How many of you baseball fans knew that Abner Doubleday not only invented baseball but that he was also a key officer for the Union at Fort Sumter during the crisis of 1860-1861? If you said, “I did!” then you’ve probably been fooled! Most of us “know” that he invented what is now America’s national pastime, but few fans have heard of his key role in the Civil War (granted, readers of this blog are more likely to take the opposite stance, I suppose). But while Doubleday most certainly was a Captain at the fort, next in rank to Major Anderson, his inventing of baseball is, well, a bit less certain. Take a look at his Wikipedia page and the page about inventing baseball and make your own judgment. Has the public been fooled all this time? Either way, every Opening Day serves as a great opportunity to reflect on Doubleday’s service, Fort Sumter and the Civil War itself, and things like baseball that are uniquely ours and unite us as Americans. GO WHITE SOX!!!
Battle flag (cropped) of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie against the British, Sep. 10, 1813.
South Carolina’s Civil War Sesquicentennial is on Facebook!