At a match game of Base Ball played Friday, May 30th, between the Empire, Jr., and Imperial, which resulted in the defeat of the former, the score was as follows: [Imperial 36, Empire, Jr., 18.]
-Missouri Republican, May 31, 1862
First, this is the first reference to the Imperials that we have and they appear to have been a new club in 1862. The appearance of a new club is significant and shows that the game in St. Louis is still dynamic and viable, even in the middle of the Civil War. We've already seen a reference to the Commercials, Empires, and Unions in 1862 and here we see the Empire, Jrs., again along with this new club. So we have some continuity among the clubs from 1861 to 1862 along with at least one new club. I don't know if this pattern will hold throughout 1862 but early in the season, the game in St. Louis seems to be healthy and growing somewhat.
Secondly, we have our old friend Tom Oran. When last seen, in 1861, he was playing with the Commercial, Jrs., and here he's the captain of the Empire, Jrs. The guy must have been one heck of a ballplayer because in the post-war period, he played with the Unions, Empires, and Reds - probably the three best clubs in St. Louis during that time. The guy probably swung the championship by moving from the Union to the Empire and then almost did it again by moving from the Empires to the Reds. He was certainly in demand and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that he was first St. Louis baseball player to get paid to play.
The day that the notice of this game appeared in the Republican, the Battle of Seven Pines began. This particular fight pretty much put an end to the Union offensive on the Peninsula.