- A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy (1986)
- Landscapes of Battle: The Civil War (1988)
- Pemberton: A Biography (1991)
- Pemberton: The General Who Lost Vicksburg (paperback, 1999)
- A Mississippi Rebel in the Army of Northern Virginia: The Memoirs of Private David Holt (1995)
- Civil War Mississippi: A Guide (2000)
- A Mississippi Rebel in the Army of Northern Virginia: The Civil War Memoirs of Private David Holt, With a New Appendix of Excerpts from His 1865 Diary edited by Thomas D. Cockrell and Michael B. Ballard
- Sonny Montgomery: The Veteran’s Champion by G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery with Michael B. Ballard and Craig S. Piper (2003)
- U. S. Grant: The Making of a General, 1861-1863 (2005)
- Chickasaw: A Mississippi Scout for the Union, The Civil War Memoir of Levi H. Naron (2005)
- Maroon and White, Mississippi State University, 1878-2003 (2007)
- Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi (2001)
- Grant at Vicksburg: The General and the Siege (2003)
- The Civil War in Mississippi: Major Campaigns and Battles (Heritage of Mississippi Series) 2014
by Erika Phillips (SHS)
Michael Ballard was born in the small town of Louisville, Mississippi, on November 24, 1946. He was the first born to Jessie Dola Stephenson Ballard and Ottis B. Ballard. His mother was a housewife who had worked in a World War II Ordnance Plant located in Prairie, Mississippi. She died in 1978 of liver cancer. Ballard’s father passed away in 1989 of heart disease. He had served in the 751st Tank Battalion in World War II. The Ballards had another son, Chris, born five years after the birth of Michael.
Michael Ballard took an interest in writing at an early age but did not take it seriously until he began attending high school in Ackerman, Mississippi. He began to develop his writing skills when he began his master’s degree at Mississippi State University. Ballard received his B.A. in 1975, his master’s in 1976, and his doctoral degree in 1983 from Mississippi State. During his time at MSU, he first became a student worker in the Special Collections department of the library. He worked full time since 1983.
Ballard got married on December 2, 2001, to Jan, whom he first met on the internet at a site called the Christians Singles Network. Jan Rodgers Ballard is originally from Farmington, Illinois ( a Yankee, he oftern joked). After meeting, the couple decided they could make a marriage work, and that summer they got engaged. His wife has two children from a previous marriage, and there are now three granddaughters.
Ballard has written numerous historical books and articles including A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy in 1986, Landscapes of Battle: The Civil War in 1988, Pemberton: A Biography in 1991, A Mississippi Rebel in the Army of Northern Virginia: The Memoirs of Private David Holt in 1995, and most recently, Civil War Mississippi: A Guide in 2000.
Ballard once said that he realizes he owes his success to God. “By turning my life over to Him, I put my trust in Him, and doors started opening that I never dreamed of,” says Ballard of his accomplishments. He has overcome his shyness in order to travel around and speak to audiences by way of the Gideon ministry. (Ballard)
Since the biography above was written, Michael Ballard published Pemberton: A Biography in 1991, Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi (Civil War America) on Oct 31, 2003, U.S. Grant: The Making of a General, 1861-1863 (The American Crisis Series) on Dec 25,2004), Chickasaw, A Mississippi Scout for the Union: The Civil War Memoir of Levi H. Naron as Recounted by R. W. Surby by Thomas D. Cockrell, Michael B. Ballard, Levi H. Naron, and R. W. Surby in October, 2005, and Maroon and White, Mississippi State University, 1878-2003 in 2007, and others listed above.
Michael Ballard died October 11, 2016, in his home library in Ackerman, Mississippi. He was a sixth generation Mississippian, a published Civil War historian, the University of Archivist and Director of the MSU Congressional and Political Collection, and a deason at the Ackerman Baptist Church.
A Review of Civil War Mississippi: A Guide
by Erika Phillips (SHS)
I think that this book is very informative and tells in detail of the history of battles that occurred in Mississippi during the Civil War. Michael Ballard goes into detail and describes the happenings in Mississippi at the time of the Civil War in our country. I was able to trace my way through the war with all the historical information given. Ballard tells of events that occurred on battlefields which today are still able to be visited by those interested in this part of our history. He also includes the feats of soldiers who fought bravely in these battles. I was drawn into the events with such important names as Nathan Bedford Forest and Ulysses S. Grant.
These battles involved intricate cavalry dealings, naval assaults, and trench warfare. I thought that Ballard did an excellent job in capturing the hardship and drama of historical events that took place in the state of Mississippi during the Civil War.His book is a useful guide through the significant era and regions where the war was took its place. I certainly urge any history buff to read this book for it tells of great adventures and presents entrancing photographs.
- This site summarizes Ballard’s book Civil War Mississippi.
- Read chapters from U.S. Grant: The Making of a General, 1861-1863 By Michael B. Ballard here.
- Amazon.com lists Ballard’s books
- Ballard, Michael B Civil War Mississippi: A Guide. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000.
- Ballard, Michael. Email interview. April, 2002.
- “Michael B. Ballard.” Mississippi State University Faculty Author.