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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR > FAVORITE PASTIMES DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a thread dedicated to the discussion of some of the mores, pastimes, cultural pleasures which were part of the American Civil War era.




message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This was an interesting article in Baseball Almanac:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/artic...


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is an article from the Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site:

CIVIL WAR BASEBALL: BATTLING ON THE DIAMOND:

http://oha.alexandriava.gov/fortward/...


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is an interesting book from the Princeton University Press:

Baseball in Blue and Gray The National Pastime during the Civil War by George B. Kirsch George B. Kirsch

Here is a review:

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/749...


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Here is a teacher's guide related to Baseball: Across a Divided Society from the Library of Congress:

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroom...


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Here is a pdf file showing Union prisoners at Salisbury N.C playing baseball:

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroom...

Source: The Library of Congress


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 18, 2014 06:45AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
The Brooklyn Atlantics were the best baseball team during the Civil War years:




message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 14, 2010 01:06AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Here is a great little history of baseball including what was going on with the sport during the American Civil War:

http://www.awesomestories.com/sports/...

Source: Awesome Stories


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Regarding Baseball:

Source: Historynet.com

http://www.historynet.com/baseball-in...


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a great article from the The Smithsonian Associates Civil War E-Mail Newsletter, Volume 5, Number 10 titled:

The 1860's - When Men Were Men and They Played Baseball in Washington

http://civilwarstudies.org/articles/V...


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Champion Thinking by Jim Meier:

http://civilwarstudies.org/articles/V...

Now Playing:Civil War Soldiers Still Teach Us Baseball Lessons Today


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Ken Burns on Civil War Baseball Jazz Trilogy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG1okJ...


message 14: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) One of the other pastimes, especially in the military camps was music and song, with guitars, mandolins, and harmonicas. One of the standard songs was The Battle Cry of Freedom.....it is also known as Rally 'Round The Flag. Below are the lyrics of both the Union and CSA versions.

Lyrics (Union version)

"Yes we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

(Chorus)
The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor, up with the star;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks with a million freemen more,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

Chorus

We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And although they may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!"

Lyrics (Confederate version)

"Our flag is proudly floating on the land and on the main,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Beneath it oft we've conquered, and we'll conquer oft again!
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

(Chorus)
Our Dixie forever! She's never at a loss!
Down with the eagle and up with the cross!
We'll rally 'round the bonny flag, we'll rally once again,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

Our gallant boys have marched to the rolling of the drums.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
And the leaders in charge cry out, "Come, boys, come!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--

Chorus

They have laid down their lives on the bloody battle field.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Their motto is resistance -- "To the tyrants never yield!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--

Chorus

While our boys have responded and to the fields have gone.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Our noble women also have aided them at home.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!--"

I thought it was appropriate to post this song when we are currently having a group read of the book, Battle Cry of Freedeom

Battle Cry of Freedom The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson by James M. McPherson James M. McPherson


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Jill I had already added this to the Battle Cry of Freedom glossary etc.and threads and thought I added it here somewhere; but this kind of duplication is no problem. I also added a musical rendition to listen to I believe.


message 16: by Jill (last edited May 21, 2012 01:42PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Bentley - I didn't think to look at the book glossary.....sorry, but as you indicate, it is worth repeating in this topic for those who are not participating in the group read.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
No, I think it is great.


message 18: by Jill (last edited May 30, 2014 05:47PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I would really have to be bored to engage in this sport!!

Soldiers participated in all kinds of activities such as boxing, broad jumping, wrestling
matches, foot races, hurdles, mock fighting, marbles, checkers, chess, dominoes, dice, cock-
fights, and the new game of baseball.
For the VERY bored, there were louse races. That’s right, louse races. At first, Civil War soldiers were horrified to find that they had lice. But, as there seemed to be no way to get rid of the vermin for good, soldiers grew used to them – and could even have fun with them Soldiers in both armies had louse races. In camp at Tupelo, Mississippi, Sam Watkins noted that "there was one fellow who was winning all the money; his lice would run quicker and
crawl faster than anybody’s lice. We could not understand it...the lice were placed in plates – this was the race course – and the first that crawled off was the winner. At last we found out [his] trick; he always heated the plate."

