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Posts Tagged ‘22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry’

We were thrilled to have CCTV film our living history of the Civil War last month.  The footage and audio are great!  We’d like to send out a big thanks to filmmaker Pierry Chou and CCTV editor Shirin Mozaffari as well as all the other city departments who helped to make our 150th anniversary of the Civil War event so successful.  Of course none of this would have been possible without the 60 re-enactors from the 22nd MVI, the 28th MVI, and the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard who volunteered to spend the day with us, delight us with wonderful programming, and answer all our questions.

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Welcome to Camp Cameron, Cambridge’s Civil War Barracks.

Saturday’s Living History of the Civil War was a great success.  There were about 60 re-enactors, one from as far away as Pennsylvania, representing the 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard, and the United States Sanitary Commission.

Each of the re-enactors had an amazing amount of knowledge and ensured that every detail was perfectly met  – from the portrait of Samuel Gridley Howe (director of the United States Sanitary Commission) in the Women’s tent to the puffed, salted corn the soldiers snacked on that visitors were lucky enough to sample.  (The corn is much better than the hard tack.)

Some of the re-enactors create an impression or adopt a first person persona of someone from the Civil War era.  Some impressions are entirely made up and others are based on historical figures.  Jeff Lawrence of the recreated 22nd MVI bases his impression on Orrin Cook, a private from Springfield, Massachusetts in the original 22nd, who was left for dead during the horrific Battle of the Wilderness.  Cook survived, returned to Springfield, wrote prodigiously, and suffered from PTSD.  Read more about Lawrence’s fascinating research of Cook’s life and get a feel for how the re-enactors treat the subject of living history.

It was wonderful to walk among the tents, where no detail was spared from the private’s bedrolls to the stacks of women’s crinoline, and to imagine yourself back in time 150 years ago.

More photographs to come soon!


Jeff Lawrence and Patrick Browne of the recreated 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

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Vintage Baseball Game, courtesy of 19th Century Baseball.

Massachusetts and New York have had a baseball rivalry for over 150 years.  In fact during the Civil War, regiments from the two states would play each other during their down times on the battle field.  Massachusetts had its own set of rules and New York played the “Knickerbocker Game,” which is the precedent to modern baseball.

Tomorrow at the CPL’s Living History of the Civil War, members of the recreated Massachusetts 22nd Volunteer Infantry will play a “Massachusetts” game.  During the Civil War, the original 22nd MVI held several games against New York regiments.  Here are a few that forecast the future Boston/New York rivalry, courtesy of the recreated 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:

22nd Massachusetts vs. 13th New York Infantry
April 3, 1862
“No opportunity was lost for drill, and every day it was regimental or brigade. Those who were absent without leave got knapsack-drill. Fast Day (at home) April 3, there was no drill, and twelve of our enlisted men challenged an equal number from the Thirteenth New York, to a game of base-ball, Massachusetts game. We beat the New-Yorkers, 34 to 10.”
From:  Henry Wilson’s Regiment: History of the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry, John L. Parker; pp 79-80.

22nd Massachusetts vs. 3rd New York Cavalry
February 2, 1864
“Played Base Ball nearly all day and experienced a ‘Chapter of Accidents”. Got a severe blow with ball in the face, and a finger almost broken; and quit on having a collision with a man who knocked me down and made me “see stars” by striking his chin under mine – both were moving swiftly and look up at the ball high in the air.”
From the diary of H.E. Randell, Co. L, 3rd Regiment of the New York Cavalry.

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Baseball during the Civil War, courtesy of the History of Baseball.

Did you know that during the Civil War, soldiers would play baseball to pass the time and that the war was one of the reasons the game spread and became popular?  At tomorrow’s Living History of the Civil War, there will be a vintage baseball game demonstration, played with the “Massachusetts Rules,” an antecedent of what we know today as America’s favorite pastime.

Stop by the library tomorrow at 12:30 and play for an inning or two!

For a sneak peek at tomorrow’s game, watch this short documentary from Farmer’s Almanac TV:

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