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Ozzy

Baseball, anyone?

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Ozzy    424

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.

 

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Ozzy    424

Pretty close... The Chicago Cubs trace their pedigree to the White Stockings. The Red Stockings are today's Atlanta Braves.

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WI16thJim    205

The Red Stockings, who became the Boston Braves, who moved to Wisconsin and became the Milwaukee Braves, who then moved to Atlanta, breaking a 12 year old's heart.

 

Jim

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Ozzy    424

I notice the Brewers took the Cubs, 9 - 0. Did Cornelius McGillicuddy have anything to do with it? :)

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Ozzy    424

Any idea when base ball arrived in Milwaukee? Did the Wisconsin volunteers of 1861/2 take the game south with them? Was it the version involving underarm, or overarm pitching? ...just asking.

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WI16thJim    205

From Buzzfeed Sports: http://www.buzzfeed.com/erikmalinowski/baseball-recovered-from-civil-war-battlefield-unveiled

 

 

Baseball Recovered From Civil War Battlefield Is Unveiled

It’s older than 16 U.S. states. But this relic of our national pastime reminds us that some things never change.

 

erikmalinowski-15841-1359648551-0_large. Erik Malinowski

 

In advance of the launch of TheNationalPastime.com, an online historical archive that goes live on Opening Day in several weeks, Slate got a sneak peek at one of the many cool offerings that’ll be featured.

Below is a baseball recovered from a Civil War battlefield in Tennessee in 1862. The inscription reads, “Picked Up on the Battle Field at Shiloh by G.F. Hellum.” According to Slate, Hellum was an African-American orderly with the Army who later enlisted with the 69th United States Colored Infantry based in Arkansas and Tennessee.

You can’t tell by looking at the picture, but the twine is actually stitched around the ball hide in a figure-8 pattern. It’s also worth remembering that baseball back then, though similar in many respects, with bases 90 feet apart and so forth, was still extremely primitive. Batters, for examples, had to draw nine balls for a walk, and hitters were called out when a fielder caught a ball on the bounce. (This particular rule was soon deemed too weird even for its own time and was abolished after the 1863 season.)

enhanced-buzz-wide-9300-1360100343-4.jpg

 

No idea on any of your questions Ozzy, but you will be the first one I tell if I come upon any answers.

 

Jim

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WI16thJim    205

From the WI Historical Society's web site: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=Ny:True,Ro:0,N:4294963828-4294963805&dsNavOnly=N:1170&dsRecordDetails=R:CS435&dsDimensionSearch=D:baseball+in+the+civil+war,Dxm:All,Dxp:3&dsCompoundDimensionSearch=D:baseball+in+the+civil+war,Dxm:All,Dxp:3

 

 

Baseball

A game incorporating a bat, a ball and bases was known in the U.S. as early as the 1820s, sometimes known as "town ball," sometimes as "one old cat." By 1845, rules for the game had been codified and it was called baseball. It came to Wisconsin with settlers from New England and New York in the mid-19th century. Milwaukee enjoyed its first organized baseball game in 1859, and the following year, some of the city's elite, including lawyers, bankers and newspaper men, organized the Milwaukee Baseball Club. The Civil War ended this club, but soldiers played the game in their leisure throughout the war.

The return of peace brought the organization of Milwaukee's Cream City Baseball Club in 1865, along with similar amateur organizations in Madison, Janesville, and Beloit. In the post-war years the sport became more organized, and the National Association of Baseball Players counted more than 200 clubs among its members as early as 1866. Baseball evolved from an amateur sport played by gentlemen to one that involved players and spectators from all classes of society, including teams whose members were paid openly or surreptitiously. The Cream City club disbanded in 1876 but was succeeded by the West End Club, which played a mix of professional, semi-professional and college teams.

Baseball was also popular among Indians, replacing lacrosse in popularity by 1912. Ball sports had a rich and long history among the Lake Superior Ojibwe, and, unlike organized baseball, included women. Reservation teams like the Odanah Braves played against teams from neighboring communities, as well semi-professional teams from around the Midwest. Ojibwe Charles Albert "Chief" Bender, who invented the slider, became one of the most formidable pitchers in major league baseball, winning pitching honors in 1910, 1911, and 1914.