At Fort McHenry there was an ant bed in the lower end of the yard, and every day there would be from five to ten prisoners around that bed, picking off lice and having them and the ants fighting. They would have a regular pitched battle, and would get up bets on them. Sometimes the ants would drag the louse off, but often times a big louse would stand them off. It was great sport for the prisoners
(Source: http://www.civilwar.org/education/pdf...)


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Couldn't agree more.


message 20: by Martin (new)

Martin Hedges | 6 comments Does anyone have any record of anyone playing cricket?
No, don't laugh. It was almost equal with baseball on the East Coast from Philadelphia to New York before the war.


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 18, 2014 06:58AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
The history of United States cricket begins in the 18th century. Among early Americans, cricket was as popular a bat and ball game as baseball. Though Americans generally never played cricket in great numbers, it did enjoy an initial period of sustained growth.[1] Around the time of the United States Civil War, the game began competing with baseball for participants, but then slowly declined in popularity. This was followed again by a brief golden age with the Philadelphian cricket team. This lasted until roughly the start of World War I, at this time cricket again became less popular. In the latter part of the 20th century immigrants from cricket playing nations in south Asia and the West Indies helped spark a resurgence in the game's popularity. This led to participation and success in several International Cricket Council events. In 2007, the United States of America Cricket Association was suspended by the ICC because of problems with its administration, but was again recognized beginning in 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket_...

From the Smithsonian - good article:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-...

Walter Newhall - International Cricketer - died in Civil War

http://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketer...

Journal of Sport History:

http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary...

American Cricket in the 1860s: Decade of Decline or New Start?

http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2012/09/04...

I think that cricket was a casualty of the Civil War.

Bats, Balls and Bullets

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/...

Patriot game
The England batsman and author on how cricket, once so popular in America, was squeezed out by baseball.


by Ed Smith
The Observer, Saturday 2 July 2005

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2005...


message 22: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4352 comments Mod
Baseball's First Inning: A History of the National Pastime Through the Civil War

Baseball's First Inning A History of the National Pastime Through the Civil War by William J. Ryczek by William J. Ryczek (no photo)

Synopsis:

This history of America's pastime describes the evolution of baseball from early bat and ball games to its growth and acceptance in different regions of the country. The New York clubs (i.e., the Atlantics, Excelsiors and Mutuals) are a primary focus, serving as examples of how the sport became more sophisticated and popular. The author compares theories about many of baseball's "inventors," exploring the often fascinating stories of several of baseball's oldest founding myths. The impact of the Civil War on the sport is discussed and baseball's unsteady path to becoming America's national game is analyzed at length.


message 23: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the winter, the snowball fight became quite the thing....whole divisions would form a team and fight with ice packed snowballs. Quite a few broken limbs were the result. (Source: The Fighting Men of the Civil War)

Fighting Men Of The Civil War (Rebels & Yankees Series) by William C. Davis by William C. Davis(no photo)


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thanks Jerome and Jill


message 25: by Jill (last edited Feb 11, 2015 11:49AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) An interesting article from the Civil War Trust site.

To fill the long hours between marches and battles, soldiers on both sides of the conflict found ways to amuse themselves. Reading was a popular way to pass the time. Soldiers read letters, newspapers, novels, the Bible, and any other printed material they could find. In fact, when stationed not far from enemy lines, they would occasionally trade newspapers with their opponents. Milton Barrett, a soldier in the 18th Georgia Volunteers, wrote in 1863:

Our regiment has just come off picket. We stood close together and could talk to each other, then when the officers were not present we exchanged papers and barter tobacco for coffee. The way we managed this is with a small boat. with sail set it will go over by itself then they send back in return the same way.

Soldiers who had not brought their own Bible could obtain a free copy from the U.S. Christian Commission. When they had no reading matter they wrote it themselves, sometimes even publishing their own camp or hospital newspapers. These newspapers often contained accounts of battles, poetry and essays, or propagandistic messages for the enemy. Some enterprising soldiers established literary or debating societies. Music was a popular diversion, as well—from informal singing around the fire to staged balls.

