A look at baseball found on Shiloh battlefield

The Cotton Boll Conspiracy

Shiloh Baseball

Baseball’s connection to the War Between the States has long been recognized. Soldiers played ball as a way to occupy free time, of which there was a great deal in between the occasional battle or skirmish or for those in prison camps, and officers saw it as a way to keep men active during down time.

However, baseball relics from 150 years ago are exceedingly rare, partly because the generally scarcity of luxury items such as sporting goods during the war, partly because of the transiency that is the nature of army life and partly because of time itself.

Which makes the above item all the more fascinating: Slate magazine published the image earlier this week of a ball found and retrieved in 1862 in Shiloh, Tenn., amid the detritus of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. The battle of Shiloh took place on April 6-7, 1862, and resulted in…

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