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Union General Refers to “Long Ball”

Salience Peripheral
Tags Civil War, Military
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

“Our light artillery rapidly gained position within range and the firing became general. The main body of our army [were] passive spectators of this game of ‘long ball,’ but not without partaking of its dangers.”

Alexander Hays, “Letter from Alexander Hays, 1861,” in Life and Letters of Alexander Hays, Brevet Colonel United States Army (publisher? date?), page 708. Provided by Jeff Kittel, 5/12/09. Not available online May 2009. Jeff notes that Hays was a Union general from PA who was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864. Available online at The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries Database, at http://solomon.cwld.alexanderstreet.com/.

Query: Was Hays using a literal reference to the game of long ball, or was this a general analogy used at the time?

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