Diary of Orrin Brown—Jan 13, 1865

Red Grange, November 1925Diary of Orrin Brown, Savannah, Georgia

Friday–Jan 13th

We had a quite a cold night and another heavy frost thismorning but the day has come off warm and pleasant. Our Regt. signed for clothing again this morning. The Major got up a quite an excitement in the regt. today by getting the boys to run foot races and wresseling and jumping, after severall of the boys had run the Major proposed that they had a race out of the Officers. So the Major, Adjutant, Capts. and Lieuts. that were here all went out and run together, and the Major and two of the Lieuts fell down about the middle of the race. Then they had all of the Orderly Sargeants run, then all of the 1st Corporals. Takeing it all togeather we have had a very lively day of it. Such excitement is good to keep up the spirrit of the boys. We drew one days rations of soft Bread and some Beef. It is getting quite cool again this evening. I read 8 Chapts. in Testament today. I wrote a letter this evening.

On New Years’ Day, the New York TimesDisunion blog related How the Civil War Created College Football.  Many Americans in the later 19th-century saw a connection between the battlefield and the athletic field.  Collegiate sports “inculcated young men with the Victorian virtues of masculinity an sportsmanship.”  The first intercollegiate football game took place 6 November 1869 between students from Princeton and Rutgers in a hybridized form of British rugby.  My own alma mater, Illinois, fielded their first official team in 1890 and account for such football legends as Bob Zuppke, the Galloping Ghost Red Grange, and Dick Butkus.  Even so, I’m more of a baseball fan myself.

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