Civil War games were common on both sides during the war.
Games did a lot to keep the troops entertained and ease the constant boredom of camp life.
Soldiers played all kinds of Civil War card games, they made distinctive chess pieces, played checkers, backgammon, dominoes, they read newspapers, books and played horseshoes.
They also played whole team sports such as baseball and a very early often-brutal version of football. Holidays in camp were cause for large celebrations.
There were foot races, feasts, horse races, music shows, and all types of different contests that were put on by the troops.
If you like the look of old playing cards the Bicycle 1800 Vintage Series Playing Cards are about as rustic as you can get. While they aren’t Civil War playing cards they have a great distressed look that makes them look like they came right out of the 1800’s.
Basically soldiers on both sides did anything they could to stop the boredom they often had to endure living in camp.
Now of course all of these activities could never take place when an army was on an active campaign, during a campaign leisure time was relegated to basically writing letters, sleeping and keeping your equipment in working order.