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- 1 1862.86 An interesting game of base ball in Oxford, MS
- 2 1863.58 Ballplaying on the Lines at the Siege of Vicksburg
- 3 1863.76 Hawkeyes beat Suckers in Corinth, MS
- 4 1863.103 Arkansas soldiers play "Old Fashioned Town Ball"
- 5 1863.116 "we had a game of ball notwithstanding"
- 6 1863.120 A bully game of base ball
- 7 1864.59 Union POWs Play Town Ball
1862.86 An interesting game of base ball in Oxford, MS
Jenkins Lloyd Jones, "An Artilleryman's Civil War Diary": "Near Oxford, Friday, Dec. 19th... The delightful weather succeeded in enticing most of the boys from their well worn decks [of cards] and cribbage boards,bring them out in ball playing, pitching quoits, etc. Tallied for an interesting game of base ball."
Dec. 19, 1862, near Oxford, MS. Jones was a member of the 6th WI Battery.
Jenkins Lloyd Jones, "An Artilleryman's Civil War Diary"
Dup of 1862.20?
1863.58 Ballplaying on the Lines at the Siege of Vicksburg
“The civil war, however, arrested the development of the new game [base ball] for a time. It was played during the war in camps all over the south. Regiments and companies having their teams. Sergeant Dryden, of an Iowa regiment, relates that during the long waits in the trenches before Vicksburg, the Union and Confederate soldiers jokingly challenged each other to play baseball, and that during the brief truces the men of his company and the enemy played catch from line to line.
“’We were throwing and catching the ball belonging to our company ne day,’ he relates, ‘when firing commenced afresh and the men dived into their holes. There was a big fellow named Holleran who, after we got to cover, wanted to go over and whip the ‘Johnny Reb’ who hd stolen our ball. The next morning during a lull in the firing, that ‘Reb’ yelled to us and in a minute the baseball came flying over the works, so we played a game on our next relief.’”
The siege of Vicksburg MS occurred from late May to July 4 1863. Many Iowa regiments participated.
J. Evers and H. Fullerton, Touching Second: The Science of Baseball (Reilly and Britton, Chicago, 1910), pages 21-22. Accessed 6/28 on Google Books via “touching second” search. This book provides no source for the Dryden passage.
Note: can we locate an original source for the Dryden data?
I can't find a mention of this in any online newspaper. A Carlton Dryden, Sgt. in the 10th Iowa, is the likeliest candidate for the "Sgt. Dryden" mentioned.
1863.76 Hawkeyes beat Suckers in Corinth, MS
The New Albany (IN) Daily Ledger April 4, 1863, reprints a letter from a soldier in Corinth, MS, dated March 29, 1863, saying that yesterday a base ball team from the 2nd Iowa defeated a team from the 52nd IL 100 to 77. The letter-write avers that "'Base Ball' does a good service in killing off the 'blues.'"
See also the Davenport (IA) Daily Gazette, April 18, 1863.
The New Albany (IN) Daily Ledger April 4, 1863
1863.103 Arkansas soldiers play "Old Fashioned Town Ball"
General Abe Buford
Willis, Arkansas Confederates, p. 406, refers to Arkansas Confederates playing town ball, citing J. P. Cannon, "Inside of Rebeldom" p. 98 [Nov. 1863 in camp at Canton, MS]: "One of the most popular schemes invented to have fun and to pass the time was a game called 'old fashioned town ball,' which is the ancestor of today's baseball. Even Gen. Buford took great interest in the game, although his 300 pounds of flesh and fat (mostly fat)... prevented any participation more than a mere spectator."
Confederate Gen. Abraham Buford was an overweight and fun-loving brigade commander.
J. P. Cannon, "Inside of Rebeldom" p. 98
1863.116 "we had a game of ball notwithstanding"
Woodworth, "Cultures in Conflict--the American Civil War" p. 99 cites the Jan. 6, 1863 diary of Aurelius Voorhis, 46th IN, in Grant's army near Vicksburg, writing: "A cold, raw wind blew all day... We had a game of ball notwithstanding... [Drill] will take up some of our ball playing time but it suits me."
Woodworth, "Cultures in Conflict--the American Civil War" p. 99
1863.120 A bully game of base ball
"Had a bully game of base ball. Received letters from home."
Livermore, "My Story of the War" p. 379, quoting from the Chicago Mercantile Battery, at the siege of Vicksburg.
Livermore, "My Story of the War" p. 379
1864.59 Union POWs Play Town Ball
The Savannah Republican, Dec. 2, 1864 prints an item from the Canton MS Citizen of Nov. 11, says that Union soldiers captured at Athens, AL, while on parole and en route to Memphis for exchange, "played quite spiritedly in a game of old fashioned town ball" while in Canton.
Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest had captured the Union garrison at Athens shortly before this. "Parole" is a form of captivity where the POW gives his pledge not to escape, and will await a POW exchange.
The Savannah Republican, Dec. 2, 1864