Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Michael B. Ballard was a native of Ackerman, MS. He earned his B.A. degree in history at Mississippi State University in 1975, his M.A. in history and archives at MSU in 1976, and his Ph.D. in history at MSU in 1983. He was an archivist in MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library from 1983 to 2011, serving successively as Associate University Archivist, University Archivist, and University Archivist and Coordinator of the Congressional Collection.
He was also associate editor of the U. S. Grant publishing projects.
In addition to his 11 books, Ballard has published some 25 articles and over 75 book reviews. His books A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy, Pemberton: A Biography, and Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi were History Book Club selections. Pemberton was chosen as best non-fiction book by a Mississippi author in 1991 by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Ballard's writings on the Civil War led to numerous speaking appearances before many Civil War round tables and symposiums, professional meetings of historical societies and associations, and civic groups. He had also served as a consultant to several university presses and in 1998 appeared as a guest historian on the Greystone Television production regarding the fate of Confederate gold; the program has aired on the History Channel and the A&E Network.
In 2005, Ballard received the Dunbar Rowland Award from the Mississippi Historical Society in recognition of his scholarly publications and other contributions to the documentation of Mississippi history.