"Budge," Three-legged Hero of Antietam

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John Hartwell

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Watchin' for that Cannon Ball!
General Joseph Bartlett tells the following story of an army dog [Feb. 1890]:

“The canine was named 'Budge,' and he followed the Army of the Potomac during the early years of the war. Budge had a habit of chasing cannon balls, and while thus engaged during a battle he lost one of his legs. He was left on the field, the men being too busy to care for him, but some days afterward he limped into camp. A surgeon of the Twenty-seventh New York fixed up the stump, and in the course of time it healed.​
“Budge was all through the Peninsula campaign, and during the advance and retreat he hobbled along and during engagements followed his favorite pastime, chasing cannon balls and shells. Nothing could abate his zeal in that direction. Budge followed the troops back to Washington, took part in the second battle of Bull Run, the battle of South Mountain, and then hobbled along until he reached Antietam.​
“In the battle of that day Budge chose to take part in the conflict on our right, and seemed to enjoy it. He was very busy that day, and had got so he could make good time on three legs. He had plenty of balls and shells to look after, too. When the fight was over, along in the afternoon, Budge was missing.​
“The next morning in passing through the terrible ‘corn field’ in search of the dead and wounded, some of the boys came across the lifeless body of old Budge, and by his side was the body of a wounded member of the brigade who had been in the habit of feeding him. Budge, he said, had remained with him when he fell, and when the rebels swept through the corn field in one of the numerous charges made, Budge defended him against what he knew was the assault of an enemy, and was shot down, loyal to the last to the old flag, the Constitution, and the Union, too, if you please, if he was nothing but a dog.”​
 
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@General Casey , may this story give you a little comfort from the concern about your dog! It seems Budge really enjoyed himself even after he had lost that leg. May your dog also continue to have a happy canine life!

Great story and what comfort must Budge have meant to the poor wounded soldier, awaiting the final attack of the enemy.
Thanks for sharing!
 

Waterloo50

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Watchin' for that Cannon Ball!
General Joseph Bartlett tells the following story of an army dog [Feb. 1890]:

“The canine was named 'Budge,' and he followed the Army of the Potomac during the early years of the war. Budge had a habit of chasing cannon balls, and while thus engaged during a battle he lost one of his legs. He was left on the field, the men being too busy to care for him, but some days afterward he limped into camp. A surgeon of the Twenty-seventh New York fixed up the stump, and in the course of time it healed.​
“Budge was all through the Peninsula campaign, and during the advance and retreat he hobbled along and during engagements followed his favorite pastime, chasing cannon balls and shells. Nothing could abate his zeal in that direction. Budge followed the troops back to Washington, took part in the second battle of Bull Run, the battle of South Mountain, and then hobbled along until he reached Antietam.​
“In the battle of that day Budge chose to take part in the conflict on our right, and seemed to enjoy it. He was very busy that day, and had got so he could make good time on three legs. He had plenty of balls and shells to look after, too. When the fight was over, along in the afternoon, Budge was missing.​
“The next morning in passing through the terrible ‘corn field’ in search of the dead and wounded, some of the boys came across the lifeless body of old Budge, and by his side was the body of a wounded member of the brigade who had been in the habit of feeding him. Budge, he said, had remained with him when he fell, and when the rebels swept through the corn field in one of the numerous charges made, Budge defended him against what he knew was the assault of an enemy, and was shot down, loyal to the last to the old flag, the Constitution, and the Union, too, if you please, if he was nothing but a dog.”​
That’s a great story, I’ve also read stories of men losing their legs trying to stop cannon balls with their feet, I suppose that the balls look harmless enough as they roll across the field but the problem is, even when they appear to be losing momentum they have a lot of kinetic energy. Dogs just can’t help being dogs, I’d never really given it much thought before but a dog wouldn’t associate balls and shells with danger, nope, they’d just be something to chase and bark at, Old Budge was lucky to have lived for as long as he did.
 
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John Hartwell

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That’s a great story, I’ve also read stories of men losing their legs trying to stop cannon balls with their feet, I suppose that the balls look harmless enough as they roll across the field but the problem is, even when they appear to be losing momentum they have a lot of kinetic energy. Dogs just can’t help being dogs, I’d never really given it much thought before but a dog wouldn’t associate balls and shells with danger, nope, they’d just be something to chase and bark at, Old Budge was lucky to have lived for as long as he did.
So many dogs, it seems, met their end chasing cannon balls, or pouncing on the tufts of dirt kicked up as minie balls struck the ground. One can only hope that they went out feeling a split-second of triumphant joy at having finally caught one.
 
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General Casey

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@General Casey , may this story give you a little comfort from the concern about your dog! It seems Budge really enjoyed himself even after he had lost that leg. May your dog also continue to have a happy canine life!

Great story and what comfort must Budge have meant to the poor wounded soldier, awaiting the final attack of the enemy.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you @FarawayFriend thankfully she was up and about last night when we visited hours after the surgery
 
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