A Say What August 26 “National Dog Day Special”: A Tribute to Faithful Comrades

DBF

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
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Daniel M. Stearns of Wellsville, Ohio loved his dog so much that when he went to fight for the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Company F in 1862 he brought his best friend Harvey a bull terrier with him. Harvey was so popular that he soon became one of three mascots for the company and the only four-legged soldier that served the full three-years. He was known for his ability to distinguish the enemy by his barking and was wounded twice during battle. He was also captured but was returned the next day, of course under a flag of truce.

Some of Stearns fellow soldiers wrote home about the antics of Harvey. Captain William Jordan wrote his family that Harvey and fellow mascot Colonel had “the run of the regiment.” Fellow soldier Private Adam Weaver enjoyed how Harvey during camp sing-a-longs would sway to the music and bark when the men sang. Weaver wrote his brother his explanation of the “musical” dog by saying “My idea is that the noise hurts his ears as it does mine!”.

When Stearns was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1862, he made a special brass tag Harvey wore on his collar that read: "I am Lieutenant D.M. Stearns dog. Whose dog are you?” In 1865, Stearns and Harvey were mustered out of the military.

The regiment commissioned a portrait of Harvey that was displayed at future reunions and eventually they made badges with Harvey’s picture. The veterans proudly wore Harvey’s medal at social gatherings. It is believed that Harvey lived out his retirement with Stearns.

August 26th is Dog Appreciation Day and let us never forget the unconditional love and devotion these four-legged soldiers gave their comrades. Not all dogs lived through the war but died on the field of battle dedicated to their masters to their end.

Colonel Salome Marsh of the 5th Maryland Infantry was a soldier that had his four-legged companion follow him into war. When his little buddy was killed Colonel March wrote this poem in his memory.

Epitaph on a Favorite Dog

“Poor Sam is dead and gone,
We ne'er shall see him more,
He has left us here to mourn,
Whom we did once adore.

Alas, Thy days are numbered,
True and faithful friend,
The tender ties are severed,
That kept thee to thy end.

When other friends proved false,
Thou wert always true,
Hence, death, hath given cause,

To mourn the loss of you.” {2}



These loyal four-legged comrades “paved the trail” for the
tradition of canine military service continues!

German_Sheppard_w_doggles.jpg

(Public Domain*)



Sources
1. https://dogs-in-history.blogspot.com/2017/06/harvey-civil-wars-barking-dog.html
2. http://guardianoftheartifacts.blogspot.com/2014/09/pets-and-mascots-of-civil-war.html
{*} “This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier as part of his official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.”

“National Dog Day celebrates all dogs, mixed breed and pure. Our mission is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day...for personal protection, for law enforcement, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage, now they're detecting cancer and seizures...things even humans cannot do.”
https://www.nationaldogday.com/about1
 

Llewellyn

Corporal
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Location
Britain
One of my little chaps had an eye removed today. Glaucoma and detached retina probably caused by a tumour at the back of the eye.
He's still a bit subdued,ten hours after his operation, but sleep is the great healer . . . . . just waiting now to get the histology report hoping that the tumour is not malignant.
 

frontrank2

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Location
Mt. Jackson, Va
One of my little chaps had an eye removed today. Glaucoma and detached retina probably caused by a tumour at the back of the eye.
He's still a bit subdued,ten hours after his operation, but sleep is the great healer . . . . . just waiting now to get the histology report hoping that the tumour is not malignant.
I hope all goes well. These guys are our four legged kids, part of our families. So we hate to see anything happen to them.
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
For National Dog Day, The Far Side Daily Dose has a special offering (though cat lovers may cringe!) Be quick, though, it will only last for today (Sept. 26th, but you can 'back-click' to it tomorrow):
 

KianGaf

Sergeant
Joined
May 29, 2019
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Lost one of my friends two weeks back after sixteen great years together. I miss him badly and laid him to rest in yard where he lived. I am giving extra attention to my other dog who is only five. He grew up with the dog that passed. He is doing ok but has been a bit out of sorts. The dog is a great creature and I don’t understand how anyone can be cruel to them.
 
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frontrank2

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Location
Mt. Jackson, Va
Lost one of my friends two weeks back after sixteen great years together. I miss him badly and laid him to rest in yard where he lived. I am giving extra attention to my other dog who is only five. He grew up with the other dog. He is doing ok but has been a bit out of sorts. The dog is a great creature and I don’t understand how anyone can be cruel to them.
I think dogs are emotionally more complex than we give them credit for.
 

Fairfield

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Lost one of my friends two weeks back after sixteen great years together. I miss him badly and laid him to rest in yard where he lived. I am giving extra attention to my other dog who is only five. He grew up with the dog that passed. He is doing ok but has been a bit out of sorts. The dog is a great creature and I don’t understand how anyone can be cruel to them.
Anonymous: “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”
 
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