Abner Caleb Ballard was born 26 June 1834 Otto, Cattaraugus Co., New York to Nathan Ballard and Jemima (Street) Ballard. On 29 April 1860 he married Harriet Louisa Sawyer.
Abner enlisted as a Private on Feb 3, 1862, Company H 5th Regiment of Wisconsin infantry at Berlin, Wisconsin. He was in several severe battles, among which were Yorktown, Williamsburg, Malvern Hill and Seven Day’s Fight. He was taken ill and assigned to the hospital at Point Lookout Maryland. He was confined there 5 months. In December 1863, he was discharged for disability. February 24,1864, he enlisted in Company A 8th Wisconsin Volunteers Infantry as a recruit at Green Bay, Wisconsin under Captain C.R. Merrill joining the regiment at Memphis. He went on an ambulance into the battle of Tupalo and served in General Nathaniel P. Banks expedition in A.J. Smith’s corps. The Corps then went on to Missouri in pursuit of General Sterling Price.
He served at Nashville and Mobile forts receiving his final discharge in September 5,1865 at Demopolis, Alabama then returned to Wisconsin and later moved his family to Minnesota. Abner never recovered fully from dysentery. He died May 9, 1887 at the age of 53, Olmsted Co., Minnesota. He is buried Oakwood Cemetery, Rochester, Olmsted Co., Minnesota.