Until the War Between the States,
baseball was largely confined to the North.
Union General Abner Doubleday, often credited
with creating the sport, fired the first shot
in defense of Fort Sumter.
Yankee prisoners in the South
helped spread the game.
At the Confederate Prison in Salisbury, NC,
prisoners played whenever the weather permitted.
One, Otto Boetticher, made the first
drawing of an American baseball game.
The Civil War was also a leveler.
Officers and enlisted played together,
pointing us toward the equality
we still struggle to live up to.
The Salisbury Prison was due to send
volunteer Northern inmates some sixty miles east
to the Endor Iron Furnace area
to work in a bayonet factory.
Theoretically, they could have brought
baseball with them.
The usual laborers at the Endor were slaves.
Three ran away 30 December 1862,
two days before the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Confederacy purchased an old cotton mill
to convert to the Salisbury Prison.
The “Sanford Spinners” baseball team
took its name from another cotton mill.