The Pioneer Baseball Era in St. Louis and the Civil War
by Jeffrey Kittel
Note: I wrote this piece on St. Louis baseball during the Civil War in 2009 for the Missouri Civil War Museum's website. That site was recently revamped and I the link I have to the piece no longer works so I'm putting it up here. There's no doubt that the piece is out of date and that the research I've done over the last five years has changed some of my thinking about the effect of the war on baseball in St. Louis. We know have substantially more information and, therefore, know much more about baseball in St. Louis during the war. But it's still a nice piece and I wanted to share it. Just keep in mind that it's a bit out of date and doesn't reflect the most currant research.
In April of 1861, the Empire Club of St. Louis played a baseball game in celebration of the first anniversary of the founding of the club. The game, which pitted married club members against single members, was held at the Gamble Lawn grounds south of Gamble Avenue and West Twentieth Street and drew a large crowd of club members, women, children and members of the St. Louis baseball fraternity. Near the playing field, the club had erected a large tent to be used as a changing room for the players and as a place to keep ice water and refreshments-a common practice in the era before permanent baseball parks. At the top of the center tent pole flew a blue and gilt banner that had been presented to one of St. Louis’ volunteer fire companies by Col. John McNeil and then given by them to the Empire Club.
Sometime during the middle innings of the game, a detachment of the Home Guards, a pro-Union St. Louis militia that had recently been federalized, arrived at the Gamble Lawn grounds and surrounded the playing field. As the troops began to take the field, pandemonium broke out. The shrieks and cries of the women and children could be heard as the crowd quickly broke up and fled the area. The players seized bats, balls, bases and anything else they could use as a weapon and moved upon the troops in an effort to defend their field. With the players threatening violence and yelling and jeering at the troops, the Home Guard readied to fire upon them. However, just as bloodshed seemed immanent, Jeremiah Fruin, who played second base for the Empire Club and was a member of the Quartermaster Corp in the United States Army, jumped between the players and troops and ordered his teammates and fellow club members to stand down, bringing about a cessation of hostilities.
Merritt Griswold, a member of the Cyclone Base Ball Club of St. Louis who was at the game at the invitation of the Empire Club, also stepped forward in an effort to keep the peace. Griswold, besides being a member of the St. Louis baseball fraternity, happened to be a Captain with the 3rd Regiment of the Home Guards and, while talking to the commanding officer of the troops on the scene, learned that the officer believed that the banner flying over the changing tent was a Secessionist flag. Although Griswold attempted to explain the origin of the banner and how the Empire Club came into possession of it, the officer refused to accept his explanation and ordered the banner removed from the tent pole.
With the “Secesh” banner in hand, the Home Guard took several of the Empire Club players as prisoners and marched them to their headquarters at Turner Hall on Tenth Street. In command of the troops at Turner Hall was, coincidentally, Col. McNeil and he quickly recognized the Empire Club flag as the one that he had given to the volunteer fire company. McNeil, realizing that the situation was nothing more than a misunderstanding, released the players and returned the flag to the club. The baseball game, however, was never resumed.
While the Empire Club’s annual anniversary game would become a St. Louis baseball tradition, none was able to match the excitement of the first one. In many ways, it symbolized the difficulties which the young game of baseball had to endure as it attempted to gain a foothold in St. Louis. Against the backdrop of a city that was divided politically, that would endure violence, that would send its finest young men to war, and that would find itself under martial law, baseball came to St. Louis. During one of the darkest periods of the nation’s and the city’s history, St. Louis became a baseball town.
Edmund Tobias, a member of the Empire Club and a chronicler of the early history of St. Louis baseball, wrote that “St. Louis was one of the first of Western cities to ‘take up’ the sport and assume a prominence in the fraternity…” The “sport” that Tobias mentions was, of course, baseball, a game that had evolved during the 19th century from earlier forms of bat and ball games. While bat and ball games have been played throughout the entire history of humankind, baseball traces its ancestry to a number of games that were played in Medieval Europe and made their way to America along with the first colonists. Games such as stool-ball, trap-ball, cat and English base-ball all influenced the development of an American bat and ball, safe haven game that would come to be known by a variety of names and played by various sets of rules depending upon the region of the country in which it was played. By the beginning of the 19th century, this game, which was most generally called town-ball, round-ball or base-ball, was a common past time and by the 1840s it was popular enough to be mentioned in newspapers.
