|Misc BB Firsts|
|Add a Misc BB First|
|About the Chronology|
|Add a Chronology Entry|
1859.7 Southern Game Takes Place in Aristocratic Setting
"A report on one game in 1859 told of 'commodious tents for the ladies spread under the umbrageous branches of the fine old live oaks,' where refreshments were served by the 'polite stewards of the clubs."
Seymour, Harold, Baseball: the Early Years [Oxford University Press, 1989], p. 40. [No ref given.]
Quote is from Porter's Spirit of the Times, October 1, 1859.
1859.31 New Orleans Leans Toward MA Game?
"New Orleans experiences a boom in 1859 when 7 teams were started and two more followed the next year. These early New Orleans LA nines first used Massachusetts rules, but by 1860 they had all switched to NABBP rules."
Somers, Dale, The Rise of Sports in New Orleans 1850-1900 (Louisiana State Press, Baton Rouge, 1972), footnote 73 on pages 49-50.
Richard Hershberger [email of 10/19/2009] notes that, in examining the article on the MA game, he found that the sides had ten players each, but seems otherwise to reflect Association rules. He notes that outside of match games, it was not unusual for clubs to depart from the having nine players on a side.
1859.49 Clubs Form in New Orleans LA, Interclub Play Begins
"The first interclub game reported in Louisiana took place on September 15, 1859, when the Empire Club beat the Louisiana Club, 77-64, a game which took two days to complete."
William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (McFarland, 2009), page 113. (no ref. given). A report and box score appears in the New York Clipper, Oct. 8, 1859.
The first “match” game in New Orleans between two different clubs was played August 12, 1859 between the Empire and Louisiana Base Ball Clubs, won by Empire [Times-Picayune, August 13, 1859]. [ba]
Another pair of clubs followed closely. The Southern and Magnolia clubs played in early October. [John Husman, "Ohio's First Baseball Game," July 16, 2004, page 4 (no source given).]
1863.60 New Bats and Balls Arrive, But 91st NY Loses Again
“Saturday, November 21, 1863. Fine and cool. The Base Ball match comes off and the 91st gets beat by two runs and the[y] come home jolly.”
From a telephone auction offering that has this description: “Fascinating personal journal was carried on the person of 91st New York Volunteer Infantry Private Edwin Keay during the Union Army campaign of 1863 through the bayous and battlefields of Louisiana. . . Diary is perhaps most valuable, however, for its several mentions of the game of baseball, which are all but impossible to find in journals from the war . . . . ‘Thursday, December 3 . . . The new bats and balls have come up and the match takes place this afternoon . . . the 91st gets beat.’” Accessed at the Giamatti Center of the Baseball Hall of Fame [Civil War file] on June 26, 2009. The auction clip is not dated. The 91st was organized in Albany. It was garrisoned at New Orleans for much of 1863 and early 1864. Note: does the December entry imply that the Union Army supplied bats and balls to the troops? Note: It appears that other baseball-related entries are in the diary. Can we find it? A copy of a Keay diray, possibly a later one, is reportedly held as item MDMS-5433 in the Maryland Manuscript Collection [Keay spent some of 1865 stationed in Baltimore].
1863.66 They didn't know the rules!
The members of the Chicago Light Artillery (Taylor's Battery) played baseball at the army's base at Young's Point, LA (across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg), in April of 1863. According to soldier Israel P. Rumsey, the soldiers broke out their balls and bats and "played Base Ball according to the rule for the first time" even though nobody could agree on exactly what the rules were! Rumsey's diary is quoted in Bjorn Skaptasan, "The Chicago Light Artillery at Vicksburg," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Autumn/Winter 2013, p. 422-462 at 438
Bjorn Skaptasan, "The Chicago Light Artillery at Vicksburg," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Autumn/Winter 2013, p. 422-462 at 438
1863.104 Grant's Men Play Town-Ball in the Swamps
Woodworth, "Nothing But Victory: The Army of Tennessee, 1861-1865" p. 299 writes that Grant's army , in camp at Lake Providence opposite Vicksburg, "had time to play 'town ball' in their off-duty hours."
