When you talk about the very very early days it can be tough to figure out what is and isn’t technically “pro wrestling.” Historians like Karl Stern have established that modern wrestling has its origins in the carnival days around the Civil War.
One example of this type of carnival wrestling in Buffalo took place during a two day “Indian Fete” at Moffat’s Grove held May 30th and 31st of 1862. The event was highlighted by “Indian Races”, basically footraces which were popular draws at the time, but it included “a grand wrestling match” at 8 p.m. of the first night. The event and schedule were promoted in Buffalo Daily Courier. Interesting side note, the same edition of the Courier that promoted this event had official reports from the recent Battle of Shiloh.