The game that is today known as baseball is nothing more than a variant of this early game of American base-ball. This variant, which would eventually go on to replace all other forms of the game, was first played in New York City in the early 1840s and has been called “the New York game” in order to distinguish it from the other forms of the game that were popular at the time. The rules of the New York game were codified by the Knickerbocker Club of New York and were first formally adopted in 1845. Concepts such as nine men per side, three outs per side, nine innings a game, tag outs, force outs and foul territory were all part of the New York game and, while not a radical departure from other forms of American base-ball, these local variants were sufficient to distinguish the New York game from other regional forms of the game.
In the 1850s, for numerous reasons, this game exploded from its small confines in the New York City area, began to be played across the United States and forced out the other regional forms of the game. Specifically, technical advances in transportation and communication, demographic trends in urbanization, and general aspects of the game play led to the growth in popularity of the New York game. By 1856, the rules of the game made their way into print in national periodicals and the following year the games first national governing body, the National Association of Base Ball Players, was founded. The New York variant of American base-ball had transformed in the fifteen years prior to the Civil War into a nationally popular, regulated and unique game. And by 1859, the game was being played in St. Louis.
Prior to the introduction of the New York or Regulation game (as it was also known), St. Louis had a history and tradition of bat and ball games being played in the area. Both cricket and a unique St. Louis variant of American base-ball were being played and social clubs were being formed around the playing of those games. Tobias wrote that “Cricket had long had a strong hold on lovers of out door sports and St. Louis possessed several good clubs…” While it doesn’t appear that there was much cricket activity prior to 1850, there are contemporary newspaper reports of cricket matches involving the Jackson Cricket Club, the Mound City Cricket Club and the St. Louis Cricket Club in the 1850s and it is also known that the Gamble Lawn grounds, one of the earliest baseball grounds in St. Louis, was first used as a cricket ground. By 1860, cricket was popular enough that match games were drawing large crowds and there are contemporary newspaper accounts of school children playing the game.
Tobias also mentions the popularity of the St. Louis variant of American base-ball, which he referred to as town-ball. At least two antebellum St. Louis baseball clubs, the Morning Stars and the Excelsiors, are known to have played this game in the 1850s. There is also a contemporary account of the formation of a town-ball club and of the game being played in May of 1860. In this reference, the game is referred to as “old town ball” and it is implied that the game had been played in St. Louis for some time. In Alton, the game was known as base-ball and, in 1858, there is a record of a match game between the Alton Base Ball Club and the Upper Alton Base Ball Club.
In 1860, there is a contemporary reference to the “good old social game of base ball” growing in popularity in St. Louis. While this reference is specifically to the New York variant being played in St. Louis, the author interestingly mentions that he had played the game both as a student and as an adult. The implication is that a variant of American base-ball had been played in St. Louis possibly as early as the late 1840s and that it was sufficiently similar to the New York variant that the two could be referred to by the same name. Based on this information, one can conclude that a local variant of American base-ball was being played in St. Louis within eighty years of the founding of the city and that it likely predated the playing of cricket in the city.
The use of the terms town-ball and base-ball to refer to the St. Louis variant speaks to the diversity of the bat and ball, safe haven games that are grouped under the common name of American base-ball. While all these games shared numerous common traits such as pitching, hitting, running, catching, and throwing, the rules of the game were malleable enough that they could be adapted and changed according to local needs or individual whim. In the 1858 Alton match, for instance, the game was five innings long and involved twelve players a side. But even though there were probably as many variations of the game as there were clubs playing it, the important point is the common traits that they shared. Regardless of whether the game was called town-ball, base-ball, or round-ball and whether there were nine men a side or twelve, the game that was being played was American base-ball.
In St. Louis specifically, it is unknown exactly how many variations of the game were being played or if there was a standardized set of rules for the St. Louis variant. It’s possible that the game referred to as both base-ball and town-ball was exactly the same game but it’s also possible that these were two different variants. Also unknown, is the impact of game play in the city of St. Louis on other towns in the area. While the game in St. Louis and Alton were both referred to as base-ball, it’s possible that the game played in St. Louis was different than the one played in Alton. But it’s also possible that, due to the cultural, economic, and social interaction between the two cities, the games were extremely similar. There is simply not enough evidence to speak about these games in anything but general terms.
