I just finished reading Diary of a Common Soldier in the American Revolution, 1775-1783 edited by Robert C. Bray & Paul E. Bushnell.
This is an annotated, published diary of Jeremiah Greenman’s experiences in the military during the American Revolution. Greenman was born in Newport, RI in 1758 and enlisted in the Rhode Island Continentals at the age of 17. When the British invaded and occupied Newport, Greenman’s family left and settled in a village called Acoaxet in Dartmouth, Mass now in Westport. Greenman made many trips to visit with family in Acoaxet while in military service.
Among Greeman’s adventures in the Revolution was an expedition under Benedict Arnold to Quebec and two stints as a prisoner of war. Also included in his diary are several entries related to playing ball:
(May 1776 In Quebec Prison)“we can’t see no Snow but plenty of Ice in our bumprofe / keep o[u]r Selvs ha[r]ty in playin ball in ye yard [illeg.](April 1782, Philadelphia)“The fore noon spent in playing wicket ball / Continuing the Remainder of the day in Barracks.”(May-June 1783 Saratoga)“Nothing happing worthy remarks, implying our selvs in a skettle & ball Alle[y]”