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1862.80 Union POWs seen playing ball in Macon
Croom, "The War Outside My Window" contains the diary of Leroy Wiley Gresham of Macon. The May 6, 1862 entry (p. 133): "In the evening went downtown and saw the Yankee prisoners. Some were drilling, others cooking, some played ball."
The was a POW facility, Camp Oglethorpe, in Macon.
Croom, "The War Outside My Window" p. 133
1863.50 Rebel Soldier Plays “Fine Game of Town Ball” in Georgia
“As Confederate soldier Corporal William Harding wrote while stationed in Georgia in 1863, ‘had a fine game of Town ball which gave me good exercise. . .’”
Patricia Millen, Passion to Pastime: Baseball and the Civil War (Heritage Books, 2001), page 19. Millen cites “Harding, John. Letter. Cooperstown, NY: National Baseball Hall of Fame Library. 1863.” Note: can we obtain a facsimile of the letter, and determine Harding’s unit and the GA location of the game?
Same as 1863.57?
1863.57 Georgia Corporal Plays Town Ball
May 16th, 1863. “We have had a fine game of Town Ball which gave me good Exercise, and I was on the Side that beat.” May 28th, 1863. “We have [jus]t had a fine game of Town Ball and I was on the Beating Side. Nothing can beat me and Sergeant. Jones. He is a first rate man.”
Letters from Corporal William Harden, Company G, 63rd Infantry Regiment, Georgia Volunteers, to his wife, written from just east of Savannah at “Thunderbolt.”. Accessed 6/26/09 at the Giamatti Center of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Civil War file. The 63rd formed in Savannah, and Harden had previously lived in Pike County, which is directly south of Atlanta.
Same as 1863.50?
1864.2 Minnesotan’s Diary Shows Ballplaying on Ten Days Over Ten Weeks
Isaac Clason, of Company B in the 2nd Minnesota Volunteers, made 10 minimal references to ballplaying from January 29 to April 16, 1864. No more appear to the June end of the record. A typical entry was “Had a fine game of ball this afternoon” [March 17]. On January 29: “Spent today playing ball, pitching anvils and everything to amuse myself.” On April 5: “Had a fine game of ball and in the evening went to the Boulten Minstrels performance. Not very good entertainment.” The diary refers to “Ringgold” [and to peach trees in bloom in March] and it would seem that Clason spent his winter in the area of Ringgold Gap, GA, where a September 1863 defeat had stalled the North’s incipient drive toward Atlanta until May 7 1864. Ringgold GA is about 15 miles SE of Chattanooga and about 6 miles south of the Tennessee border.
Diary of Isaac W. Clason, accessed online at ancestry.com by Google web search “clason diary.”
1864.17 Florida Regiments Mix it Up in Town Ball
“The boys are killing time in camp by playing ball, which is such good exercise that it will fit them for the fatiguing marches to be taken this summer. The Soldiers here are undoubtedly, at this time more lighthearted and like schoolboys than I ever saw them. Maj. Lash and Col. Badger often play ball with the men.”
Letters from Washington Ives, 4th FL regiment, April 14, April 17, May 3, and May 7 1864, as noted in J. Sheppard, “’By the Noble Daring of Her Sons’: The Florida Brigade of the Army of Tennessee,” (FSU Dissertation, 2008), pages 291-292. Some of these letters, and evidently another written by Archie Livingston on April 24, further describe a series of games involving the 1st FL, the 3rd FL, the 4th FL, the 6th FL, and the 7th FL regiments in this period. The Sheppard thesis was accessed 6/20/09 on Google Scholar via “’noble daring’ Sheppard” search. The regiments were camped at Dalton GA, about 30 miles SW of Chattanooga defending the route to Atlanta.
1864.19 Waiting for Sherman, and Playing, in Georgia
“Captain James Hall of the 24th Alabama Regiment observed his men playing [. . . ] ‘just like school boys’ while waiting for the advance of Union General Sherman.”
Patricia Millen, From Pastime to Passion (Heritage, 2001), page 19. She cites B. I. Wiley, The Common Soldier in the Civil War (Grosset and Dunlap, 1960), page 170. L. J. Daniel, in Soldiering in the Army of the Tennessee (UNC Press, 1991), page 90, seems to identify this quote as taken from a letter from James Hall to his brother, April 19, 1864.
1864.24 Ohioan in Sherman’s Force Plays Near Atlanta
“Tuesday [September] 27  pleasant weather, I was detailed for Camp guard the A.M. we had a game of ball this afternoon, I stood two tricks of guard only.”
Civil War Diary of Samuel Whitehead, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center MS collection, Ac #4248. Accessed 6/21 on Google Web search with “’samuel whitehead’ diary” search. The diary covers about May through November 1864. In September the 100th OH was at Decatur, GA, about 5 miles east of Atlanta. He was mortally wounded in November.
1864c.52 Former Mass-Game Champs Form Winning Wartime Team
"A much more pleasing picture is the recreation enjoyed by the boys of the 33rd [MA] Regiment. There were thirteen Sharon boys in the regiment and most of them had been members of the Sharon Massapoags, the state baseball champions of 1857. . . .
"They formed a nine of their own and soon defeated every team in the regiment. The New York boys of the 136th regiment next fell before them. At Atlanta their contest with a nine from the whole Cumberland army was crowned with success. Though unfortunately, but quite naturally the victors became insufferably conceited."
Amy Morgan Rafter Pratt, The History of Sharon, Massachusetts to 1865 (Boston U masters thesis, 1935), page 74. Search string: <morgan rafter pratt>.