Abner Doubleday Facts: Know Details On This Major General Of World War

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 26, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Dec 10, 2021
Abner Doubleday is a prominent figure in history of American Military.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.5 Min

Abner Doubleday is one of the most well-known personalities in the history of America.

Abner Doubleday was a military officer in the US Army who served in many civil wars. The American Civil War and the Mexican Civil War were the important ones.

He is also considered the inventor of baseball, though this claim has now been debunked and remains a myth. Abner Doubleday was a very religious man. He never used profane language and never drank.

Abner Doubleday was interested in many subjects, and he also loved the subjects of mathematics, engineering, literature, military, science, and sports.

If Doubleday were still alive, he would definitely wonder why his name is associated with baseball and not with his immense contribution to the Civil War battles of Gettysburg, South Mountain, and Antietam. In both the American Civil War and World War II, Abner Doubleday served as a professional United States Army officer.

He also served as the major general of the Union after the Civil War began at Fort Sumter.

Doubleday was born in a tiny cottage on the corner of Washington and Fenwick streets in Ballston Spa, New York City. Abner's paternal grandfather had also participated in the American Revolutionary War under the Union Army.

Some of the important battles in which he participated were the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Battle of Fort Sumter.

After reading these Abner Doubleday facts, do check out our other articles about Margarita Engle and Academy award facts here on Kidadl.

Life History Of Abner Doubleday

Abner Doubleday was born in Ballston Spa, New York. He was born on June 26, 1819. His father was Ulysses F. Doubleday, and his mother was Hester Donnelly. Doubleday lived in a small house with his entire family. Doubleday’s father had participated in the 1812 war.

Doubleday's family had a close relationship with the military. His maternal and paternal grandfathers both fought in the Revolutionary War. Doubleday lived during his childhood days in Aubum and later went to study in Cooperstown.

There he pursued further studies. He worked as a civil engineer as well as a surveyor before he was appointed to the United States Military Academy.

After graduating from the United States Military Academy, he became a cadet. Some of his colleagues at the United States Military Academy were John Pope, George Sykes, James Longstreet, and Richard Anderson. Abner Doubleday’s military career began with the Mexican-American War.

Doubleday served in the administration of Washington, DC as well. Later, he became a Republican and one of the biggest supporters of President Abraham Lincoln.

Doubleday died in 1893 due to heart issues and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A classic monument has also been erected by his admirers and well-wishers in his name in Gettysburg. At his burial ground, an obelisk monument was also built.

Abner Doubleday was married to Mary Hewitt, who was the daughter of a local lawyer. He also served two terms in the US Congress.

He worked as a captain as well as second in command at Fort Sumter at the time when the Civil War broke out, serving under Major Anderson (Major Robert Anderson). Doubleday spent the last years of his life in New Jersey after featuring prominently in American military history.

What is Abner Doubleday famous for?

Abner Doubleday served in the American Civil War as an officer in the US army. He completed his schooling at both Auburn and Cooperstown. During the Mexican Civil War, Doubleday served as an artillery officer. Doubleday participated in the Seminole War in Florida. He also commanded the gunners during the American Civil War.

Thus, by 1867, Doubleday was promoted to colonel rank. He retired from the army after a couple of years.

Doubleday was also a member of the well-known Theosophical Society. Doubleday was made the new president when the founding members of the society moved to India.

The famous inventor, Thomas Edison, was also one of the members of the society who became its president later. Doubleday died at the age of 73 in New Jersey. Doubleday was famous for having a lengthy and fulfilling military career.

Doubleday had the highest rank as an officer in the American Civil War and also participated in the major events of the civil war. Doubleday was also posted at the Fort of Moultrie.

The Fort of Moultrie was present in Charleston, South Carolina, where the fight against the South Carolina militia was won. This assignment in the year 1858 had a considerable impact on his career in the military.

He also stood for the abolition movement and therefore voted in favor of the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln, during the elections in the year 1860. Abner Doubleday was also appointed as the brigadier general of volunteers in 1862.

Their Doubleday was given the duty in the north of Virginia. The Army of the Potomac also conducted the Peninsula Campaign. Abner Doubleday soon received his first combat assignment.

