Birthday: June 26, 1819
Died At Age: 73
Sun Sign: Cancer
Born Country: United States
Born in: Ballston Spa, New York, United States
Famous as: Military Leader
father: Ulysses F. Doubleday
mother: Hester Donnelly
siblings: Amanda Doubleday Eddy, Hester Elizabeth Doubleday, Jane Ann Doubleday, Ruth Maria Doubleday, Thomas D. Doubleday, Ulysses Doubleday, William James Doubleday
Died on: January 26, 1893
place of death: Mendham, New Jersey, United States
Cause of Death: Cardiovascular Disease
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: United States Military Academy
Who was Abner Doubleday?
Abner Doubleday was an officer in the US Army who served in the American Civil War. He was also once considered the inventor of baseball, though this claim has been since debunked. He was born in Ballston Spa, New York, US. He did his schooling from Auburn and Cooperstown. Later, he attended the US Military Academy and after his graduation, he was appointed as a cadet. During the Mexican War, he served as an artillery officer. He next took part in the Seminole War in Florida. He also commanded gunners during the American Civil War. By 1867, he had been promoted to the rank of a colonel, and after a few years, he retired from the army. He passed away at the age of 73 in New Jersey. During his final years, he was also an eminent member of the Theosophical Society. He became its president later. Several years after Doubleday passed away, in 1908, he was declared as the inventor of baseball by the Mills Commission. However, many baseball historians have debunked this claim.
Childhood & Early Life
Abner Doubleday was born to Ulysses F. Doubleday and Hester Donnelly, in Ballston Spa, New York, on 26th June 1819. His family lived in a tiny house, and they all slept in the attic. His father had fought in the War of 1812. He published books and newspapers as well.
His paternal grandfather was also a soldier; he had fought during the American Revolutionary War. Thomas Donnelly, his maternal grandfather, was a soldier as well; he had joined the army when he was just 14. He had also served as a mounted messenger for George Washington.
Doubleday’s childhood days were spent in Auburn, after which he went to Cooperstown to pursue further studies. Before he entered the United States Military Academy, he also worked as a surveyor and civil engineer.
After graduating in 1842, he became a cadet and was commissioned into the 3rd US Artillery as a brevet second lieutenant.
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Abner Doubleday’s career in the army began with the Mexican-American War, after which he also fought in the Seminole War. In 1858, he was transferred to Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor, where he served under Colonel John L Gardner.
He was promoted to the rank of captain and made the second in command at Fort Sumter just before the American Civil War started.
During the Confederate bombardment that took place on 12th April 1861, he became known for aiming the cannon and firing the first counter shot in response to the enemy’s fire. For this achievement, he used to refer to himself as the ‘Hero of Sumter.’
On 14th May 1861, he was promoted to major, after which he was put in command of the artillery department in the Shenandoah Valley. Soon, he commanded the artillery for Major General Nathaniel Bank’s division called ‘Army of the Potomac’.
On 3rd February 1862, he was appointed as the brigadier general of volunteers. He was assigned to duty in northern Virginia while the Peninsula Campaign was being conducted by the Army of the Potomac.
He soon received his first combat assignment. As part of the Northern Virginia Campaign, he had to lead the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division and III corps. Abner Doubleday was later assigned to the I Corps of the Army of the Potomac.
At Antietam, Doubleday again led the men into the battle taking place in the Cornfield and the West Woods, but he was injured after an artillery shell exploded near his horse, throwing him onto the ground violently. Due to his bravery, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel of the regular army and major general of volunteers.
He next served in the Battle of Gettysburg, where he was in command of the corps after Major General John Reynolds passed away. He led his men against ten Confederate brigades which consisted of more than 16,000 men. Though the corps was eventually destroyed, they inflicted severe casualties on seven of the ten Confederate brigades.
After the war, Abner Doubleday was put in charge of administrative duties in Washington, DC. He earned some legal experience from his position as he was in charge of courts martial. Later, he became a Republican and was one of the biggest supporters of President Abraham Lincoln.
He was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1867. After a few years, in 1873, he retired from the army.
Abner Doubleday began living in Mendham Township, New Jersey, during the later years of his life. He also became a member of the Theosophical Society. When the founding members of the society moved to India, he was made its new president. Inventor Thomas Edison was also an important member of the society.
Family & Personal Life
Abner Doubleday was married to a local lawyer’s daughter, Mary Hewitt.
Death & Legacy
Abner Doubleday passed away on January 26, 1893, due to heart problems. His body is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.
A monument has been built in Doubleday’s name in Gettysburg, which has been erected by his admirers. An obelisk monument was also built at his burial ground.
The Auburn Doubledays is a minor league baseball team which has been named after him. A baseball stadium has also been named after him: ‘Doubleday Field’.
During the Second World War, the United States liberty ship SS Abner Doubleday was named in his honor.
He was named the inventor of baseball by the Mills Commission, which had been appointed in 1905 to find the origin of the game. However, a lot of counterevidence has been presented by baseball historians that refute this claim.