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Officers in 30th MA Play Base Ball In February 1864
|Tags||Civil War, MilitaryCivil War, Military|
|City/State/Country:||Franklin, LA, US|
|Immediacy of Report||Retrospective|
|Age of Players||AdultAdult|
“February 12, 1864. Officers played a game of base ball this afternoon.”
H.W. Howe “Diary of Henry Warren Howe, February 1864,” Passages from the Life of Henry Warren Howe ( Courier-Citizen, 1899), page 61. Provided by Jeff Kittel, 2009.
The 30th was stationed at Franklin, Louisiana at this time [Noted by Bruce Allardice]. Franklin is about 100 miles west of New Orleans, a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
Note: As of June 2018, Joshua Bucchioni is doing research on the 30th Massachusetts. See the Supplemental Text for some background on the regiment.
Do we the role of the 30th in February 1864?
Are there any indications as to whether NY or MA or other game rules were employed?
|Submitted by||Jeff Kittel|
|Submission Note||Email of May 12, 2009.|
|Has Supplemental Text||Yes|
from an Email from Joshua Bucchioni to Protoball, June 15, 2018.
"I can't say that I have much to add to CW ball playing in general, though I've been fascinated with what I have seen shared on your protoball site. The most I can add is in dealing with more information on the 30th MA (I have no book, or possible title yet...still several more years of gathering soldier data etc... before I really get started). I can maybe help you narrow down some answers to your questions with some background on the regiment though.
"The 30th MA was formed around Lowell, MA in the fall of 1861 and was comprised mostly of men raised in the Lowell area, but also so companies raised in Boston. At the time of its formation the regiment was very heavily Irish (though due to losses and new foreign replacements etc... by the end of 1864 the regiment was known as very heavily "dutch". I would think that because of these origins for the regiment, that they would be more inclined to be using the Massachusetts game to play. However, since the written account came from Henry W Howe this might not be conclusive. Howe was from Massachusetts as well, but if you read he whole diary and other background about him it becomes clear that he had family in New York (I believe North of the city) and that he had spent a bit of time there before the war and even after it. Howe himself could possibly be familiar with the NY game and the MA game, but the other officers would have probably been more closely associated with the MA game. To make the matter even more confusing...the diary reference only says the officers played the game...and if I recall correctly, I don't thin there were enough officers left in the regiment at that time to man out two full teams to play ball with. They may have had to play with other officers in the brigade...like perhaps some from the 116th NY (the 116th NY was from around the Buffalo area, though a quick look through the 116th's history hasn't yielded any results to ball playing).
"The 30th MA fought in a number of battles while in LA and had a few times when they were stationed in one area for short-long periods of time (areas like Baton Rouge and New Orleans). At some point prior to the game mentioned, they had been stationed in Baton Rouge and a photo was taken of their camp, along with that of the 174th New York, 2nd LA "Native Guard" and Battery C, 5th Regular (US) Artillery. The 174th New York was consolidated with the 162nd NY 4 days before the game was noted, so these photos are from at least before that date, and before the 30th moved to Franklin. These images are described as "Union encampment east of Church St. (now 4th Street) and south of Florida St." in Baton Rouge.
-- Joshua Bucchioni