The true significance of the tradition of antebellum bat and ball games in St. Louis is that it created an atmosphere where the New York game could flourish. When the New York game was first introduced, there was already an infrastructure in place of adult social clubs organized around the playing of bat and ball games. There were already numerous grounds in existence that could be used for the playing of the game. There were already a group of men and boys predisposed to the playing of this type of game. There were already a group of people who enjoyed watching this type of game. There were already journalists who wrote about this type of game in their newspapers. There already existed a socially accepted culture in St. Louis that allowed the New York game to plant roots, grow in popularity and displace the local variant.
How and when, specifically, the New York game came to St. Louis is a matter of some debate and there is evidence that supports various explanations. However, the best evidence suggests that baseball was brought to St. Louis by Merritt Griswold, a native of Brooklyn who had played with several baseball clubs of that city in 1857 and 1858. In 1859, Griswold came to St. Louis, where he had relatives, and began working for the Missouri Glass Company. That summer he founded the Cyclone Base Ball Club along with Edward Bredell, Jr. The club began playing games at Lafayette Park, published the rules of the game in The Missouri Democrat in April of 1860, and on July 9, 1860 played a match game against the Morning Star Club, a game that has been described in the contemporary press as the first match game played west of the Mississippi according to the rules of the National Association.
In the year between the founding of the Cyclone Club and the first match game, several other baseball clubs were organized, many of whom claimed to have been the first in St. Louis. Richard Perry, a member of the Morning Star Club, stated that his club was the first formed in St. Louis and that it had started playing baseball after it had sent away for the rules of the game. Tobias writes that the Union Club may have been the first club formed and was playing match games in 1859. Other sources claim that the Empire Club was the first club. Certainly all of these clubs were playing baseball by the summer of 1860 and there is contemporary evidence of clubs other than the Cyclones in existence by September of 1859. However, in a letter to Al Spink written in 1911, Griswold wrote in detail about bringing the New York game to St. Louis and the founding of the Cyclone Club. Most of the statements made by Griswold in this letter have been verified by contemporary sources, giving great credence to his claims. At the same time none of the claims made on behalf of the Morning Star, Union or Empire Clubs have been verified and most have been debunked. The strength of the evidence supports Griswold’s claim to have introduced the New York game to St. Louis.
Regardless of how the game was introduced, by the summer of 1860 St. Louis had an active baseball scene with at least ten clubs playing games and matches. Besides the Cyclones, Morning Stars, Unions and Empires, other antebellum clubs included the Commercials, Lone Stars, Resolutes, Excelsiors, Olympics and Tigers. In addition to the match game between the Cyclones and Morning Stars, other known match games during the period included four games between the Empires and the Unions, two between the Unions and the Lone Stars and three between the Empires and Morning Stars. There were also match games played between the Unions and the Excelsiors, the Excelsiors and Lone Stars, the Commercials and Empires, the Lone Stars and Tigers, the Commercials and Cyclones, and the Commercials and Unions. While this may not seem like a great deal of activity, it was uncommon for clubs of this era to play more than ten match games in a season and some would only play two or three so the activity of the St. Louis clubs is actually representative of clubs in general. Also, one should keep in mind that these are only the games that the clubs played against each other. Most of the baseball activity of this period consisted of intramural games played amongst club members. For instance, the Morning Star Club met every morning for practice and games while the Commercial Club is known to have met three times a week. The match games were unique events and treated as such while games played within the club structure were a common occurrence and given no attention by the press of the day. Based on our knowledge of when and how often clubs met, we can state with confidence that in the summer of 1860 there were baseball games being played almost daily in St. Louis.
There is very little contemporary evidence describing club life during this period in St. Louis. However, it is known that clubs usually consisted of thirty to forty members, held elections for officers, and established by-laws and codes of conduct for their members. The clubs rented or purchased a hall where meetings and dinners could be held as well as a plot of open land for the establishment of a baseball ground. Tobias wrote that club life could be rather expensive with costs that included monthly dues, the purchase of a uniform, and fines for such things as non-attendance or poor conduct and Leonard Matthews mentioned that the Cyclone Club used their own money to make improvements to Lafayette Park so that it could be used as a baseball grounds.
