Abner Doubleday is popularly credited with inventing the modern game of baseball, but few remember his military service during the Civil War.
Abner Doubleday was born on June 26, 1819, in Ballston Spa, New York. After attending school at Auburn and Cooperstown (home of the Baseball Hall of Fame), he attended West Point, graduating in 1842, 25th out of a class of 56.
Abner Doubleday as a Soldier
Doubleday served in the Mexican War and later in a campaign against the Seminole Indians in Florida. In 1853 he was promoted to captain and was stationed in Charleston Harbor when the Civil War began. In 1862, he was appointed Brigadier General of United States Volunteers.
The general’s finest hour came during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. After John Reynolds was killed, Doubleday took over I Corps and held the Federal left during much of the day. Although his troops were pushed back to Cemetery Hill, he held the Confederates off long enough for support to arrive and a strong defensive position attained. Today, his statue stands on the battlefield.
Doubleday retired from active service in 1873. After his death in 1893, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There is no mention in his obituary of the game of baseball