And as a part of the Northern Virginia Campaign, Doubleday had to lead the second brigade, 1st Division, and III corps. He was also assigned to Corps I of the Army of the Potomac.

After his transfer to the Army of the Potomac, Abner Doubleday fought with the I Corps at the Battle of South Mountain. He had been given command of the corps but was replaced by Major General John Newton.

Doubleday fired the first shot in the opening combat of the war to defend Fort Sumter. He also played a key role in the Battle of Gettysburg's early fighting. His best performance came at Gettysburg, but the relief given to him by Major General George Meade sparked a lifelong feud between the two men.

Abner Doubleday served in both American and Mexican Civil wars.

What battles did Abner Doubleday fight in?

Doubleday’s first battle was during the Mexican War. Despite his opposition to the war, he volunteered to fight. Doubleday participated as a supply officer but applied for and received an artillery posting. He fought at the Battle of Monterey and at Rinconada Pass during the Battle of Buena Vista.

Doubleday was promoted to major, and he participated in the Shenandoah Valley, situated in Virginia. Doubleday also participated in Washington's defense from the years 1861-1862.

Doubleday was promoted to brigadier general of US volunteers during this time. Doubleday was a respected general when the civil war entered its third year.

Yet, he never got credit for his contributions made during the civil war. He was not worried about his appearance but was more focused on his duties towards all the soldiers under his command.

Abner Doubleday began his army career in the Mexican-American civil war, which he also fought in the Seminole War. Later, he was transferred to Charleston Harbor and served under Colonel John Gardner.

Just before the American Civil War started, Doubleday was promoted to the captain rank and made the second common.

He was also referred to as the 'Hero of the Sumter' during the Confederate Bombardment, where Abner was known for aiming and firing the first counter shot as a response to the enemy’s fire. Abner was also promoted to major and was put in command of the artillery department in the Shenandoah Valley.

Abner Doubleday's troops also participated in the second battle of Manassas from August 29 to August 30. Then he also fought in the South Mountain battle on September 14, Maryland.

Doubleday’s men had acquitted themselves very well in these battles against the confederate assaults. The battle of South Mountain was a precursor to the battle of Antietam, which was the bloodiest battle on one single day.

Due to his bravery, Doubleday was promoted as a lieutenant colonel in the regular army and a major general of volunteers. Abner Doubleday then served in the battle of Gettysburg and was in command of the corps after the corps commander, Major General John Reynolds, passed away.

It was in the Gettysburg battle that Doubleday and his troops were involved in the turning point of the civil war.

Abner Doubleday invention, and why did he do it?

The claim that Abner Doubleday invented baseball is a myth. Abner Doubleday, unfortunately, did not invent baseball. A baseball commission proclaimed in the early years of 1990 that Abner Doubleday had invented the game of baseball. It also proclaimed that the game was discovered in the Cooperstown region of New York in the year 1839.

This very myth has proven to be false since Abner Doubleday was nowhere to be seen in Cooperstown. It is believed that the baseball game was most probably found by the British even long before Doubleday.

It doesn't matter that whoever might have invented the game of baseball, the myth is now strongly stuck. Even today, a baseball hall of fame is situated in Cooperstown, New York.

This is established in honor of the great Abner Doubleday. The widely known fact that baseball was probably invented by some other foreign country hardly makes any difference since baseball still continues to be a popular American game.

In reality, no serious baseball historian believes that Doubleday invented baseball. But this myth still persists to some extent, as some believe that Alexander Cartwright from New York also deserves credit for inventing baseball.

The National League during the period 1882-1884, as well as the decision of the Mills commission’s in the year 1908, highlighted that baseball was invented in Cooperstown in 1839 by Abner Doubleday. This myth has evolved from the fact that he was a general in the civil war.

The owners then promoted the game of baseball as a national pastime. This ultimately led to the creation of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Abner Doubleday’s minor league baseball team was named after him. There is also a baseball stadium named after him called Doubleday Field.

A US liberty ship was also named in his honor, SS Abner Doubleday, during the Second World War. In 1937, Cooperstown, New York, was turned into the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, despite the absence of credible proof linking Doubleday to the game's origins.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Abner Doubleday facts, then why not take a look at do you know: what are huckleberries? and where do huckleberries grow?, or where do dogs go when they die? do all dogs go to heaven?

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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