Milwaukee had a series of professional teams from 1878 through 1901, none very successful and none surviving for more than a few years. In 1901, the city became home to the minor league Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, which under different owners played at Borchert Park until 1952. Communities elsewhere in the state hosted clubs organized by businesses and civic organizations. Professional teams were usually minor league affiliates of the major league teams scattered around the state. Typical of these was the Wisconsin State League, made up of Class D teams in nine Fox River Valley cities. Geographical closeness, local pride, and entertainment value made baseball a popular and vital part of local culture in the early 20th century.

World War II drained manpower from the major and the minor leagues, threatening to stop play and close down major league parks. Philip K.Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, saw women players as an answer to this difficulty, and in 1943 organized the well-known All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The 1943 season saw four teams -- Racine and Kenosha, Wisconsin, Rockford, Illinois, and South Bend, Indiana -- competing throughout the Midwest. The league eventually expanded to 10 teams, including ones in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Media and fan interest was greatest in the smaller cities, while teams in the larger cities were virtually ignored. The women's game was modified from the major league version by making distances shorter and pitchers throw underhand. The players were recruited, trained and managed by ex-major league players or managers, and their on- and off-field dress and deportment was strictly regulated by a team chaperone and codified by handbooks and manuals. Nevertheless, the players enjoyed their time in the league, relishing the friendships, the novelty of the experience, the travel, and the pay, which was typically about three times what women workers in traditional occupations received.

Milwaukee began seeking a major league baseball team in the 1930s but the Great Depression and World War II defeated all efforts to locate a professional team in the city. The return of peace renewed this effort, and ground was broken for Milwaukee County Stadium in 1950, before any definite commitment had been made by any team to move to the city. The stadium was completed in 1953, and 10,000 citizens braved icy spring weather to view it. Soon after, the Boston Braves of the National League received permission to move to Milwaukee. Twelve thousand fans greeted the arriving team at the train depot, and 60,000 lined Wisconsin Avenue for a welcoming parade. The home opener on April 14, 1953, was a sellout, with 34.357 attending.

The Braves had several glory years, winning the World Series in 1957 and the National League title in 1958, and fans rejoiced in stars such as Warren Spahn and Hank Aaron. But team competitiveness and attendance declined, and in 1965, over strenuous objections and opposition from the city and fans, the Braves moved to Atlanta. Milwaukee County Stadium stood empty, except for occasional Green Bay Packers or Chicago White Sox games, until 1970. In that year, led by Milwaukee businessman and baseball fan Bud Selig, the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee to become the Milwaukee Brewers of the American League. The team, now part of the National League, plays in Miller Park, a state-of-the-art stadium with a retractable roof, completed in 2001.

 

Jim

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Ozzy    424

Holy Cow... a wonderful photo. Makes you wonder if it was found, out in the open (which field at Shiloh?) Or in a knapsack? Or in a tent? Wonder, too, what happened to the bat? Anyway, will go through my files, and see if I've recorded anything of interest, 16th Wisconsin related...

 

Ozzy

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Ozzy    424

Your 12:16 post popped up as I sent my 12:23 post. Excellent summary of Milwaukee/Wisconsin baseball. Most appreciated. Slightly off topic, but related: cricket. The Summer bat, ball and stumps sport loved by the Brits (and Aussies), and introduced to America in the early 1800s. I've read that Milwaukee had cricket clubs, even before baseball clubs. From reading Civil War diaries (LT Luther Jackson, 12th Iowa, Co. H and Corporal Frank E. Hancock, 12th Iowa, Co. B), it appears both types of ball game were played by soldiers, during the war. Even in the Southern prison pens, in 1862, both cricket and baseball are recorded as having been played, at Montgomery, and at Camp Oglethorpe.

 

However, it would appear the Civil War killed cricket in America. Once underarm pitching was abandoned, and the 'catch it after one bounce, you're still out' rule was dropped, baseball gained prestige. By 1888, Albert Spalding was selling Baseball to the Brits and Aussies, taking the Chicago Cubs (and top players from other teams) around the world, playing exhibition games. Imitated by the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, in Sydney, just a few weeks ago.