Gambling prevailed in every conceivable form—from horse races to louse races. Games like cards, chess, checkers, and dominoes could be played for money or simply for fun, were quiet, and easily carried in a knapsack. Card games such as poker, twenty-one, keno, and euchre were played on both sides of the line, but by the last years of battle decks of cards were hard to come by in the Southern ranks. Confederate soldiers obtained more from Union prisoners, fallen soldiers, or by trade with their Federal counterparts.

More athletic activities included wrestling, boxing, leapfrog, racing on foot or horseback, cricket, and—in at least one instance—bowling using cannon balls to knock down rough wooden pins. Baseball, played differently than it is today, was another popular sport. (The ball was soft and the field could contain either two or four bases. Runners were only considered “out” when the pitcher hit them with the ball.)

Semi-permanent winter quarters meant that soldiers had time to develop more ambitious ways to pass the time. Occasionally, they would establish their own theater companies, such as the “Essayons” of the Union’s 50th New York Engineers or the drama club of the Confederacy’s 9th Kentucky Infantry. Winter, with its attendant cold weather, also brought a new range of activities such as ice skating, sledding, and building “snow effigies.”

One of the more violent winter games was the snowball battle. Whole brigades would form up in lines, develop plans of attack, and set out to pummel the other side with hard missiles of snow and ice. Even officers joined in the battles, which often resulted in black eyes, bruises, and an occasional broken limb.
(Source: http://www.civilwar.org/education/his...)


message 26: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Dominos & Playing Cards



During the war, soldiers enjoyed many idle hours in camp. Time was spent in repairing uniforms, writing letters, guard duty, fatigue duty, spiritual activities, and engaging in other pursuits, such as playing cards and dominos. It was common for soldiers to carry cards and dominos in their haversacks, knapsacks or pockets.

Playing cards of the period were plain, lacking numbers and markings on the face cards. Dominos were made of various materials including wood, bone and ivory.

Gambling and card playing were condemned by many chaplains on both sides as a violation of the Christian faith. Aided by families at home, chaplains and religious leaders tried to convince soldiers to end the practice. Some men took such persuasion to heart and divested themselves of their cards; others threw decks of cards away as they marched into battle, only to retrieve them later. Undoubtedly, many soldiers carried both playing cards and Bibles, a representation of the on-going battle in their minds between the sacred and secular worlds.

Images Courtesy Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30417 & 30433
(Source: Trans-Mississippi Theatre | Virtual Museum)

More:
Civil War Camp Life by Gloria Sananes Stein by Gloria Sananes Stein (no photo)


message 27: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Leisure Activities During the Civil War

Leisure activities were similar in both the Union and Confederate army and most free time was spent writing letters home. Soldiers were prolific letter writers and wrote at every opportunity. It was the only way for them to communicate with loved ones and inform the home folks of their condition and where they were. Thrifty soldiers sent their pay home to support their families and kept only a small amount to see them through until the next payday. The arrival of mail in camp was a cause for celebration no matter where the soldiers were and there was sincere grumbling when the mail arrived late. The lucky soldiers who received a letter from home often read and re-read them many times. Packages from home contained baked goods, new socks or shirts, underwear, and often soap, towels, combs, and toothbrushes. Union soldiers often spent their free time at the sutler's store, comparable to the modern post exchange, where they could purchase toiletries, canned fruit, pocketknives, and other supplementary items, but usually at exorbitant prices. A private's salary amounted to $13.00 per month in 1863 and those unfortunates who owed the sutler watched as most of their pay was handed over to the greedy businessman on pay day. Confederates did not have the luxury of sutlers, who disappeared soon after the war began. Instead they depended on the generosity of folks at home or farmers and businessmen near the camps.

Free time was also spent in card games, reading, pitching horseshoes, or team sports such as the fledgling sport of baseball, a game which rapidly gained favor among northern troops. Rule booklets were widely distributed and the game soon became a favorite. Soldiers also played a form of football that appeared more like a huge brawl than the game we know today, and often resulted in broken noses and fractured limbs. Holidays were celebrated in camp with feasts, foot races, horse racing, music, boxing matches, and other contests. But while on active campaign, the soldiers were limited to writing, cleaning uniforms and equipment, and sleeping.

