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Joseph Pope Balch
[[Image:200px|center|200px|border]]1861 photograph of Joseph Pope Balch
Personal Information
Born: August 9, 1822(1822-08-09)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: December 2, 1872 (aged 50)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brevet Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
*First Battle of Bull Run
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Joseph Pope Balch (August 9, 1822 – December 2, 1872) was an American businessman from Rhode Island who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Early life and background[]

Balch was an educated man, but decided upon a career in business instead of attending college, first working in his father's drug store at the age of 14 as a clerk, and eventually becoming a partner.

In 1841 he joined a militia unit known as the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, by 1857 Balch had risen to command of Rhode Island's Second Militia brigade.

Civil war[]

At the outbreak of the war, he was appointed to the rank of major in the First Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Balch succeeded to command of the regiment when its previous commander, Colonel Ambrose Burnside was promoted to command of a brigade. At the First Battle of Bull Run Balch was recognized for "coolness, steadiness, and courage under fire", and promoted by brevet to Brigadier General of the volunteers.

When the regiment was disbanded, Balch returned to the militia and commanded the Second Militia brigade until the close of the war.

Postbellum career[]


Balch (seated) and officers of the 1st Rhode Island at Camp Sprague, Rhode Island, 1861.

After the war, Balch was a prominent member of Rhode Island society, and had six daughters and a son. He held membership in civic organizations including the Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, and the Providence Franklin society. He died suddenly in his home from an internal hemorrhage in 1872.

See also[]

32x28px United States Army portal
32x28px American Civil War portal


  • Balch, Galusha Burchard. Genealogy of the Balch Families in America. Salem, Massachusetts: E. Putnam. 1897.


External links[]