In general, the antebellum baseball club was similar to other fraternal organizations of the time and was essentially a male social club whose members happened to play baseball for fun and exercise. The central event for the club was what was called the practice day or club day when club members met on their grounds to play baseball. But while the clubs were organized around the playing of baseball, it was the sense of camaraderie and community that belonging to the club, and to the baseball fraternity as a whole, brought that was most important. Club members had a sense of belonging that gave them some security amidst the chaotic setting of 19th century America urban life. With many clubs formed by members of a specific profession or business, a person could literally spend his entire day with his fellow club members by going to a club practice or game in the morning, working and then having dinner at the club hall in the evening. This sort of familiar security that a fraternal network could offer its members was unique and enticing in a boomtown like St. Louis. The baseball club was able to offer a newcomer a home and this certainly played a role in the popularity of baseball clubs in antebellum St. Louis.
The outbreak of the Civil War brought almost all of this activity to an abrupt end. While there were at least ten baseball clubs in St. Louis during the 1860 season, by the summer of 1861 only the Empire Club remained active. Merritt Griswold wrote that the Cyclones broke up when the war started. In 1895, the St. Louis Republic stated that a “coldness began to creep in” among members of the club due to partisan feelings at the onset of the war and that the club officially broke up when General A.J. Smith seized the club’s playing grounds at Lafayette Park to use as a camp for his troops. Richard Perry wrote that the Morning Star Club broke up when most of its members joined “the Union Army under Maj. Zagonyi, in command of Gen. Fremont’s Body Guard…” The Commercial Club broke up after its president, William Sanford, took a commission as an officer with the 48th Illinois Infantry. Tobias stated that the Union Club disbanded specifically because of the war.
As an example of the stresses the onset of the war brought to a club and the St. Louis baseball fraternity’s response to it, one only has to look at the Cyclone Base Ball Club. Club founder Merritt Griswold stated that at the onset of the war the club broke up, with “its members taking part on one side or the other.” This is without a doubt a bit of understatement. Like St. Louis itself, the club was divided between extreme partisans:
-Merritt Griswold, as noted previously, was an officer with the Home Guard, a St. Louis militia group which grew out of the pro-Union Wide Awakes.
-Club co-founder Edward Bredell, Jr. was a member of a slave-owning family with Southern sympathies. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Bredell joined the Confederate army as a staff officer but resigned his commission and joined Mosby’s Rangers as a private. On November 16, 1864, Bredell was killed in a battle at Whiting’s House. In Reminiscences of a Mosby Guerilla, John William Munson wrote that “(on) the day of the fight the boys laid (Bredell) to rest where he fell, but afterwards we brought his body over to our side of the mountain and buried it near Oak Hill…Before the war ended young Bredell’s father came down to Virginia and took his dead son’s body home. When he reached St. Louis, owing to bitter feeling there towards Southerners, he was informed that the body could not be buried in any of the cemeteries. He thereupon had a grave dug in his own handsome grounds, and his son’s body found its final rest in the shadow of his old home.”
-Orville Matthews graduated from the Naval Academy in 1855 and his family encouraged him to resign his commission rather than fight in the war. Refusing to do so, he took part in several naval engagements during the war including one that resulted in the capture of forts at Hatteras Inlet in 1861. In December of 1864, Matthews, serving with a detachment of Marines, took part in the assault on Tullafinny Crossroads.
-Frederick Benteen began a life-long military career in July of 1861 when he was put in charge of training soldiers at the St. Louis Arsenal. Benteen was involved in battles at Wilson’s Creek, Dutch Hollow, Pea Ridge, and Vicksburg. In 1865, his Cavalry unit was involved in a baseball game on the Solomon Fork of the Republican River in Kansas against another Cavalry unit and Benteen named his team the Cyclones in honor of his former club. His family, which was originally from Virginia, had Southern sympathies and, after Benteen joined the Union army, his father stated that he hoped his son would be killed by the first bullet fired at him.
-Basil Duke was one of the leaders of the pro-Southern St. Louisans and a member of the Minute Men, the Southern sympathizers answer to the Wide Awakes. Duke went on to become a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army and the commander of Morgan’s Raiders. He was twice wounded in battle and, after being captured during a raid on the Indiana-Ohio border, escaped from a military prison to rejoin his unit. After the war, Duke wrote several histories of the conflict, including a memoir.
-Joseph Scott Fullerton was appointed by President Lincoln to a committee that oversaw the military affairs of the Department of the West in the fall of 1861 and rose to the rank of Brigadier General while participating in battles at Franklin, Shelbyville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Pine-Top Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach-Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesborough, Lovejoy Station, Columbia, Spring Hill, and Nashville.