 

Ozzy

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TomP    22

Edward Spalding also was awarded the Medal of Honor for his performance at Shiloh. His citation reads:

 

"Although twice wounded, and thereby crippled for life, he remained fighting in open ground to the close of the battle."

 

What a family!

 

Tom

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Ozzy    424

Well spotted, Tom.

 

Jim, in your 16th Wisconsin investigations, have you tried the online 'Library of Congress' site, <catalog.loc.gov> ? Much material is accessible online, and usually comes up via an 'archive' site. Also, I've tried accessing University of Iowa Library, and found a number of diaries online. When I accessed University of Wisconsin- Madison Libraries, I got access to a most impressive work, and spent the past two hours reading it. <search.library.wisc.edu/catalog/ocn750487631> provides complete access to 'Correspondence of the Wisconsin Volunteers, 1861-1863 [electronic record]' with credit given to Edwin Bentley Quiner. Volumes 1-10 available, with vols. 5, 6, 9 and 10 containing 16th Wisconsin material. Shiloh involvement was documented vol. 5, pp. 205-218 and 222-224 (these last three pages most informative).

 

Ozzy

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Manassas1    149

Being a baseball fan from way back, I find this topic fascinating.  I used to take the day off work to go to the opening game at Fenway Park each year when I lived in Boston.  I'll be thinking about all this Shiloh related baseball info when I go to New York Yankees Spring Training Camp in Spring 2015.  Great stuff about Spaulding and the Shiloh baseball, Ozzy and Jim.

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Ozzy    424

Thanks to Manassas Belle for revisiting this thread...

 

Since June, I've attempted to uncover a letter or diary, making mention of baseball played in vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, but no luck as yet. I have found diaries written by Union POWs (all captured after their stand at the Hornet's Nest), in which they record baseball being played during their confinement in Alabama and Georgia. (Earliest mention made 17 April 1862 by Lieutenant Luther Jackson, 12th Iowa, Co. H, in his 'Prison Diary.') So it naturally follows that the game was played before they were taken prisoner.

 

Ozzy

 

 

Reference:  Diary of LT Luther W. Jackson, 12th Iowa, Co. H, from Annals of Iowa, vol.19, 3rd series, Edgar R. Harlan, ed., page 28, 1933-1935

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Ozzy    424

Was reading through the diary of a Lieutenant from Iowa, and found this, recorded March 23rd, 1862 at St Louis:

                                                                                                  .

 

Benton Barracks Sunday, 23rd

    We are almost beginning to forget there is a Sabbath. At 9 1/2 a.m. the Captain had not yet returned and I took charge of the Company at inspection. The boys mostly spent the day playing ball. Our Chaplin remained in Keokuk in charge of the hospital where we left the sick of our Regiment so we can have no Regimental services. I'm sorry for it for I think the boys begin to need some religious restraint.

    A number of ladies came out today. I think of home the dear wife and children that I left there and feel a strong inclination to give up military life and go home to the loved ones that miss me there. But I believe duty calls me the other way. Oh how I will rejoice when the war is over and we get back to home comforts and better influences than those which now surround us. I fear the morals of the boys will suffer by the indolent life we have been leading. Weather cool, prospect of clearing off.

                                                                                                  .

 

Whenever someone of that era mentions 'playing ball,' they are almost always referring to Baseball. So, now am certain that baseball was played at Benton Barracks, Missouri, just prior to the Battle of Shiloh. Still looking for a letter or diary entry mentioning the game at Pittsburg Landing.

 

[Extract from the Diary of Lieutenant Philip H. Goode, 15th Iowa, Co. F.  The 15th Iowa arrived at Pittsburg Landing on the morning of April 6th, aboard the Minnehaha, the same steamer that carried Ann Dickey Wallace.]

 

 

Ozzy

 

http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/regiment/infantry/15th/journalgoode.htm

 

 

 

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Ozzy    424

Ever hear of Henry Chadwick?

 

Don't worry... neither had I, until I started poking around about Baseball being played at Corinth, Mississippi. But more on that, later.

