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Ballplaying Peaks in the Civil War Camps

Salience Prominent
Tags Civil War, Military
Location VA
Game Base Ball, Cricket, Wicket, Massachusetts Game
Age of Players Adult

[A] [In April 1863] "the Third Corps and the Sixth Corps baseball teams met near White Oak Church, Virginia, to play for the championship of the Army of the Potomac."

Ballplaying in the Civil War Camps increased rapidly during the War, reaching a peak of 82 known games in April 1863 -- while the troops still remained in their winter camps.  Base ball was by a large margin the game of choice among soldiers, but wicket, cricket, and the Massachusetts game were occasionally played.  Play was much more common in the winter camps than near the battle fronts.


[A] History.  The First National Bank of Scranton, PA (Scranton, 1906), page 37.  This is, at this time,  the only known reference to championship games in the warring armies.

See also Patricia Millen, "On thte Battlefield, the New York Game Takes Hold, 1861-1865," Base Ball Journal, Volume 5, number 1 (Special Issue on Origins), pages 149-152.

See also Larry McCray, Ballplaying in Civil War Camps.


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Is it possible that a collection of trophy balls, at the Hall of Fame or elsewhere, would provide more evidence of the prevalence of base ball in the Civil War?

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