-Gratz A. Moses was a physician who served as a surgeon with the Confederate Army.
-Ferdinand Garesche´ was with the pro-Confederate Missouri State Militia at Camp Jackson when it was captured. Ironically, Griswold’s Home Guard unit was involved in the capture of Camp Jackson when his fellow club member was captured and taken prisoner. Under the terms of his pardon, Garesche´ promised not to take up arms against the United States and he honorably abided by these terms. His brother Alexander, who also was at Camp Jackson, claimed that neither he nor Ferdinand were Secessionists but rather were Democrats who were opposed to the war and the Federal policies that they believed started the conflict.
-Willis Walker was a member of the 1st Missouri Light Artillery Battery and also was involved in the capture of Camp Jackson.
-Griff Prather was a Lieutenant Colonel with the 5th Regimental Missouri Militia
-Alexander Crossman, who like Orville Matthews was a graduate of the Naval Academy, commanded the Commodore M’Donough in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, primarily off the coast of South Carolina. Under Crossman’s command, the Commodore M’Donough also cruised inland up the many rivers of South Carolina to bombard shore installations, cover the landing of troops, engage Confederate batteries, and perform reconnaissance. The ship, under Crossman, was also involved in the bombardment of the forts around Charleston.
-John Riggin enlisted in the Union Army as lieutenant colonel in December of 1861, joining U.S. Grant’s staff as an aide de camp. In 1862, Grant put Riggin in charge of the military telegraph and gave him the title Military Superintendent of Telegraphs. This attempt to gain more efficient control over the telegraph corp, and Riggin’s orders regarding telegraph usage, caused a great deal of confusion and tension between Grant’s army and the War Department, who demanded that Riggin not interfere with their telegraph communications. Despite raising the ire of the Secretary of War, Riggin was promoted to Brigadier General in May of 1865.
In light of such divided sympathies, what is amazing is not the club’s breakup in 1861 but, rather, the fact that, as the national crisis developed, it was able to remain unified and active during the 1860 season.
Many other members of the St. Louis baseball fraternity are known to have taken part in the Civil War. Members of the Morning Star Club who fought in the war include Henry Franklin, a private with Searcy’s Battalion of Missouri Sharp Shooters; Joseph Franklin, a member of the 1st Regiment of the Missouri State Militia; Robert Henry, a member of the 49th Regiment of Missouri Infantry; and William Henry, a member of the 1st Regiment of the Missouri Calvary. Martin Burke, who was the club’s pitcher, was the commanding officer of the St. Louis Greys, the oldest volunteer militia unit in St. Louis. Burke, along with the rest of his unit, was captured at Camp Jackson and imprisoned. Following his pardon, he served as an officer in the Confederate Army with the 1st Missouri Infantry and died of wounds received early in the war, possibly at Wilson’s Creek.
Union Club member Thaddeus Smith, the older brother of club founder Asa Smith, was a member of the 13th Regiment of Missouri Calvary and was engaged in anti-guerilla activities in the northwest part of Missouri while fellow club member William Steigers joined the 8th Missouri Volunteers at the age of fifteen. Steigers participated in the siege of Vicksburg and, while traveling from that city to Jacksonville, Tennessee, he became seriously ill with an unknown ailment, spending three months in a military hospital. Leon Bogy, a member of the Commercial Club, was a Lieutenant with the 47th Missouri Infantry.
Members of the Empire Club who are known to have served in the war include long-time field captain Jeremiah Fruin, who was a member of the Quartermaster Corp in St. Louis, and his brother Richard, who was a member of the 67th New York Infantry and was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, 1862. Interestingly, Richard Fruin’s military record states that he deserted his unit on June 30, 1863. George Gleason, who had served in the Mexican-American War as a youth, was a Major in the Union Army and, in 1864 and 1865, served as the Inspector-General of the St. Louis Military District. There is also evidence that John O’Connell, one of the original members of the club, served in the Confederate Army for a short period.