 

Henry Chadwick was not at the Battle of Shiloh: he was a newspaper reporter during the Civil War for the New York Tribune. Born in England in 1834, Henry emigrated with his family in 1846 (age 12) and settled in Brooklyn, New York. Soon after arrival, the youngster attempted to further his love of the game of Cricket, but 'Rounders' was the ball game being played in Brooklyn, so Henry became familiar with that early form of Baseball. In 1857, Henry Chadwick was hired as the Base Ball reporter the newspaper: New York Clipper. During his employment, Chadwick was credited with the following record-keeping innovations:

  • created the 'box score'
  • initiated the use of letter 'K' to indicate Strike-out
  • initiated collection of the statistics:  'Batting Average' and  'ERA'  (earned run average)

And he became involved with 'improving' the rules of Base Ball during the 1860s (most notably, he pressed for the removal of the 'one-bounce, you're still out' rule; afterwards, catching a fly ball before it touched the ground, even once, was required to make the out.)

 

After the end of the Civil War, Henry Chadwick accompanied the National Base Ball Club of Washington, D.C. on their inaugural tour of the United States, acting in capacity of 'official scorer.'  During the tour, he accompanied the Nationals to Rockford, Illinois to cover the July 4th, 1867 game against the Forest City Nine. The Nationals lost to Forest City, 23 to 29 in nine innings. And Albert Spalding was the winning pitcher.

 

Spalding and Chadwick joined forces in the 1880s: Henry Chadwick wrote several works on Baseball; and Spalding published them. Their one disagreement involved Albert Spalding's belief (and promotion) that Abner Doubleday was the 'Father of Baseball.'

 

Henry Chadwick died in Brooklyn in 1908. He is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery, in a plot that is designed to represent a Baseball Diamond  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1167   (See the two extra pictures.)

 

In 1938, Henry Chadwick was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (the same year as Grover Cleveland Alexander), for being a 'pioneering contributor' to the development of Baseball.

 

So, what about Corinth, Mississippi?  Henry Chadwick met Albert Spalding in 1867 in Rockford. Albert Spalding was introduced to the game by his cousin, Edward Spalding, who was at home in Rockford, recovering from wounds received at the Battle of Shiloh (he was a Sergeant with the 52nd Illinois Infantry.) Ed Spalding's regiment played a Base Ball game at Corinth on March 28th, 1863 against the 2nd Iowa Infantry. The 2nd Iowa beat the 52nd Illinois, 100 to 77, using 'New York Rules' (amended by Henry Chadwick.)  http://protoball.org/52nd_Illinois_Infantry_Regiment_v_2nd_Iowa_Regiment_on_28_March_1863

 

Just a bit of trivia before Christmas

 

Ozzy

 

 

Other references

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Chadwick_(writer)

 

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/b99355e0

 

 

 

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Ozzy    424

Mona

 

Good point...  My best guess: dry, open space near the campsite of 2nd Iowa or 52nd Illinois. (Still looking for 'the baseball field' at Pittsburg Landing, but imagine it was near the 12th Iowa campsite, or the 52nd Illinois campsite.)

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Ozzy

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Ozzy    424

Ran across a website belonging to the U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers (which portrays itself as a 'living-history organization.') They have an excellent account of the Federal defenses around Corinth (after Halleck completed his Crawl.) Of interest: http://www.topogs.org/CorinthMaps.htm   is Map Number 4 (scroll down a fair way, and 'click' on it.) This sketch was drawn by Private Charles Budd, Company B, 2nd Iowa Infantry, in July 1863 and details the location of the campground for the 2nd Iowa and the 52nd Illinois; sited just north of Corinth, not far from the intersection of modern-day Burch and Jackson Streets.

 

Budd's Map clearly shows the HQ for Brigadier General Dodge; the HQ for 2nd Iowa (Major Howard). Both headquarters are along the western edge of a 'Public Square.'  My best guess: that public square is where games of Baseball were played by the Occupation Force at Corinth.

 

Ozzy

 

N.B.   Prior to this campsite, both the 2nd Iowa and 52nd Illinois were based at Camp Montgomery, about 2 1/2 miles south of Corinth. [Thanks to Tom for pointing out the location of Camp Montgomery.]

