150 years ago: “I see a party of rebel infantrymen playing ball…”

On this day (April 12) in 1864, Captain Peter Taylor, manning the signal station on Stony Mountain in Culpeper County, reported some interesting activity across the Rapidan on the Confederate side:

Stony Mountain, April 12, 1864–5 p.m.
General Hancock and Captain Norton:

All quiet. I see a party of rebel infantrymen playing ball on field near Tobaccostick Ford, indicating infantry pickets at that point. Have seen no infantry before below Stringfellow’s Ford.


On a good spring day, what better than an afternoon game of baseball?

“Spring Training” was almost over for the armies that April.  Their “season opener” was just weeks away.

(Citation from OR, Series I, Volume 33, Serial 60, page 843.)