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1860.11 Eager for Base Ball
"Base Ball-- This healthful and exciting exercise was very generally popular this fall, especially in the Northern States, and we hope it will be introduced here as soon as the heated term passes off. We noticed the other evening a party engaged in Base Ball on the Edgefield side of the river, all apparently enjoying themselves. The early closing of the stores gives a fine opportunity to the young men engaged in mercantile pursuits...Let us have Base Ball Clubs organized, then, and the fun commenced."
Nashville Republican Banner, July 25, 1860.
Edgefield is a residential area of Nashville on the east side of the Cumberland River. Now an historic neighborhood.
1862.21 Michigan Colonel Plays Ball in Tennessee, Still Rebuffs Rebs
The 12th Michigan Regiment had the task in December 1862 of guarding a supply railroad in Tennessee. On December 24, a detachment under Col. Wm. Graves was surrounded by a large rebel force that approached under white flag, demanding surrender. Graves' account: "The officer asked, 'Who is in command?' I answered, 'I am;' whereupon he surveyed me from head to foot (I had been playing ball that morning, pants in boots, having a jacket without straps) . . . ." Graves refused, a two-hour fight ensued, and the rebels retreated.
J. Robertson, compiler, Michigan in the War (W. S. George, Lansing MI, 1882), page 327. Accessed 6/4/09 on Google Books via ""michigan in the war" search. PBall file: CW-29.
The regiment seems to have been drawn from the vicinity of Niles, MI, which is 10 miles north of South Bend IN and 60 miles east of Chicago.. The 1862 engagement occurred at Middleburg TN, which is at about the midpoint between Nashville and Memphis.
1864.71 Soldier in TN asks sister to send him a baseball
Original 2 page handwritten letter from Alonzo P. Brown of the Company E 107th Regiment New York Volunteers as he writes to a young lady (we think his married sister) named Mrs. James H. Giles from the battlefields of the Civil War. Written in ink he talks of her sending him a baseball she had promised as in a previous letter he explained that everyone was baseball crazy and they needed a good ball to play with in camp! He writes, "You state that you are going to send the Ball." I have another letter to document this is clearly in regard to baseball!
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