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Published on: Sunday, June 16, 2024 read more ...


Gravestone of Abner Doubleday

Abner Doubleday, U.S. Army (1819-1893)  A career officer in the U.S. Army, Doubleday has often been credited with inventing baseball. This has been debunked as a myth; Doubleday's papers contain no references to the game, which, historians argue, derives from English ball and bat games. Doubleday's military record, however, is not disputed. A graduate of West Point, he fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and in conflicts with Indians during the 1850s. By 1861, he had become second-in-command of the U.S. Army's garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. After secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter on the morning of April 12, 1861, he fired the Union's first cannon shot — thus beginning the Civil War. Promoted to brigadier general in February 1862, Doubleday commanded troops in several major battles, including the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 1862), Antietam (September 1862) and Gettysburg (July 1863). After retiring from the army as a major general, he served as president of the Theosophical Society, a prominent spiritualist organization. (Section 1, Grave 61)

Dwight F. Davis, U.S. Army (1879-1945) — Champion tennis player Dwight Filley Davis won the U.S. Open and Wimbledon doubles titles in 1901, and is the namesake of the Davis Cup international tennis competition — sometimes called the "World Cup of Tennis." Davis had an equally distinguished career in public service, holding prominent positions in the administrations of Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. He served as assistant secretary of war (1923-1924), secretary of war (1925-1929) and governor general of the Philippines (1929-1932). During World War I, Lt. Col. Davis enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in France, earning the Distinguished Service Cross. (Section 2, Grave 4962)

Joe Louis (Barrow), U.S. Army (1914-1981) — Joe Louis Barrow, "The Brown Bomber," held the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World for longer, and defended it more times, than any other boxer in history. In 1942, he donated the purses from two fights, totaling nearly $100,000, to Army and Navy relief societies. After enlisting in the Army later that year, he fought 96 exhibition matches for more than two million troops. In 1945, Sgt. Louis was awarded the Legion of Merit for his contributions to troop morale. More about Joe Louis. (Section 7A, Grave 177)

Spottswood Poles, U.S. Army (1887-1962) — One of the best Negro League baseball players of the early 20th century, Spottswood "Spot" Poles has been called the "black Ty Cobb." Playing for the New York Lincoln Giants, he achieved a batting average of .487 during the 1914 season. In 1917, he enlisted in the U.S. Army's 369th Infantry Regiment — a primarily African American unit attached to the French army, also known as the "Harlem Hellfighters." Serving in France, Sgt. Poles earned five battle stars and a Purple Heart. (Section 42, Grave 2324)

Ernest Judson Wilson, U.S. Army (1894-1963) — A baseball player and manager in the Negro Leagues, "Jud" Wilson played for the Baltimore Black Sox, the Homestead Grays and the Philadelphia Stars between 1922 and 1945. Known for his powerful hitting style, Wilson finished his career with a lifetime batting average of .351, the fifth highest in Negro League history. Wilson was posthumously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. He served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during World War I. (Section 43, Grave 1114)