Not all of the baseball players in St. Louis went off to war. Leonard Matthews, the president of the Cyclone Club, stated in his biography that the war was “very inconvenient for me” and hired a substitute to serve for him. One can assume that there were others that did the same. Most of the members of the Union Club were students at St. Louis University and Washington University and continued with their studies. The Empire Club, throughout the war years, had enough members to continue playing and, as the only St. Louis club that was active during the war, they used those four years of play to create a ball club that would dominate St. Louis baseball during the postwar years. Interestingly, Henry Clay Sexton, who was first elected president of the Empire Club in 1864, was removed as chief of the St. Louis Fire Department in 1862 and confined to the Gratiot Street Prison under suspicion of having Southern sympathies. It may say something about the club that a formerly imprisoned, suspected Southern sympathizer served as club president while the Civil War was still ongoing and the fate of the Union in doubt.
It should also be noted that one of the most famous soldiers of the war was an honorary member of the Union Club. In 1874, William Tecumseh Sherman, then Commanding General of the United States Army, moved his headquarters to St. Louis. While living in city, Sherman was known to frequent baseball games with his friend Colonel Alton Easton, the father of Union Club member Archie Easton and the man whom Alton, Illinois was named after. Orrick Bishop, the secretary of the Union Club, noticed this and had the General elected as an honorary member of the club. In response, Sherman sent the club a letter which thanked them for the honor which they had conferred upon him.
Another honorary member of the Union Club was General John Wesley Turner who moved to St. Louis after leaving the army in 1871. Turner, who would serve as Superintendent of Streets in St. Louis for eleven years, commanded a division at Petersburg and was involved in the pursuit of the Confederate Army during the Appomattox campaign.
The Civil War had a profoundly negative effect on the growth and development of baseball in St. Louis and in the United States in general. While many have written of the positive effect the war had on the spread of the game, specifically speaking about soldiers who learned the New York game during the war, took it home with them, and helped bring about the great baseball boom of the postwar era, evidence suggests that this is, at best, a generalization as well as an attempt to cloak the game in the flag and align it with postwar nationalism. There is much better evidence of a cross-country dissolution of clubs that helped end the amateur, pioneer baseball era. The pioneer clubs lost players to the war, cities lost clubs, and match games became much more difficult to schedule. The momentum that baseball had established in the 1850s was lost to the war. The clubs that broke up as a result of the war, for the most part, never reformed and the new clubs that helped bring about the postwar boom did so with a younger generation of players-young men who were not active participants in the conflict. There are very few contemporary descriptions of clubs formed in the postwar years by the earlier pioneer players or by men who were Civil War veterans. The war helped bring about a generational shift in baseball, as those who helped form the pioneer clubs moved on to new endeavors and younger players took their place.
In St. Louis specifically, there is no contemporary evidence of any baseball activity at all. While the St. Louis Daily Bulletin was full of baseball news in 1860, no baseball references have, as yet, been found in the St. Louis papers during the war years. What little evidence we have of baseball activity in St. Louis comes from secondary sources written years after the fact. Al Spink, in his history of baseball, notes that the Empire Club remained active during the war and gives a list of club officers and field captains during the period. Edmund Tobias noted the Empire Club’s April 1861 anniversary game as well as a match game in the spring of 1861 between the Empires and the Morning Star Club, which most likely was the last match game played in St. Louis until the summer of 1865. Tobias, who had access to the records of the club, also mentions that the Empire Club played baseball in St. Louis during the war.
Putting together the information passed on by Spink and Tobias as well as the antebellum contemporary sources, a picture emerges of a young, vibrant baseball scene in St. Louis that was almost destroyed by the outbreak of the Civil War. Nine of the ten teams active in St. Louis in 1860 disbanded and only the Empire Club survived, with the only baseball played in the city being intramural games among members of that club. While the impact of the war on baseball in St. Louis was severe, in many ways St. Louis was unique in that baseball did survive during the war years. Most cities where the New York game had spread in the late 1850’s did not see the game played at all during the Civil War. St. Louis, thanks to the efforts of the Empire Club, can point to an uninterrupted one hundred and fifty year history of baseball in the city that is matched by only a handful of cities in the country.
During the postwar period, a new era of baseball was born. Within five years of the end of the war, there were openly professional clubs and the organization of a league for professional clubs to compete in. The amateur, social clubs that met to play baseball as recreation and exercise were quickly replaced in the postwar era by professional clubs whose purpose was to win games and championships. In St. Louis, Asa Smith, of the reformed Union Club, helped lead the city’s baseball fraternity into this new era that locally saw the construction of permanent ballparks, the charging of admission to the parks, the creation of a Missouri state baseball association, the organization of state championship play, membership in the National Association, and financial compensation for players. In 1875, just a decade after the war ended, Smith’s efforts saw fruit as the first openly professional clubs in St. Louis history began competing for a championship on a national level. By then the pioneer era of baseball in St. Louis, which had been swept away by the tide of the Civil War, was only a fading memory.
