Civil War/ Baseball In The Civil War term paper 10229

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Bats, Balls, and Bullets: Baseball and the Civil War

Civil War Times Illustrated: May 1998 pp30-37

In the beginning of his articles, George B. Kirsch, addresses the origins of baseball. For many baseball was created in 1839 in Coopers town, New York by Abner Doubleday. Kirsch quickly points out that Doubleday probably did not invent the modern rules of baseball in 1839 because he was enrolled at West Point in 1838. Kirsch feels that now one person developed baseball but that the game evolved from other ball and bat games that were played throughout history. The two types of baseball mentioned by Kirsch are the Massachusetts and New York. The New York version is the one that gained the most popularity and was taken to war when the men enlisted.

Baseball was encouraged in the camps to help keep moral up and keep the men healthy. Many of the games were played among the regiments and every once in a while different regiments would play each other. The games usually took place inside the safety of the camps. Although Kirsch does mention that a few times games were played outside the camp and ultimately ended up being ambushed.

In the north the came continued to be played even though the majority of the men were off fighting. Teams from New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia often traveled to other towns to play games. This helped to keep moral up at home. Kirsch does mention that those men that stayed behind to play baseball were not looked upon badly in any way.

When the war ended baseball as we know it today was able to flourish. The organization began and various baseball leagues were formed. Kirsch gives baseball a lot of credit for helping to heal the wounds of the nation. He does mention that it wasn't baseball alone, but it did evolve itself into the nations favorite pastime.


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