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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.
On Independence Day 1862, the Northern commanders who had fought at Shiloh were located, thus: U.S. Grant at his new HQ in Memphis W.T. Sherman Moscow, Tennessee (rebuilding the M & C R.R. for Federal use) Henry Halleck at his HQ in Corinth Stephen Hurlbut La Grange, Tennessee (rebuilding the M & C R.R.) John McClernand Jackson, Tennessee (rebuilding the Mobile & Ohio R.R.) Lew Wallace on furlough at Indianapolis... never to return to Army of the Tennessee. B.M. Prentiss incarcerated with 200 Federal officers at Madison, Georgia D.C. Buell moving east with Army of the Ohio; with present HQ at Huntsville, Alabama George Thomas Tuscumbia, Alabama. Celebrations in the field [wherever military operations could be safely "put on hold" for the day] involved "34-gun salutes" ...one gun for every State in the Union, including Kansas, and those Southern States in rebellion. Shooting competitions and other games were engaged; with a "special meal" at Noon (called Dinner in the Army.) Newspapers of the period acknowledged the significance of the Day -- on both sides -- although the South did not celebrate. The Richmond Daily Dispatch of July 4th boldly alludes to "the apparent intention of our enemy at Washington to have McClellan occupy Richmond on, or before, the 4th of July... and that scheme has come to nought." The July 5th edition focused on the Constitution of the United States; and Virginian, Patrick Henry's, warning not to ratify the document, as "we might simply replace one tyrant with another." Of course, the Northern papers were more receptive to calls for celebration: the July 3rd Daily Evansville Journal planned "a Grand Illumination, to begin at midnight of the 3rd, and which would involve fireworks and music, followed by a Grand Lunch at 9am on Independence Day [and which was sponsored by the business owners of Evansville, Indiana.]" The Chicago Tribune for July 4th proclaimed the "undeniable progress of McClellan towards Richmond," and advocated for a celebration "of bonfires and illumination [as proposed proper by John Adams]; and further called for "ringing of bells and firing of guns... because we cherish the Declaration of Independence." Individual soldiers recorded in letters and diaries their personal 4th of July experiences: Turner Bailey [3rd Iowa, Co.A] recalls in his diary being on furlough in Ohio, at his pre-Iowa home of Berlin [midway between Akron and Zanesville] where he "attended the local celebrations; sent up paper balloons; had a family dinner; and saw the fireworks in the evening." Thomas Christie [Munch's Minnesota Battery] was at Corinth on the day, and reports participating in " ... the 34-gun salute, followed by firing a Hotchkiss shell into a big white oak, just to see the effect." However, Sergeant William Storr's experience was similar to many: based at Moscow, Tennessee, the 77th Ohio was sent south on June 30th for a reconnaissance against Holly Springs; the regiment returned to Moscow on July 7th (with no record in Storr's diary of anything special on July 4th.) Hoping your 4th of July for 2017 involves fireworks, baseball, and a Grand Picnic... weather permitting. Ozzy N.B. Almost forgot the Navy... Flag Officer Davis reported to Navy Secretary Welles on July 4th that, "General Williams will have his canal to bypass Vicksburg finished tomorrow." And General Halleck received his own "special telegram" on Independence Day -- direct from President Lincoln: "Can you spare 10,000 troops from vicinity of Corinth for use at Washington?" References: SDG various diaries and letters [put "diary" in Search Box at top of Home Page.] http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86059058/1862-07-03/ed-1/seq-1/ Daily Evansville Journal for July 3rd 1862 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031490/1862-07-04/ed-1/seq-2/ Chicago Tribune for July 4th 1862 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84028645/1862-07-04/ed-1/seq-1/ Ohio Statesman for July 4th [Declaration of Independence on Page 1] http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024738/1862-07-04/ed-1/seq-2/ Richmond Daily Dispatch for July 4th [page 2] http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024738/1862-07-05/ed-1/seq-2/ Richmond Daily Dispatch for July 5th [page 2] OR (Navy) Volume 23 OR 10 (part 2) Correspondence
Greetings from Down Under I'll start by wishing everyone a memorable visit to Shiloh NMP this 150th Anniversary of the 'Turnover at Liverpool' ...the completion of the Voyage of CSS Shenandoah, in November 1865. I was thinking of starting a discussion on a topic of interest, perhaps in a week or two, once the dust settles on the debrief of events from this latest Park Visit. Some of my ideas: US Grant and migraines: did he get them? If so, is it possible that he was suffering from a 'sick headache' at Shiloh?The movements of the 58th Illinois Infantry, April 6th 1862: just where were they, really?'Parole Camps: necessary, or evil?Oh, and a new historical novel will be out this month: Book Cover.pdf All the best Ozzy