So now, let's go through the data for 1864 and the beginning of 1865. I'm combining the two data sets because I'm only going to count the 1865 references through the Empire Club's anniversary game in April of 1865. The rest of the year is post-war baseball and I don't think it is relevant to this study.
The other reason I'm combining the data is that I have only eight references to baseball in the Missouri Republican in 1864. There are three references to baseball in the paper through April of 1865, plus I have another reference from the Daily Press regarding the Empire Club's anniversary game. In total, I have twelve references for the period. In 1861, there were twenty-seven references to baseball; in 1862, there were seven; and in 1863, there were twenty.
During the 1864/65 period, we have references to thirteen different clubs. In 1861, there were references to ten; in 1862, there were eight; and in 1863, there were twelve. We are aware of more active clubs in St. Louis during 1864/65 than at any other time in the history of baseball in the city, up to that time. This is absolutely fascinating. After four years of war, when the secondary sources and currant historical analysis would have us believe that very little was happening with regards to the game in St. Louis, we have more clubs than ever before.
Of the twelve references to baseball that I have from 1864/65, ten of them mention a match game and one mentions "field exercises," which meant that a club was playing a game among themselves. In 1861, there were know of seven match games; in 1862, we know of five; and in 1863, we know of twelve. As with the number of known clubs, the data regarding match games suggests that the 1864 season was every bit as busy as the 1863 season. Going into this study, I never would have imagined that the two busiest seasons in St. Louis during the Civil War were in 1863 and 1864.
There are only two references to different ball grounds in the 1864/65 material - specifically, Gamble Lawn and the Ham Street grounds. There are references to three different grounds in 1861; only one in 1862; and three in 1863. Essentially, there were no references to ball games at Lafayette Park or the Laclede Grounds in 1864/65 and that accounts for there only being two references to grounds rather than the expected three. Obviously, with the number of active clubs and the number of matches being played, there must have been other grounds being used in 1863 and 1864. There were probably games during the war at Carr Park, Allen's Commons, the Cemetery Grounds, and other places. We simple don't have any contemporary evidence referencing games at those places but the secondary sources do mention them.
I don't want to go into this too much because I'm going to write a longer piece on what all of this data from the Civil War means and I don't want to step on that. But, as I said earlier, it appears that the game was growing in St. Louis during the war. There was a bit of lull in 1862 but the game rebounded strongly in 1863 and 1864. Going into the 1865 season, it appears that St. Louis baseball had never been healthier. And that's really shocking when you compare it to what was happening in the rest of the country. You don't see this kind of data in other cities. It didn't happen in Chicago or New York. St. Louis may have been the only place in the United States, during the Civil War, where baseball was growing.