Summary

Conflict Period:
Civil War (Confederate) 1
Branch:
Confederate Army 1
Rank:
First Lieutenant 2
Birth:
03 Aug 1839 2
St Louis MO 2
Death:
16 Nov 1864 2
Ashby's Gap Virginia 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Edward Bredell 1
Birth:
03 Aug 1839 2
St Louis MO 2
Death:
16 Nov 1864 2
Ashby's Gap Virginia 2
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Civil War (Confederate) 1

Branch:
Confederate Army 1
Rank:
First Lieutenant 2

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Sources

  1. Civil War Soldiers - Confederate - Officers [See image]
  2. Contributed by bruceyrock632
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Stories

Baseball in St Louis

How and exactly when Baseball came to St. Louis is a matter of some debate, and there is evidence that supports various explanations. However, the best evidence suggests that base ball was brought to St. Louis by the aforementioned Merritt W. Griswold, a native of Brooklyn who had played with several base ball clubs of that city in 1857 and 1858. In 1859, Griswold came to St. Louis, where he had relatives, and began working for the Missouri Glass Company. That summer he founded the Cyclone Base Ball Club of St. Louis along with Edward Bredel, Jr. (the two founders would later fight on opposing sides during the Civil War). The club began playing games at Lafayette Park, published the rules of the game in The Missouri Democrat in April of 1860, and on July 9, 1860 played a match game against the Morning Star Club, a game that has been described in the contemporary press as the first match game played west of the Mississippi River according to the rules of the National Association. In the year between the founding of the Cyclone Club (1859) and the first match game (1860), several other base ball clubs were organized, several of which claimed to have been the first in St. Louis. Richard Perry, a member of the Morning Star Club, stated that his club was the first formed in St. Louis and that it had started playing base ball after it had sent away for the rules of the game. Tobias writes that the Union Club may have been the first club formed and was playing match games in 1859. Other sources claim that the Empire Club was the first club. Certainly all of these clubs were playing base ball by the summer of 1860 and there is contemporary evidence of clubs other than the Cyclones in existence by September of 1859. However, in a letter to Alfred H. “Al” Spink* written in 1911, Griswold wrote in detail about bringing the New York game to St. Louis and about his founding of the Cyclone Club. Most of the statements made by Griswold in this historic letter to Spink, have been verified by contemporary sources, giving great credence to his claims. At the same time, none of the claims made on behalf of the Morning Star, Union or Empire Clubs have been verified and most have been debunked. The strength of the evidence supports Griswold’s claim to have introduced the New York game to St. Louis in 1859, two years before the Civil War. Regardless of how the game was introduced, by the summer of 1860, St. Louis had an active base ball scene with at least eight clubs playing games and matches. Besides the Cyclones, Morning Stars, Unions, and Empires, other antebellum clubs included the Commercials, the Lone Stars, the Resolutes and the Excelsiors. In addition to the match game between the Cyclones and Morning Stars, other known match games during the period included four games between the Empires and the Unions, two between the Unions and the Lone Stars, a match between the Unions and the Excelsiors, and, in the spring of 1861, one between the Empires and Morning Stars, umpired by Merritt Griswold. The Commercial Club also played matches against the Empires, the Unions, and the Cyclones. While this may not seem like a great deal of activity, these are only the match games for which evidence exists and one must assume that there are others, whose documentation has not yet been discovered. Also, it must be remembered that each club met several times a week to play games amongst themselves. It is likely that in the summer of 1860, there were base ball games being played almost daily in St. Louis. The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 brings almost all of this activity to an abrupt end. While there were at least eight baseball clubs in St. Louis during the 1860 season, by the summer of 1861 only the Empire Club remained active. Merritt Griswold wrote that the Cyclones broke up when the war started. In 1895, the St. Louis Republic stated that a “coldness began to creep in” among members of the club due to partisan feelings at the onset of the war and that the club officially broke up when Union General A.J. Smith seized the club’s playing grounds at Lafayette Park to use as a camp for his troops. Richard Perry wrote that the Morning Star Club broke up when most of its members joined “the Union Army under Major [Charles] Zagonyi, [an Hungarian immigrant] in command of [General John C.] ‘Fremont’s Body Guard’…” The Commercial Club broke up after its president, William W. Sanford, took a commission as a Union officer (Major, later Colonel) with the 48th Illinois Infantry. Tobias stated that the Union Club disbanded specifically because of the war. As an example of the stresses that the onset of the war brought to a club, and the St. Louis baseball fraternity’s response to it, one only has to look at the Cyclone Base Ball Club. Club founder Merritt Griswold stated that at the onset of the war, the club broke up, with its members taking part on one side or the other during the tragic national conflict. This was, without a doubt, a bit of an understatement. Like St. Louis itself, the club was divided between extreme partisans. As noted previously, Griswold was a Union officer (Captain) with the St. Louis German Home Guard, which grew out of a pro-Union, paramilitary organization called the Wide Awakes. Cyclone Club co-founder Edward Bredel, Jr. was a member of a slave-owning family with Southern sympathies. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Bredel joined the Confederate army as a staff officer [Lieutenant, Adjutant and Aide De Camp, 2nd Regiment Infantry, Missouri Volunteers, CSA] but later resigned his commission and joined Mosby’s Rangers as a private. On November 16, 1864 [the day that General Sherman began his “march to the sea”], Bredel was killed in battle at Whiting’s House [Loudoun County, Virginia]. . In Reminiscences of a Mosby Guerilla, John William Munson wrote that “[on] the day of the fight the boys laid [Bredell] to rest where he fell, but afterwards we brought his body over to our side of the mountain and buried it near Oak Hill. Before the war ended, young Bredell’s father came down to Virginia and took his dead son’s body home. When he reached St. Louis, owing to bitter feelings there towards Southerners, he was informed that the body could not be buried in any of the cemeteries. He thereupon had a grave dug in his own handsome grounds, and his son’s body found its final rest in the shadow of his old home.”

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