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National Pastime and the Civil War

March 18, 2014

A vintage baseball game followed by two lectures on the sport and its relationship to the Civil War will be open to the public at Fort Concho Thursday, March 27, as part of Angelo State University’s Civil War Lecture Series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the conflict. 

The 7 p.m. Thursday lectures will feature Dr. David Dewar, associate professor of history at ASU, and Bob Bluthardt, site manager of Fort Concho.  Dewar will speak on “Baseball and the Civil War,” exploring myths of the early game and noting how the Civil War helped turn the sport into the national pastime.  Bluthardt will examine how baseball shifted from a simple game to big business in less than 20 years after the end of the Civil War.  The lectures are scheduled in Fort Concho’s Stables Hall on Henry O. Flipper Street.

Preceding the lectures will be a vintage baseball game at 6 p.m. on the Fort Concho Parade Grounds.  The game will feature the rules and equipment that would have been used during the Civil War.  Cory Robinson of the Fort Concho staff and Dr. Warren K. Simpson, professor of kinesiology at ASU, will coordinate the game of costumed docents as well as provide commentary on the differences and similarities between the 1860s game and that of today.

Both the 6 p.m. vintage baseball game and the 7 p.m. lectures are open free to the public.  Refreshments will be served at the lectures.  More information is available by calling Fort Concho at 481-2646.

The Civil War Lecture Series is sponsored by the ASU History Department and supported by Fort Concho; the Fort Concho Foundation; the Office of the ASU Dean of Arts and Sciences; ASU’s Gender Studies Program; the West Texas Collection; the Porter Henderson Library; Shannon Medical Center; the Texas Historical Commission; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Library of America; and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The concluding program in ASU’s 2013-14 Civil War Lecture series will be April 22 at Fort Concho Stables when Dr. Robert Hicks, the Measey Chair for the History of Medicine and director of the Mutter Museum and Historical Medical Library at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, speaks on “Medicine and the Civil War.”


History Department