Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'Rockford'.
Found 1 result
It appears baseball was played by General Grant's troops, during their abundant leisure time, after the victory at Fort Donelson. The game may have been introduced to regiments undergoing training at Benton Barracks. Alternatively, one or more of the regiments from Milwaukee, Chicago, or Ohio may have imported the game when they arrived at Pittsburg Landing in March 1862. It is confirmed that a baseball was discovered on Shiloh Battlefield, a few days after the carnage, by a civilian working for the Union army. G. F. Hellum was so impressed by his find, he etched details of the location of his discovery into the hide, turning the lemon-peel ball into a trophy. Now, consider the story of Sgt. Edward Spalding, Co. E, 52nd Illinois. In action on Sunday, the 6th of April, he was twice wounded, but refused to be removed from the field. He remained fighting, in open ground, until the close of the battle. Finally taken to Hospital at Pittsburg Landing in time to have wounds to his left arm dressed, he should have made a full recovery. But, days passed, and his condition worsened. Somehow, Ed Spalding's parents found out about their son's predicament; his father, Asa, journeyed to Pittsburg Landing and took him home, to Rockford, Illinois. The improvement in care, furnished in a loving home, probably saved his life. But, it still required time for his wounds to fully heal. While recuperating, he was visited by his 11-year-old cousin, Albert, to whom he introduced the rules of the game of Baseball. Edward returned to his regiment in November 1862, was promoted to second lieutenant, and continued to serve until mustered out in December 1864. Albert Spalding took to his cousin's game so well, that he went on to become a professional baseball player, playing as pitcher, centerfielder, and first baseman, for the Boston Red Stockings, and the Chicago White Stockings. In 1876, he co-founded A. G. Spalding Sporting Goods; he continued to promote 'the National Pastime' for the rest of his life.