They marched over our bowling road?

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Various forms of bowling had been played in the United State long before the U.S. became a nation. While in camp both Union and Confederate soldiers play a style of bowling known as Irish road blowing. Irish road bowling was popular in Irish regiments. It was in bad form for another unit to march over another unit's bowling road and destroy the surface. The rules for modern bowling were not establish until well after the Civil War and the U.S. had regional types of bowling well in to the 1980s and probably beyond.

http://wvirishroadbowling.com/civil-war-era-sport-in-west-virginia-.html
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Various forms of bowling had been played in the United State long before the U.S. became a nation. While in camp both Union and Confederate soldiers play a style of bowling known as Irish road blowing. Irish road bowling was popular in Irish regiments. It was in bad form for another unit to march over another unit's bowling road and destroy the surface. The rules for modern bowling were not establish until well after the Civil War and the U.S. had regional types of bowling well in to the 1980s and probably beyond.

http://wvirishroadbowling.com/civil-war-era-sport-in-west-virginia-.html
Interesting, I had never heard of road bowling before, thanks for sharing. However, there were bowling alleys in several of the towns in Mississippi, as well as in other states before, during and after the Civil War, both of the indoor and outdoor varieties. German immigrants were instrumental in fostering the game's popularity in America as they formed their own bowling clubs, well before and after the American Civil War. The first indoor bowling alley was Knickerbockers of New York City, built in 1840, and had lanes made of baked clay. In 1875, delegates from 11 bowling clubs in New York City and Brooklyn gathered to form the National Bowling Association (NBA) and adopt a set of standard playing rules. While they agreed on a uniform distance of 60 feet from foul line to head pin and the size of the bowling ball, there were many other disagreements, including scoring, that caused splinter groups to form.

In Europe, bowling was played with nine-pins but once the game was introduced to America it quickly became a ten-pin game, making it uniquely American. You could play outdoors standing ten wooden pins up on a flat open space and try to knock them over with a wooden ball on a makeshift baked clay court or build an indoor alley with elevated wooden plank lanes having people positioned near the pins to stand them back up and return the bowling ball once the frame was shot. All of the pins and balls were carved from wood. The ten-pin indoor alley built at the small town of Hillsboro, MS., between 1850-1860, was one of the very first of its kind in Mississippi. Bowling was brought to the small town by some of the Germans who migrated there between 1835-1860, and with them they brought some of their games and customs from Europe to assist them in making the transition to a new land and culture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling

https://www.bowlingmuseum.com/Visit/Online-Exhibits/History-of-Bowling-in-the-US

Some of the other popular forms of entertainment during the Civil War era, that saw a lot of participation and drew large crowds of spectators, in addition to ten-pin bowling were; ring tournaments, horse racing (flat racing), shooting matches, chess, log-rollings and corn husking bee`s. Quilting parties were commonly held by women and kite building and flying for the kids.

Below is an illustration from the 20 Oct 1860 Harpers Weekly cover of an indoor ten-pin bowling alley at Washington, D.C. You can see the wood court, and at the very end you see the people selected to set the pins after every frame and return the ball to the player(s), so the next frame can be played.

1860 Harpers Weekly cover bowling alley.jpg


20 Oct 1860 - Harpers Weekly Magazine - Bowling Alley.jpg
 
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