Woodworth cites the diary of Abram J. Vanauken, Feb. 3, 7, 12, 13, 1863, at the Illinois State Historical Library.
Woodworth, "Nothing But Victory: The Army of Tennessee, 1861-1865" p. 299
1864.6 Officers in 30th MA Play Base Ball In February 1864
“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?
1864.9 Chicago Marine Plays Base Ball in Louisiana
[March 3] “Went on shore at 10 ½ o’clock this morning and played base ball for about 3 hours. At 3 p.m. practiced with revolver.”
[March 10] “Went out in the afternoon and exercised my men in company drill. Played a game of ball.”
J. Jones and E. Keuchel, eds., Civil War Marine: a Diary of the Red River Expedition, 1864 (US Marine Corps, 1975) page 34-35. Provided by Jeff Kittel, May 12, 2009. Church was a member of the small [3800 troops] Marine Corps sent from Cairo IL to support the Red River campaign, intended to liberate TX, AR, and LA [it didn’t]. The base ball entries preceded the March 13 start of fighting. Church’s diary covers three spring months of 1864.
This unit was part of the Mississippi River Marine Brigade, which was NOT a part of the US Marines. [ba]
1864.33 New Yorkers Lose Their Only Ball, and Their Centerfielder
“I remember helping to organize for our own regiment as baseball nine which won the championship of the read-guard, defeating some active nines from Connecticut and Massachusetts. For our regimental team I served as pitcher and I believe as captain.
“The baseball contests were, however, brought suddenly to a close through an unfortunate misunderstanding with the Rebels, upon whose considerateness in this matter of sports we had, it appeared, placed too much confidence. We found no really satisfactory ground for baseball within the lines of our fortifications and, after experimenting with a field just outside our earthworks, we concluded that risk of using a better field which was just outside the line of the pickets. It was, of course, entirely contrary not only to ordinary regulations but to special orders prohibiting any men from going through the picket lines. It was particularly absurd for men without arms to run any such risk. I do not now understand how the officers of the 176th, including the major commanding, could have permitted themselves to incur such a breach of discipline, but the thing was done and trouble resulted therefrom.
“We were winning a really beautiful game from the 13th Connecticut, a game in which our own pickets, who were the only spectators, found themselves much interested. Suddenly there came a scattering fire of which the three outfielders caught the brunt: the centre field was hit and was captured, the left and right field managed to get into our lines. Our pickets fell forward with all possible promptness as the players fell back. The Rebel attack, which was made with merely a skirmish line, was repelled without serious difficulty, but we had lost not only our centre field but our baseball and it was the only baseball in Alexandria.
G. H. Putnam, Memories of My Youth 1844-1865 (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1914), pp 48-49. Accessed 6/28/09 on Google Books via “’my youth’ putnam” search. The 176th was part of the Red River Campaign, and Alexandria LA is in mid-Louisiana, about equidistant from Baton Rouge and Shreveport. The 176th, raised in New York City, was at Alexandria LA from mid-April to mid-May of 1864. The 13th CT, organized in Hartford, was there April 30 to May 10. Kirsch and Millen both carry the meat of this colorful passage. Millen identifies Putnam with the 114th NY.
1864.80 176th NY Plays Baseball in LA
The New York Sunday Mercury, Jan. 3, 1864 reports that the 176th NY, stationed at Bonne Carre Bend, LA, have formed two teams and are enjoying baseball games. Two recent matches (probably in 1863) are mentioned, and the names of the players are given.
1864.83 176th NY Plays 9th CT in LA
The New York Sunday Mercury, March 20, 1864 reports that at Madisonville, LA the 176th NY played the 9th CT, both teams composed "exclusively of commissioned officers." The 176th won, 46-5.
1865.36 Chicago artillerist plays baseball in Baton Rouge, earns $5
Winters, "The Civil War in Louisiana" p. 404 cites the diary of Florison D. Pitts, of the Chicago Mercantile Battery (at LSU): "While at Baton Rouge [in early 1865] he attended the circus and played baseball, receiving five dollars for the latter."