The History of Dr. John Ball Waring


By : John Ball Waring, great-grandson Early Years
Dr. John Ball Waring was born in Charleston, South Carolina January 20, 1829, the son of Francis Malbone Waring, a Charleston cotton factor and Lydia Jane Ball. Young John spent his early years residing in Charleston, SC with his parents, his brother, Francis Malbone Waring, and his sister Ann Simons Waring.

John’s father died in 1837 and his mother died in 1841 leaving the children under the guardianship of Ann Simons Ball Deas (aunt), Keating Simons Ball (uncle), and John Coming Ball (uncle). The children lived with Ann Simons Ball Deas (guardian) and her husband, Dr. Elias Horry Deas at Buck Hall Plantation.

Pre-War Years
John’s brother Francis Malbone Waring died at of age 14 on September 23, 1850. John’s sister Ann Simons Waring married Lewis Simons in 1851 and resided on Pawley’s Plantation owned by the Simons family and adjacent tract to Buck Hall. John studied under Dr. Horry Deas at the Medical College of South Carolina. His thesis was titled A Dissertation on Hermaphrodism. He graduated in 1849. On March 4, 1851 he married Elizabeth Cecelia Harleston, daughter of John Harleston and Elizabeth Cordes. This marriage would produce three sons and a daughter. County property records show Dr. John Ball Waring owned much land on the Cooper River near Strawberry and a house on Charlotte Street in Charleston, SC. He apparently spent much time before the war as a planter.
War Years
With the sectional hostilities finally reaching a boiling point with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States, South Carolina passed the Ordinance of Secession on December 20, 1860. During the dark of night sometime before December 26, 1860 Major Robert Anderson spiked the guns at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island where the Federals were stationed and relocated his troops to Fort Sumter, an island fort in Charleston Harbor. The following April of 1861 attention was turned to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the first shots of the war were fired. Lincoln could now engineer patriotism in the North by accusing the secessionists of treason. Lincoln could now raise an army calling for 175,000 troops to quash the rebellion. Lincoln also ordered a blockade of the southern ports to stop the import of goods from Europe. Many thought this war would be short but as it turned out the war was a four year bloodbath resulting in the death of approximately 636,000 soldiers. As a result of the war many lives would be changed. Many soldiers on both sides were killed or maimed. Dr. John Ball Waring enlisted in Confederate service on July 1, 1862, Charleston, SC, serving first in the Etiwan Rangers commanded by Capt Keating Simons. This volunteer unit. stationed at Hayward’s Landing on James Island was absorbed by the 1st Charleston Battalion. PVT John Ball Waring became a member of Co E Charleston Battalion (Calhoun Guards) Commanded by Capt. Francis Turquand Miles. The Charleston Battalion as a whole was commanded by Col Peter C. Gaillard under General Taliferro.
Company E was present at the Battle of Secessionville; This Company was on Morris Island at Battery Wagner during intense shelling from Union gunboats. (Note: Company E was not involved in famous attack by the 54th Mass Colored Troops July 18, 1863.) All companies in the Charleston Battalion were involved except Company E. Company E was doing Heavy Ordinance at White Point Gardens (later renamed Battery Ramsey) in the City at the time of the 54th Massachusetts attack on Battery Wagner. Company E was deployed at Morris Island for its first tour of duty on the last day of July 1863. From August 17 to September 2, 1863 the first great bombardment of Fort Sumter, This was a constant close range bombardment of Sumter. The Union goal was to reduce the fort to rubble. Union General Quincy Adams Gilmore had by mid-August advanced heavy batteries near Wagner so that an effective fire could be made on Fort Sumter by throwing shells over the battery. Battery Wagner and Gregg were shelled day and night. The month of August was coming to a close and with the Union troops moving closer to Fort Wagner General Beauregard ordered Fort Wagner’s evacuation. After the evacuation of Fort Wagner the First Charleston Battalion was merged with other Battalions and Companies to become the South Carolina 27th. The 27th SC was sent from Charleston to Virginia April 28, 1864 and arrived at Petersburg, VA May 7, 1864. Private John Ball Waring was captured at the Bermuda Hundred. (A peninsula formed by the James and Appomattox River) at Petersburg.
The Confederate Muster Roll for PVT John Ball Waring states the following:

In the hands of the enemy Captured near Petersburg June 24, 1864

Surrendered at Point Lookout. Turned over to Provost Marshal at Fort Monroe, VA June 25, 1864. Confined June 26, 1864 Mil Prison, Point Lookout, Md. Paroled at Point Lookout, Md., and transferred to Aiken’s Landing, Va. September 18, 1864 for exchange. “Received at Varina, Va. Sept. 22, 1864 from James E. Mulford & Asst. Agt. for Exchange, ten hundred & eighty (1080) Confederate paroled prisoners of war on within roster including 64 Officers, 6 Surgeons, 3 Chaplains & 3 Citizens. W.H. Hatch Asst Agent of Exchange. (Taken from roll no. 150 Fort Delaware, Del.” Sept. 24, 1864. Appears on Register of Receiving and Wayside Hospital or General Hospital No. 9 Richmond, Va. Sept. 22, 1864. Appears on Register of Jackson Hospital, Richmond, Va. Sept. 23 thru 25, 1864. Remarks for 30 days. Disease and Diagnosis illegible. Sometime after Sept. 22, 1864 he returned to Charleston, S.C. (No further date or Muster Rolls.)

Post War

Dr. Waring came back to Charleston weakened but not broken. Through family stories it was said that he looked forward to starting his life over. He was now home with his wife, sons and a newborn daughter. He looked forward to the challenges of rebuilding his fortunes. Sadly his wishes never materialized. Dr. John Ball Waring died of Smallpox, Nov. 18, 1865. Family tradition says he contracted the disease while treating a freed slave at Strawberry Ferry. The death certificate from the attending physician Dr. E. Geddings stated Variola as the cause of death which is the Latin term for Smallpox. His widow and children lived in Charleston, SC in poverty under Carpetbag rule. This federal abuse on the conquered citizens of the South lasted for twelve long years.

Dr. John Ball Waring and Elizabeth Cecelia Harleston had the following children:
Francis Keating Waring
Edward Harleston Warin
John Ball Waring
Ann Simons Waring


Confederate Muster Rolls – Charleston County Library.

Letter from the SC Archives to Lt Col Francis Malbone Waring stating Service record of Pvt John Ball Waring.

Charlestonians in War: The Charleston Battalion by W. Chris Phelps

Dark Hours: Randolph W. Kirkland, Jr.

Fort Sumter to Perryville Shelby Foote

Lincoln Takes Command: John S Tilley

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