iron Hearted"

The unit did not see much combat until Petersburgh, were they were engaged by now Cyrus was Orderly and has been promoted to Lieutenant. There next engagement was Florida, here things took a turn for the worse. the 115th was fully engaged and lost a lot of men killed and captured. Cyrus was advanced to Captain after both Col. Sammons and Captain Van DerVree were badly wounded. The men fell back to Pilatka below Jacksonville and Cyrus penned this letter:
March 19th 1864
letter from Orderly C. N. Ballon, Capt. Co A 115th Rgt. The regiment is at Pilatke, about 75 miles from here, up river. I was here sick, but am better now and shall join the regiment in a few days.-Stephen Morris and George Bellos are dead. They were brave men. We had but sixty men in the battle of Olustee, thirty two were killed or wounded. thirteen are missing and supposed to be prisoners, all wounded except Elisha Carson. He was tired out by hard marching. Capt Van Dervee was severely wounded in front of his company, before he had got into his position in the line. A Minnie ball passed through his thigh, it bled profusely. I tried to get him to leave the field, but he would not abandon his post. At last he was shot through the breast, and was carried to the rear. The boys stood until they had fired their last cartridge, and then cut the cartridge boxes from their dead and wounded companions. We numbered 670 and held our position for more than two hours under a murderous and steady fire, from the enemy. We stood about fifteen minutes after all our ammunition was exhausted and would not yield an inch of ground till we were ordered back. Lieut Davis was brought 7 miles from the battle field. We left him comfortably and we thought safe, but he fell into the hands of the enemy. There was ten miles of woods before us and I could not get him on to a wagon. The men were all tired out and we could do no better. I am proud of the 115th Regt. from your old friend C.N.Ballou

June 27,1865 Line Officer Capt. Cyrus Ballew was en route to Albany
New York, to be discharged the battle roll for the 115th shows 1,493 names and left on the field 301 pretty high casualties.
Once home life soon became routine another child Gracie joined them in 1869 but her stay was shortened by death in 1872 at which time her brother Cyrus passed away. This left the family with just Cyrus and his wife and daughter Louise who lived until past 1880 census.
In 1872 Cyrus was a Deputy Sheriff in Montgomery Co. and was given the job of building the famous Montgomery County Gallows. When completed Cyrus was put in charge of the execution of one Ecker who had murdered Durdick the School Master. This launched a carrier job for Cyrus he would become famous in the Mohawk valley communities for his exceptional and professional execution of the condemned, a man who the valley sheriffs could real on to preform a safe reliable job. His most Gaulish encounter was Sam Steinburg a colored man This man had been accused by a teen age girl of molestation, the trial was short, while in Montgomery Co. Jail Steinburgh sold his skin to local tanner, to raise money that his daughter might get a education. After his death the tanner finished the leather and made several items, I personally saw a wallet and small lamp shade.[looked like any other leather to me] The sad thing is the teen age girl admitted a few years,later "it never happened".
Cyrus went on to oversee many other executions in the valley. The change to the electric chair ended this career. Cyrus then operated a steam boat excursion on Canada Lake, N. Y. he died at his home in Fonda 24 Jan 1902 A very common man swept up in war to have rank and honor bestowed on him only to,returning to his home town were he served the law as under sheriff and deputy for years.

1 comment:

Rosebud Collection said...

Oh my, another sad story..Isn't it amazing what people live through?
Your doing a great job finding all these stories/families in your line..
What work, you should feel very proud.