Did Abner Doubleday invent baseball or is that a myth?

Gettysburg Guide #154

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Dec 30, 2019
In a long career in the US Army, July 1 was probably Abner Doubleday's finest hour as a soldier, right when the AotP needed someone to step up after Reynolds' death. It's a shame that he and Meade hated one another and that Doubleday has faded into the background of Gettysburg.

Ryan
I have never discovered the nature of the trouble between Doubleday and Meade. As a student of Gettysburg, I am a bit of a fan of Doubleday and Meade, and also Buford. However, I have sometimes wondered if Buford's message to Pleasanton at 3:30 p.m. on July 1, 1863, was perhaps the root, or at least the excuse, for Meade passing over Doubleday in favor of Newton. Buford's message stated in pertinent part: "General Reynolds was killed early this morning. In my opinion, there seems to be do directing person." It's hard to know if that last sentence was a knock on Doubleday or Howard. However, given that Buford seems focused on the fighting on the Cashtown Road, one would believe that he was focused west of town, i.e. on the First Corps.

Incidentally, Doubleday was senior to Newton among A.O.P. generals as of the day Hooker was relieved.
 

rpkennedy

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May 18, 2011
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Carlisle, PA
I have never discovered the nature of the trouble between Doubleday and Meade. As a student of Gettysburg, I am a bit of a fan of Doubleday and Meade, and also Buford. However, I have sometimes wondered if Buford's message to Pleasanton at 3:30 p.m. on July 1, 1863, was perhaps the root, or at least the excuse, for Meade passing over Doubleday in favor of Newton. Buford's message stated in pertinent part: "General Reynolds was killed early this morning. In my opinion, there seems to be do directing person." It's hard to know if that last sentence was a knock on Doubleday or Howard. However, given that Buford seems focused on the fighting on the Cashtown Road, one would believe that he was focused west of town, i.e. on the First Corps.

Incidentally, Doubleday was senior to Newton among A.O.P. generals as of the day Hooker was relieved.
The friction between Meade and Doubleday stemmed from their time together in the First Corps and a lot of it was simply a personality clash. Doubleday was an extremely intelligent man but was also the kind of person who couldn't let everyone around him forget it. At best, he had an abrasive personality and we all know how George Meade could get. It really boiled down to the fact that Doubleday rubbed Meade the wrong way. Buford's report as well as Howard's report in which he stated that the First Corps broke which led to the Eleventh Corps giving way (a blatant falsehood on the face of it) gave Meade all the information that he needed to relieve Doubleday from First Corps command. In the end, when Doubleday met with Meade after the battle and requested to be reinstated as corps commander, he was flatly denied and submitted his command resignation immediately which was accepted. He then spent the rest of the war in Washington, often attending the theater with the Lincolns (Doubleday and his wife were good friends with the President and First Lady) and conducting courts-martial. He briefly commanded part of the defenses of D.C. during Early's raid but that was the end of his field command during the war. Interestingly, after the war while he was stationed in San Francisco, he came up with the plan for what would become the city's trolley system.

As for seniority, Doubleday was the senior division commander in the Army of the Potomac and was even senior to George Sykes and Daniel Sickles, by date of rank. Being supplanted by John Newton, whose major general rank was not confirmed by Congress, had to have been a major slap in the face.

Ryan
 

Grant's Tomb

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Apr 4, 2020
What was Abner Graves' motivation in trying to give the credit to Abner Doubleday and Cooperstown?
Because Albert Goodwill Spalding who had been a pitcher in the 1870s and later became President of the National League and a sporting goods entrepreneur wanted to prove that baseball was purely an American invention. Which is absolutely ridiculous because baseball has no significant point of origin.
 

Grant's Tomb

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Apr 4, 2020
The Abner Doubleday story is fun, but it is a myth. According to John Thorn, author of Garden of Eden the Secret History of the Early Game, several versions of the game were played in the 18th Century in different parts of the country. Eventually, the New York game, which included foul territory and required players to stay on the base path while running won out. According the Thorn, the Doubleday myth was started by a mining engineer in Colorado.
A lot of the rules and the format for baseball as we know it today were established by Alexander Joy Cartwright and the New York Knickerbockers in the 1840s at the Elysian Fields in what is now Hoboken, NJ where the played on afternoons and weekends
 

Grant's Tomb

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Apr 4, 2020
Yes , Saratoga , Fort Stanwix , Fort Niagara , Crown Point , Fort William Henry , Fort Klock , the Grant Cottage , etc. Also visited the site of Bloody Pond ( 1755) where one of my girlfriend's ancestors was killed. I am envious of her because she had many in the Civil War as well...16th Michigan , 8th Michigan cavalry , Wilder's Brigade , 1st Michigan ( present at Gettysburg) and several NY regiments . We also visited the Oriskany site . The Mohawk valley was truly a civil war back then with neighbors and family fighting other neighbors and family.
Don't forget Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point near Lake Champlain. Sackets Harbor on the shore of Lake Ontario near Watertown was the site of a battle in the War of 1812. After the Mexican War, Ulysses Grant was stationed at Madison Barracks there twice with Julia before the 4th Infantry was ordered to reinforce the garrison of troops on the West Coast at Forts Vancouver and Fort Humboldt
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
Don't forget Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point near Lake Champlain. Sackets Harbor on the shore of Lake Ontario near Watertown was the site of a battle in the War of 1812. After the Mexican War, Ulysses Grant was stationed at Madison Barracks there twice with Julia before the 4th Infantry was ordered to reinforce the garrison of troops on the West Coast at Forts Vancouver and Fort Humboldt
We've been to Ticonderoga twice . I forgot to mention that . Crown Point once , but really enjoyed it . Didn't see "Champ" out in the lake though. Don't know if we'll make it this year with the Covid thing , but next year for sure.
 
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