By Thomas Barthel
Whereas Abner Doubleday is remembered essentially for his "invention" of baseball, this biography specializes in his responsibility to his kingdom. Following Doubleday's adolescence in Auburn, manhattan, to his days as a cadet at West element, the general's involvement within the American Civil warfare, and his public provider afterwards, he's portrayed the following as a guy who took unpopular stands yet was once guided by means of a company imaginative and prescient of justice.
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Soon Doubleday’s part of the army reached the crest of a hill from which was seen the Sierra Madre mountains, “a beautiful and sublime sight,” as the 3. The Mexican War 33 young artilleryman wrote. By the time they reached Cerralvo— 63 miles from Camargo— they had outpaced that part of the army behind them and so needed to halt for a few days. By now the heat had risen to such punishing levels that the troops were ordered to proceed only between three and eleven in the morning. By that stage of the march, the tents had caught up with the marchers.
It appeared Santa Anna would attack Saltillo ﬁrst, so Taylor moved the vast majority of his forces to the south of that city, to an area called Buena Vista. Doubleday had been left behind, on garrison duty in Monterrey, but was summoned to come quickly with two 18-pound cannons and two 12-pounders. Moving through the silent city, the young artilleryman saw that the men, and he, “burned with enthusiasm to gather new laurels”16— if not for themselves then for their country. Once Doubleday’s unit found its way into the Rinconada pass on the way to Saltillo, they began to struggle with the heavy ordnance, the gun carriage axles breaking under the weight of the two heavy guns.
At the same time, General Taylor decided another supply depot was needed closer to the Rio Grande, and so Port Isabel, Texas, was chosen. Port Isabel lies 22 miles northeast of Brownsville on the Rio Grande. Doubleday, assigned to Captain Porter’s company of the First Artillery regiment, traveled by ship to 28 ABNER DOUBLEDAY the new depot. Supply vessels had arrived, and a new post, soon called Fort Polk, was built to protect the position, the supplies and the men. Doubleday admits that “being only a second lieutenant at the time, I was naturally more interested in minor details than in strategic movements,”6 and there is nothing particularly fascinating to relate about accumulating supplies.