The Civil War was a time of hardship, struggle, and sometimes boredom for soldiers of both the North and the South. All of the hardships that were endured during the Civil War caused many soldiers to find distractions to steer their attention away from the negative effects of the war, and to something fun that they can enjoy with not only themselves, but others as well. Checkers is a classic game that was played among many soldiers and their families at home. Often called “America’s Pastime,” baseball was a popular sport that was played by soldiers during breaks at camp. American football was another popular game that was played during the Civil War in camps. A pastime that was enjoyed by soldiers during the winter were snowball fights. Many card games were played among soldiers. Chess was also a popular game among soldiers during the Civil War. The games and board games that were played during the Civil War helped the soldiers to steer their attention away from the war. Soldiers during the Civil War played and founded many games that changed the way that they looked at the war.
Checkers is a classic board game that many soldiers during the Civil War played. The checkers board has 64 squares with “checkered” colors. There are twelve game pieces or checkers that occupy one color each. To win, you must eliminate all of the other player’s checkers by diagonally eliminating them. During the Civil War, checkers was played among soldiers and their families. Checkers was a common game that was played in camps, where soldiers who were waiting for their orders would play checkers, among other board games, and many checker boards and checker pieces have been recovered from former camp locations from both the North and the South.
Baseball, also known as America’s Pastime, was a common outdoor game that was very common within camps that helped soldiers to stay active while they were waiting for the next plan of attack. The rules are that there are four bases, including the home base. The batter stands by the home base and waits for the pitcher to pitch the ball to him. The batter then attempts to hit the ball past nine fielders, and a team gets a point or a run when a base runner reaches every base on the field. Rather than the game dying during the Civil War, it would eventually get bigger and better after the Civil War due to the amount of soldiers and families that played the game. Players would play baseball to not only give themselves a distraction from the constant fighting going on, but to give themselves something active and fun to do during the long hours of waiting for the next battle.
Another sport that was played during the Civil War was “a very often-brutal version of American football.” (“Civil War Games,” n.d.) Football is sometimes described as being “more like a huge brawl than the game we know today,
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