(Source:CivilWar.com)


message 28: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Music Along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia

Music Along the Rapidan Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia by James A. Davis by James A. Davis (no photo)

Synopsis:

In December 1863, Civil War soldiers took refuge from the dismal conditions of war and weather. They made their winter quarters in the Piedmont region of central Virginia: the Union’s Army of the Potomac in Culpeper County and the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia in neighboring Orange County. For the next six months the opposing soldiers eyed each other warily across the Rapidan River.

In Music Along the Rapidan James A. Davis examines the role of music in defining the social communities that emerged during this winter encampment. Music was an essential part of each soldier’s personal identity, and Davis considers how music became a means of controlling the acoustic and social cacophony of war that surrounded every soldier nearby.

Music also became a touchstone for colliding communities during the encampment—the communities of enlisted men and officers or Northerners and Southerners on the one hand and the shared communities occupied by both soldier and civilian on the other. The music enabled them to define their relationships and their environment, emotionally, socially, and audibly.


message 29: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Music has always played a major part of any war and this book traces the types of songs that were popular during the Civil War.

Music of the Civil War Era

Music of the Civil War Era by Steven H. Cornelius by Steven H. Cornelius (no photo)

Synopsis:

As divisive and destructive as the Civil War was, the era nevertheless demonstrated the power that music could play in American culture. Popular songs roused passion on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, and military bands played music to entertain infantry units-and to rally them on to war. The institution of slavery was debated in songs of the day, ranging from abolitionist anthems to racist minstrel shows. Across the larger cultural backdrop, the growth of music publishing led to a flourishing of urban concert music, while folk music became indelibly linked with American populism. This volume, one of the first in the American History through Music series, presents narrative chapters that recount the many vibrant roles of music during this troubled period of American history. A chapter of biographical entries, a dictionary of Civil War era music, and a subject index offer useful reference tools.--The American History through Music series examines the many different styles of music that have played a significant part in our nation's history. While volumes in this series show the multifaceted roles of music in culture, they also use music as a lens through which readers may study American social history. The authors present in-depth analysis of American musical genres, significant musicians, technological innovations, and the many connections between music and the realms of art, politics, and daily life. Chapters present accessible narratives on music and its cultural resonations, music theory and technique is broken down for the lay reader, and each volume presents a chapter of alphabetically arranged entries on significant people and terms.


message 30: by Jill (last edited Nov 07, 2016 06:20PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Another book which stresses the importance of music to the soldiers in the Civil War.

Music Along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia

Music Along the Rapidan Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia by James A. Davis by James A. Davis (no photo)

Synopsis:

In December 1863, Civil War soldiers took refuge from the dismal conditions of war and weather. They made their winter quarters in the Piedmont region of central Virginia: the Union’s Army of the Potomac in Culpeper County and the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia in neighboring Orange County. For the next six months the opposing soldiers eyed each other warily across the Rapidan River.

In Music Along the Rapidan James A. Davis examines the role of music in defining the social communities that emerged during this winter encampment. Music was an essential part of each soldier’s personal identity, and Davis considers how music became a means of controlling the acoustic and social cacophony of war that surrounded every soldier nearby.

Music also became a touchstone for colliding communities during the encampment—the communities of enlisted men and officers or Northerners and Southerners on the one hand and the shared communities occupied by both soldier and civilian on the other. The music enabled them to define their relationships and their environment, emotionally, socially, and audibly.


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Civil War Games

Civil War games were common on both sides during the war. Games did a lot to keep the troops entertained and ease the constant boredom of soldier life. While in camp soldiers wanted to socialize with each other, there is no better way to socialize then to play games, especially if you are living in a Civil War tent with one or more men for a long period of time.

Remainder of article:

https://www.civilwaracademy.com/civil...

Source: Civil War Academy.com


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Leisure Activities during the Civil War

http://www.civilwar.com/index.php/ove...

Source: Civilwar.com


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