Yesterday was a day of great excitement in St. Louis. It pervaded all classes, and called forth exclamations of various kinds. Whatever other feeling may have been mixed up with it, people seemed glad that the crisis in the affairs of the country has been reached; that they were soon to know the worst, and that the hands of each party in this political drama were about to be exposed.
-Missouri Republican, April 14, 1861
The Union is, we fear, at last broken irremediably. The country is plunged into civil war, and the patriotic heart grows sick in contemplation of the awful consequences.
-Missouri Republican, April 16, 1861
The Commercial and Cyclone Base Ball Clubs have, at a considerable expense, fitted up their play ground in Lafayette Park, and will commence playing the coming week. The Commercials practice Mondays and Thursdays; the Cyclone Tuesdays and Fridays of each week, at 4 o’clock. The first day of their season of the new ground (Monday) both clubs will be out and play a friendly game, to commence at half past three o’clock.
-Missouri Republican, April 28, 1861
But, in my own mind, I can't separate that from the fact that Fort Sumter surrendered on April 13, 1861; that Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17; that Lincoln ordered the blockade of the Confederate States on April 19; that the Pratt Street Riots took place the same day; and that Robert E. Lee took command of Virginia forces on April 22. Things were out of control but, in the midst of all of that, life went on.
Life went on and people continued to go about their daily routine. Baseball just happened to be a large part of that and I take some comfort in the fact that, as things fell apart, baseball was there to offer some kind of continuity. Things were about to get very bad but, at least for a few moments on the baseball grounds at Lafayette Park, you could get away from that and enjoy the company of your friends.