Chronology:WV

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1861.71 Irish Soldiers play ball with Rebel shells

Location:

WV

Age of Players:

Adult

The Cleveland Herald, Nov. 26, 1861, headlined "New One for Paddy" explains how Irish-American soldiers reacted to Confederate shelling: "One of the Massachusetts regiments had a game of base ball they day after the slaughter of Edwards' Ferry [the battle of BAlls Bluff], bu the Cleveland Hibernian Guard of the Eighth Ohio regiment, beat them at Romney... the Hibernian Guard actually stacked their arms and commenced playing ball with the six pounders that the enemy sent among them, tossing them about as cooly as if they were in the Cleveland Public Square."

Given the weight of the cannon balls, could this have been a rugby-like ball game?

Sources:

The Cleveland Herald, Nov. 26, 1861

Year
1861
Item
1861.71
Edit

1862.64 Winter Baseball in West Virginia

Location:

WV

Age of Players:

Adult

The Gallipolis Journal, Jan. 8, 1863 reports that last month soldiers of the 91st Ohio amused themselves by playing ball in the camp at Fayetteville.

Sources:

The Gallipolis Journal, Jan. 8, 1863

Year
1862
Item
1862.64
Edit

1862.72 Town Ball club formed by Ohio Regiment in West Virginia

Location:

WV

Game:

Town Ball

Age of Players:

Adult

The Leavenworth (KS) Daily Conservative, May 18, 1862 prints a May 2 letter from a soldier in the 84th Ohio, Camp Union, Fayetteville, VA (now WV): "We are enjoying ourselves hugely. We have a town-ball club organized and a splendid field to play in. ..."

At this time town-ball was popular in Cincinnati (and Philadelphia and Evansville). Query if the unit had soldiers from that city.

Sources:

The Leavenworth (KS) Daily Conservative, May 18, 1862

Year
1862
Item
1862.72
Edit

1863.117 Future President notes ballplaying in camp

Location:

WV

Age of Players:

Adult

Notables:

Rutherford B. Hayes

"Conspicuous Gallantry: Civil War Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes" contains a April 22, 1863 letter from Camp White in which Hayes' notes that "Drilling, boating, ball-playing and the like make the time pass pleasantly."

Camp White was near Charleston, WV. Hayes had played ball while in college.

Sources:

"Conspicuous Gallantry: Civil War Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes"

Year
1863
Item
1863.117
Edit

1863.123 Confederate Cavalry plays ball in WVA

Location:

WV

Age of Players:

Adult

"...Jones and Imboden linked up, and spent several days together in Weston, where they staged a parade through the town and the troops under their command played ball on the grounds of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum."

Charleston Gazette-Mail, May 2, 2013. Jones and Imboden commanded brigades of VA Confederate cavalry. See also Summers, "The Baltimore and Ohio in the Civil War" p. 136, which notes this game was May 4, 1863 in Weston, now WVA.

Sources:

Charleston Gazette-Mail, May 2, 2013

Year
1863
Item
1863.123
Edit

1865.3 Bay Stater to Wife: “We had a gay old time playing ball . . . send me five dollars”

Location:

WV

Age of Players:

Adult

“My dear wife, We were drawn up in line this afternoon and informed we would be discharged and sent to our Regiments in ten days. We had a gay old time playing ball. . . . You must send me five dollars without fail. I am almost distracted by the want of tobacco.”

Letter home from Wheeling, West Virginia, by John R. Irving, May 4, 1865. Irving, in a Massachusetts Cavalry unit, was assigned to General Custer’s Division. Note: it is possible that the ellipsis in this rendering omits a bit more detail about the ballplaying. Accessed 6/22/09 by Google Web search “’john r irving’ ‘auction contents.’” The letter is descried under auction #2.1.

Differences from Modern Baseball: 117
Year
1865
Item
1865.3
External
117
Edit


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