....by George, that just made me cry!


Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Thread Medic
Jul 23, 2017
Southwest Missouri
I found a blurb from a Civil War interview that made me wonder about my own reactions. And based on the media, I am in no way alone. Let's start with the interview blurb from a book called 'The South' and done on the Fredericksburg battlefield.

“Were you in the battle?”

“Yes, I was in all of Saturday’s fight. My regiment was stationed on the hill down on the right there. We could see everything. Your men piled up their dead for breastworks. It was an awful sight when the shells struck them, and exploded! The air, for a minute, would be just full of legs and arms and pieces of trunks. Down by the road there we dug out a wagon-load of muskets. They had been piled up by your fellows, and dirt thrown over them, for a breastwork.

But the worst sight I saw was three days afterwards. I didn’t mind the heaps of dead, nor nothing. But just a starving dog sitting by a corpse, which he wouldn’t let anybody come near, and which he never left night nor day;—by George, that just made me cry! We finally had to shoot the dog to get at the man to him.”

Amongst all the death of this battle, both friend and foe, this veteran admits the shooting of a starving dog caused him to cry. We all know that both Generals Lee and Grant were very protective of horses and mules. One of the memories from Hurricane Katrina that can still upset me to remember, was a frightened and hungry dog trapped on an overpass and screaming in fear when someone tried to help him/her.

And you? When I ask you about the "Australia fires", what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

So why is that many humans tend to care more about the suffering of an animal, than a fellow human? Is it because they, like a child, are 'innocent' in our eyes?

John Hartwell

Forum Host
Aug 27, 2011
Central Massachusetts
So sad. But, so true. The most 'difficult' thing about this forum is that so many of our animal stories entail, if we care to tell the whole story, a very sad ending. Animals, like children, are truly innocent because they can't comprehend the reason for their suffering, it must seem to them a monstrous, incomprehensible injustice. Which, of course, is exactly what it is.
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Coonewah Creek

First Sergeant
Jun 1, 2018
Northern Alabama
Reposting from another thread a while back. I think it applies here too:



1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Apr 18, 2019
Upstate New York
I think the writer was crying not because of the starvation and then death of the dog but rather due to its display of loyalty. So many times the stories we hear about animals in war stress how loyal they were and how willing to overlook their own needs and fears when called to help their human compatriots. It seems their love for us is something we deeply value in animals.