He fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter in the opening battle of the Civil War in April 1861
Wounded at Antietam and Gettysburg, and cited for gallantry at both crucial battles
(1819-1893) Born in Ballston Spa, New York, he became famous for his supposed invention of the game of baseball, although baseball historians have debunked that theory, something Doubleday himself never claimed. At Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the baseball diamond there is named in his honor. From a prominent New York family, his paternal grandfather fought in the American Revolution, and his maternal grandfather was a mounted courier for General George Washington during the war. His father, Ulysses F., fought in the War of 1812, and was a two term U.S. Congressman, and both of his brothers were colonels in the Union army during the Civil War. He graduated in the West Point class of 1842, and served in the Mexican War with the artillery branch of service, and later fought in the Seminole Wars from 1856-58. In April 1861, Doubleday served in the garrison at Fort Sumter, and he was said to have aimed the first gun to reply to the Confederate bombardment. Appointed a brigadier general, on February 3, 1862, he commanded the Artillery Department in the Shenandoah Valley, and then the artillery of General Nathaniel P. Banks's division. He was assigned to duty in northern Virginia while the Army of the Potomac conducted their 1862 Virginia Peninsula Campaign, and he commanded a brigade of General Irvin McDowell's corps during the 2nd Battle of Bull Run. Doubleday again led the division, now assigned to the 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac, and at the Battle of Antietam, he led his men into the deadly fighting in the Cornfield and the West Woods, and one colonel described him as a "gallant officer, remarkably cool under fire, and at the very front of battle." He was wounded when an artillery shell exploded near his horse, throwing him to the ground in a violent crash. He was promoted to major general of volunteers for his actions at Antietam, to rank from November 29, 1862. During the winter, the 1st Corps was reorganized and General Doubleday was appointed commander of the 3rd Division. His greatest performance of the war came at Gettysburg when he took over command of the 1st corps after the death of General John F. Reynolds, early on the first day's battle, July 1, 1863. His troops were under heavy fire for five hours as he led 9,500 men against ten Confederate brigades that numbered more than 16,000 Rebels. Seven of those brigades sustained casualties that ranged from 35 to 50 percent, indicating the ferocity of the Union defense. General Doubleday was wounded in the neck on the second day of fighting at Gettysburg. He next took on administrative duties in the defenses of Washington, D.C., where he was in charge of courts martial, which gave him legal experience that he used after the war. He returned to combat directing a portion of the defenses against the attack by Confederate General Jubal A. Early in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864. While in Washington, Abner Doubleday testified against his old adversary, General George G. Meade, at the United States Congress Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, criticizing Meade harshly over his conduct at the Battle of Gettysburg. Doubleday remained a loyal Republican and staunch supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, and the general and his wife rode with Lincoln on the train to Gettysburg for the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, and were there for President Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg Address. Afterwards, the Doubleday's attended social events with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln in Washington. After the war ended, Doubleday mustered out of the volunteer service, and remained in the Regular U.S. Army reverting back to his old army rank. He was later appointed colonel of the 35th U.S. Infantry, and stationed in San Francisco from 1869-71, where he took out a patent for the cable car railway that still runs there today. He received a charter for its operation, but unfortunately signed his rights away when he was reassigned. In 1871, he commanded the 24th U.S. Infantry, an all African-American regiment with headquarters at Fort McKavett, Texas. He retired from the United States Army in 1873. General Abner Doubleday died of heart disease in Mendham Township, New Jersey, on January 26, 1893. His body laid in state in New York's City Hall, and then was taken to Washington by train, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Bust view pose in uniform with rank of major general. Back mark: C.D. Fredricks & Co., 587 Broadway, New York. The imprint also includes their Habana and Paris addresses. Has a 2 cents orange, George Washington, U.S. Internal Revenue Bank Check tax stamp on the verso. Excellent condition. Very sharp image. Scarce variant bust pose. Extremely desirable.