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Southern Soldier Notes Repeated Ballplaying, Including Game of Cat

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

Finding, on the Chancellorsville battlefield, a partly used diary in the abandoned knapsack of a Union soldier from the 87th NY, Robert T. Douglass started making entries in May 1864.

“May 26 . . . Quite pleasant this afternoon. Played a game of ball with my friends in the 40th Va. Reg.” “May 27. . . . Relieved from guard this morning. Out in the field playing ball with a portion of the 40th Reg.” “May 28. . . . Played ball.” “May 30. . . . Played ball this evening for sport as I had nothing else to do. Bad news from home.” “June 2. . . . Played ball this afternoon. No news in camp of any importance.” “June 11 . . . . Played a game of ball called cat.” Douglass returned the diary to its original owner in 1867.

Provided by Michael Aubrecht, May 15, 2009. The diary is also found online: Google web search: “douglass diary morrisville.” Note: Douglass’ unit appears to have stayed near the Stafford/Chancellorsville area in May and June. His diary entries continue through 1863 but have no additional ballplaying references. Accessed online 6/15/09.

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