William Joseph Ball served in the Union Army during the Civil War from August 5, 1862 until the end of the war. During
his service he witnessed, and recorded, the battle between the ironclads. Returning to Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, he married Sarah Jane Neyhardt, and two became the parents of three daughters, Cora, Sylvia, and Belinda. None of the girls used the name Ball, so the Ball name use ended with William.
During his service William wrote letters home and kept a diary. That document is reproduced and linked here.