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Ozzy    424

For general information, below is a link to Baseball and the Civil War, by Terry Bluett at pacivilwartrails.com --  Worth a read to understand why Baseball was supported (maybe even promoted) by senior officers during the War of the Rebellion.

 

 http://www.pacivilwartrails.com/stories/tales/baseball-and-the-civil-war     Baseball and the Civil War by Terry Bluett

 

 

Cheers 

 

Ozzy

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Ozzy    424

Found it...

The first reference I have encountered, mentioning the playing of a ball game at Pittsburg Landing, in the days before the Battle of Shiloh. On page 21 of A Perfect Picture of Hell: eyewitness accounts by Civil War prisoners from the 12th Iowa (by Ted and Hugh Genoways, editors) is this:

'Once the camp was established, the arrival of spring in southern Tennessee was clearly welcome. The long, wet winter at Fort Donelson had taken its toll on the spirit and health of nearly every man in the 12th Iowa. On March 28, Fourth Corporal Abner Dunham of Company F wrote his family... "This is as beautiful a spring morning as I ever saw, the sun shines out in his splendor, the grass is growing, trees budding out, peach trees in full bloom & the little birds singing their sweet songs cannot help but be pleasing to the soldier as it is here at the present time; it does look beautiful to see the peach trees in full bloom. The warm weather wilts us down a bit as it always does in the spring, but to go out and have a good game of ball and take a sweat seems to drive the old diseases out of our system and we are growing as tough and hearty as when at Camp Union [Dubuque.]" '

[Abner Dunham of Manchester, Iowa enlisted as a 20 year old on September 24, 1861. He was recorded as 'missing in battle' on April 6, 1862 after the stand at the Hornet's Nest, and spent the next six months in Southern POW camps. Released on Parole from Macon, Georgia (Camp Oglethorpe) in October 1862, Corporal Dunham rejoined his regiment in January 1863, and was promoted to Sergeant. A veteran of Vicksburg, Jackson, Tupelo, Nashville and Spanish Fort, Abner Dunham was promoted to First Lieutenant and mustered out with his regiment on January 20, 1866 at Memphis.]

Persistence pays...

Ozzy

 

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Ozzy    424

Since discovering proof that baseball was played at Pittsburg Landing by Federal soldiers in the days before Battle of Shiloh [see post of June 21st 2016, above] I have not run across any more worthwhile information... until now. In my post of December 23rd 2015, I introduced Henry Chadwick, and his role in establishing rules for the game. Recently, those original Chadwick-inspired rules have been scanned onto archive.org and are available:

http://archive.org/stream/0188BEAD#page/n0/mode/2up  Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player for 1867

Ninety-seven pages are devoted to rules (New York Rules, adopted as standard across America) and results of recent competitions; followed by thirty pages of advertisements for sporting equipment (mostly baseballs, bats, boots and uniforms; but also cricket equipment for the popular bat and ball game still played in the British Commonwealth... but which was dying out in America in 1867.)

Of course, 1867 was a bit late to have rules for baseball during the Civil War; so here are the rules according to Beadle's Dime Base-Ball for 1860 (original edition) reprinted by Vintage Baseball Association:   http://vbba.org/rules-and-customs/1860-beadles-full-text/

The 1860 edition of Beadle's Dime Base-Ball was only forty pages long; and seven of those pages were dedicated to Massachusetts Rules (the other form of the game, which soon gave way for New York Rules... which is the variety of Baseball played in America, today.) Notice: no reference to Massachusetts Rules in the 1867 Beadle's. And these rules, as delineated in 1860, would have guided the game as played by soldiers during the Civil War (Confederate and Union soldiers had baseball competitions going -- internal to their armies -- by the end of the war. [It is said some Southerners picked up the game after watching it being played by Federal prisoners in the prison camps under their control.]

Baseball... one of the best things to come out of the Civil War.

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://www.ulib.niu.edu/badndp/misc-bdbp-b.html  Baseball rules evolution, according to Henry Chadwick and Beadle's.

 

 

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