Books, Newspapers, Periodicals, and Articles
Tobias, Edmund; series of articles on early St. Louis baseball history published in The Sporting News, October 1895-February 1896.
Spink, Al; The National Game
Morris, Peter; But Didn’t We Have Fun
Kirsch, George; Baseball in Blue & Gray
Goldstein, Warren; A History of Early Baseball: Playing for Keeps, 1857-1876
Block, David; Baseball Before We Knew It
Matthews, Leonard; A Long Life In Review
Gerteis, Louis; Civil War St. Louis
Primm, James Neal; Lion of the Valley
Pearson, Charles E. and Thomas C.C. Birchett; The History and Archaeology of Two Civil War Steamboats
The Bench and Bar of St. Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson City, and Other Missouri Cities
Reavis, L.U.; Saint Louis: The Future Great City of the World
Biographical and Historical Catalogue of Washington and Jefferson College
Snow, Marshall Solomon; History of the Development of Missouri: And Particularly of Saint Louis
Conard, Howard Louis; Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri
Taylor, Jacob N.; Sketch Book of St. Louis
Marquis, Albert Nelson; The Book of St. Louisans
Cox, James; Notable St. Louisans in 1900
Duke, Basil Wilson; Reminiscences of General Basil W. Duke
Anderson, Galusha; The Story of a Border City During the Civil War
Garesche´, Louis; Biography of Lieut. Col. Julius P. Garesche´
Bickham, William Denison; Rosencrans’ Campaign with the Fourteenth Army Corps
Castro, Ivan A.; 100 Hispanics You Should Know
Scott, John; Partisan Life with Col. John S. Mosby
Munson, John W.; Reminiscences of a Mosby Guerilla
Bay, William Van Ness; Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar of Missouri
Heitman, Francis Bernard; Historical Register of the United States Army
Brinton, John Hill; Personal Memoirs of John H. Brinton, Major and Surgeon U.S.V., 1861-1865
Dacus, Joseph A. and James William Buel; A Tour of St. Louis
Darby, John Fletcher; Personal Recollections of Many Prominent People Whom I Have Known
Violette, Eugene Morrow; A History of Missouri
Stevens, Walter Barlow; Centennial History of Missouri
Houck, Louis; A History of Missouri
Pittard, Homer; The Strange Death of Julius Peter Garesche
Wright, Marshall; The National Association of Base Ball Players, 1857-1870
Kelsoe, W.A.; A Newspaper Man’s Motion-Picture of the City
The Encyclopedia Americana
Leonard, John William and Alber Nelson Marquis; Who’s who in America
Kennedy’s 1860 St. Louis City Directory
Matthews, Gary Robert; Basil Wilson Duke, CSA: The Right Man in the Right Place
Peckham, James; General Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861
Monachello, Anthony; America’s Civil War: Struggle For St. Louis
Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War
Stevens, Walter Barlow; Centennial History of Missouri
Houck, Louis; A History of Missouri
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper
Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine
St. Louis Globe-Democrat
St. Louis Daily Bulletin
Alton Weekly Courier
St. Louis Republic
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
New York Times
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Bergan Evening Record
Salt Lake Tribune
This Game of Games (http://thisgameofgames.blogspot.com/)
Neal and Garesche´ Ancestry (http://www.garesche.com/rick/index.html)
Arlington National Cemetery Website (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wfbentee.htm)
Ancestry of Joseph Scott, M.D. (1781-1843) (http://members.tripod.com/~labach/scottan.htm#xxxFULLERTON)
Life in St. Louis: The Matthews Family Exhibit 1851-1933 (http://www.umsl.edu/~whmc/exhibits/matthews/index.html)
Civil War St. Louis (http://www.civilwarstlouis.com/index.html)
Earl Fischer Database (http://stlgs.org/publicationsSurnamesEarlFisher.htm)
Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System (http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/)
Genealogy in St. Louis (http://www.pddoc.com/cw-chronicles/)
University of Missouri Digital Library (http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/)
Missouri Digital Heritage (http://www.sos.mo.gov/mdh/)