New York Historical Society
Included in those serving in the Union army early in the war was club president, Frank Knight so the loss of club leadership as well as the number on military service probably had a lot to do with the club's inactivity. Frank Knight was probably not focused on town ball for another reason. In 1859 and 1860, Philadelphia area clubs were switching to the New York game. In addition a number of new base ball clubs were being formed including the Equity Club which began play in 1860 and according to Philadelphia base ball historian, John Shiffert, was most likely the best team in Philadelphia that year. Two members of their "hard-hitting" lineup were the aforementioned Knight and another member of the Camden Club, Weston Fisler. Fisler would go on to a long and distinguished professional base ball career including playing in the first National League game in April of 1876. It seems likely that military service and the lure of the New York game kept the Camdens off the town ball field through 1862.
West Jersey Press - September 16, 1863
By September of 1863, however, Knight was out of the army and he, as well as Fisler, rejoined the Camden Club for at least one inter-club game. Also present were brothers of Arthur Merry and William Evans, the two club members killed at Gaines Mill. This game is the last recorded town ball match of any kind played by the Camden Club. By the following spring the Camden boys had also made the conversion to the New York game and appear to have competed through the 1868 season.
Philadelphia Inquirer - August 9, 1864
The Camdens apparently didn't believe in doing things half way as their first documented games were three matches against the Athletic Club of Philadelphia (8-1 in 1864) and the undefeated Brooklyn Atlantics, who handed the Athletics their only loss. Not surprisingly the south Jersey club lost all three by a combined score of 127-32. This presaged the Camden Club's experience over the next four years as they had an overall record of 6-16. By the end of 1868, the Camdens weren't even the best team in their home town, losing twice to the Union Club by an average of 20 runs per game.
Next up (after Christmas) a look at some of the members of the Camden Club.