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Sgt Maj David E Ballinger
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Birth: Apr. 21, 1844
New Jersey, USA
Death: Oct. 23, 1941
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Son of Josiah Joseph Ballinger(1809–1855)and Emma(Heritage)Ballinger (1810–1884)

Civil War Union Army Soldier. He was mustered in as a Sergeant in Company H, 12th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry on August 13, 1862. Promoted to Sergeant Major of the regiment on May 1, 1865, he was the ninth of ten member of the unit to hold that rank. Mustered out on June 4, 1865, when he died in 1941 he was one of the last surviving Civil War veterans in the country.
An article regarding this man was published in the Inland Daily Bulletin, Ontario, CA, today, June 25, 2013, written by Joe Blackstock. You may want to include more info under his bio from this article. I found it quite interesting. Article follows.

Pomona's Gettysburg veteran was one of the last men standing

Terrible memories must have swept through the mind of David Ballinger 75 years ago when he looked over what was once the kill­ing fields of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Pomona's Ballinger, then 94 years old, was among two dozen surviving sol­diers who fought at Gettys­burg and attended the 75th anniversary of the Civil War battle in southern Pennsyl­vania.

"The old battlefield still looked familiar to me, but of course Gettysburg is now a good-sized town. When we were there in ‘63, Get­tysburg was only a village," Ballinger told the Pomona Progress-Bulletin on July 13, 1938, after returning from the event.

Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the pivotal struggle on July 1-3, 1863, that blocked the northern invasion by Gen. Robert E. Lee's army.

The war's largest battle, it brought together about 162,000 troops, with a toll of more than 46,000 dead, wounded, missing or cap­tured. Those few aged sol­diers who attended in 1938 were put up in individual tents near the battlefield — Ballinger was assisted by his daughter Bertha Sibley of Los Angeles. The ex-Union and Con­federate men were housed in separate areas, but he said all the former adversaries were cordial to one an­other. The trip re­kindled memories by Ballinger of a stra­tegic part of the bat­tle in which he was wounded.

His unit, the 12th New Jersey Volunteers, was on Cemetery Ridge when it faced the brunt of the infa­mous Pickett's Charge on the third day.

Led by Maj. Gen. George Pickett, the Confederate rush of 12,500 troops into the midst of the Union line was a bold attempt to wrest control of the battle. The charge proved a devastat­ing defeat for the South, ul­timately forcing Lee to with­draw his troops back into Virginia.

Ballinger, who was 19 during the battle, said Pick­ett's troops came in three waves. "Each of them was broken," according to the Progress-Bulletin story. "It was after the third line of Pickett's force was bro­ken that Mr. Ballinger was wounded."

Shot in the left arm, he was treated and sent home to New Jersey to recover. It was not his first wound — he was injured a month earlier at Chancellorsville in Virginia — and he would be wounded yet again in May 1864 at the Battle of the Wil­derness.

Despite multiple wounds and much time in harm's way, Ballinger survived the rigors of war and returned to his native New Jersey to work on a farm in Woodstown. Later he moved to Ypsi­lanti, Mich., and finally re­tired to Pomona about 1918.

He was very active in the Grand Army of the Re­public, the organization for Union veterans. He was commander of the Ypsilanti GAR and held the same po­sition for the last 10 years of his life with Pomona's Vicks­burg GAR Post.

One of my favorite stories of Inland Valley history re­volves around Ballinger.

By 1930, the number of GAR members — all in their 80s and 90s — was rapidly declining so Alois Podras­nik of San Antonio Heights, a former Union army offi­cer, proposed that 12 local post members create a Last Man's Club. Members would meet yearly for dinner and toast the memory of those who had died in the previ­ous year. Podrasnik contrib­uted a special bottle of wine for a special toast by the last remaining man.

The group first met on Oct. 16, 1930, and got to­gether once a year for seven years, the number at each gathering declining. Fi­nally, in 1937, came word of Podrasnik's death, leaving Ballinger as the last man.

On Aug. 31, 1937, Ball­inger was asked by a re­porter about when he would make the ceremonial toast. His answer was a shock to all who knew of the club and terribly anti-climactic.

The old soldier an­nounced firmly, "I have never drunk more than a half-pint of liquor in my 93 years," and said under no circumstances would he make the toast. Ballinger said his last taste of alcohol came in the army as part of his rations. "He feared the wine might make him act like a drunk driver," wrote the Progress-Bulletin.

I never found what be­came of that special bottle of wine from which that spe­cial toast was never poured.

Ballinger lived another four years before dying in Pomona at age 97 on Oct. 23, 1941 — just 45 days be­fore Pearl Harbor and the start of yet another bloody war.

Joe Blackstock writes on In­land Empire history. He can be reached at 909-483-9382, by email at joe.blackstock@ or Twitter @JoeBlackstock.

Courtesy of S. J. Noel Kondek

Pomona Cemetery and Mausoleum
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Created by: Barbara LeClaire
Record added: Dec 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 82239441
Sgt Maj David E Ballinger
Added by: guy abbott
Sgt Maj David E Ballinger
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Glenn and Tracy Morrow
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13 September 1937
- Wagon Master
 Added: Feb. 11, 2017

- akamastsu
 Added: Oct. 2, 2016
- S. J. Noel Kondek
 Added: Jun. 25, 2013
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