DOGS IN THE WAR


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LoyaltyOfDogs

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It wasn't just the armies that loved dogs. A photograph taken on board the gunboat USS Miami:

View attachment 129197
That's a great photo, @Burning Billy, thanks for sharing it. Besides the two spaniels who are posed so attentively for their portrait, there's this little lap dog being cuddled nearby. I had to look a couple of times before I spotted him.

USS Miami lap dog.jpg
 
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That's a great photo, @Burning Billy, thanks for sharing it. Besides the two spaniels who are posed so attentively for their portrait, there's this little lap dog being cuddled nearby. I had to look a couple of times before I spotted him.
Good catch! I didn't notice that until you pointed it out. The dog looks like it fell asleep in his lap too.

I think I was distracted by the facial hair on the guy with the lap dog. Who knew Burnside had a Navy doppelganger?
 
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Andy Cardinal

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There was also a dog belonging to a captain in the Iron Brigade who was killed at Antietam. When his body was recovered, the dog was lying with him and both were buried together in the National Cemetery. The officer's name escapes me at the moment, however.

R
Captain Werner von Bachelle of the 6th Wisconsin.

Captain Bachelle was an ex-officer of the French army. Brought up as a soldier in the Napoleonic school, he was imbued with the doctrine of fatalism. His soldierly qualities commanded the respect of all, and his loss was deeply felt in the regiment. Bachelle had a fine Newfoundland dog, which had been trained to perform military salutes and many other remarkable things. In camp, on the march, and in the line of battle, this dog was his constant companion. The dog was by his side when he fell.

Our line of men left the body when they retreated, but the dog stayed with his dead master, and was found on the morning of the 19th of September lying dead upon his body. We buried him with his master. So far as we knew, no family or friends mourned for poor Bachelle, and it is probable that he was joined in death by his most devoted friend on earth. (Rufus Dawes, Service in the Sixth Wisconsin, p. 93)
 
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Andy Cardinal

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Just visited Chancellorsville and picked up the 2 part Blue & Gray special edition. While reading it, I ran across the story of General James Lane, whose brother was killed during the fighting around Hazel Grove on May 3. According to Frank O'Reilly's account, Lane was devastated, cradling his brother's body and "bathing it in tears." Later that night, a stray dog wandered up to the grief-stricken Lane as he lay on the battlefield. The dog, who had apparently been the mascot of some Union regiment, had "Co. K" shaved into it's fur. The dog stayed with Lane the rest of the night, and they "remained inseparable companions for the rest of the war."
 
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John Hartwell

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A Chaplain Reflects on the Character of His Regiment’s Dogs

“Daily they do honor to every faculty their Maker has given them, while it may be both you and those who proudly boast themselves as the owners of the dog, are daily and recklessly dishonoring, by misimprovement, each power of body and faculty of soul bestowed for high aims and holy purposes.”

Dog Jack, the celebrated mascot of the 102nd Pennsylvania Volunteers, is one of the best known dogs of the Civil War. But he was not the regiment’s only mascot. In a memoir, the regiment’s chaplain, Rev. Alexander M. Stewart, tells not only Jack’s story in detail, but he also introduces two other memorable dogs, York and Beauty. Rev. Stewart’s musings on theology and military life underscore the high esteem that soldiers held for their canine companions.

If anyone might wonder why soldiers erected bronze monuments to their dogs, buried them with military honors or toasted their memory at reunions, let them read Rev. Stewart’s account:

View attachment 125338

“Two Famous Characters.—As chroniclers of great battles are wont to say, ‘It would be impossible to mention by name all who have distinguished themselves,’ so neither, as you will bear me witness, has there been any attempt, in my numerous letters from camp, to mention individuals by name who have done honor to the service. In so doing a large list must be made, as almost every name would press for insertion. There are, however, two characters attached to our regiment, whose long, brave, constant, uninterrupted manly bearing, it might seem invidious longer to pass over in silence. Volunteering into the regiment at its first organization, now nineteen long months,—during all that time, they have shown no tendency to desert, nor even asked for a furlough or leave of absence. They have never been off duty; never missed a roll call; never offered a complaint; never have seemed to doubt of ultimate success; always cheery and ready to lend a helping hand at any difficult service. Far different, also, from many in their respective companies, they have never yet so far disgraced themselves, as to violate the law of God, wholesome army regulations, together with all rules of decency and gentlemanly bearing, by uttering a vulgarity, swearing a profane oath, playing cards or getting drunk. Their characters, it may be truly said, are now known and read of all. But who, who are they? Let us hear the names of such true gentlemen and model characters, such brave soldiers and unbending patriots: —Two Dogs.

“Smile, reader, if you will; but don't snarl or turn up the nose. These two characters are far more worthy to have an honorable chronicle, than many a biped with whom they associate….. Yet are they none of your ordinary whelps or curs, though to the manor born, and without name or fame. By native strength of character, and living in revolutionary times, they have raised themselves above the common swarm of mongrels. As the biography of many a Brigadier should, in charitable silence, be brief, so of our two heroes nothing shall be written until fairly ushered upon the stage of active military life.”

Here Rev. Stewart tells the well-known story of Jack’s early career as firedog of the Niagara Fire Company of Pittsburg (sic), Pennsylvania, then he follows with passages on the 102nd’s other mascots.

“The other dog is a curious looking specimen of the canine. One must be more skilled in doggery than the writer, to define his species. Spaniel, cur, terrier, and waterdog all seem blended in one. He is, however, ‘A rhyming, ranting, roving billie.’ His partial friends do, indeed, boast him of high degree; yet sure all who meet him must admit,

‘That though he be of high degree,
The feint a pride, no pride has he.’

“Volunteering in the regiment while encamped in the city of York, Pa., in May, 1861, he is, in accordance, surnamed York. He is enrolled in company B, which occupies the extreme left or rear of the regiment. Should Jack at any time approach the rear, every hair on York's body is at once on end. Should York approach the right, Jack sends him back according to true military style and authority. York's reasoning faculties seem to operate slowly. He is accustomed to bound away, and bring back in his mouth whatever missile any one of the boys may throw from them, whether falling upon land or water. With live game he has but little acquaintance. The other day a rabbit was started, and was seen by York at a certain point. Thither he bounded with wonderful agility; then he stopped and snuffed and snorted to find the rabbit as he would a block or stone—seeming wholly oblivious, that although the rabbit was actually in that spot when he started in pursuit, it might not perchance be in the same spot when he arrived. Marvellous stories are told by the boys concerning the experience and knowledge in military affairs acquired by these dogs; all of which, if written, would fill a volume, and put to shame many a Brigadier.

“Another dog we had whose name is still cherished, and whose memory should not be allowed to perish without a word. On account of many graces, both mental and bodily, it received the appellation of ‘Beauty.’" Along into the battle of Malvern, went Beauty, but came not out. Some would have it, that Beauty was taken prisoner, but as the name never appeared among the list of captured, this seems impossible. The majority have it, that Beauty was torn to pieces by a bursting shell. Poor Beauty bleaches not alone, unburied, from our regiment, upon those bloodstained hills of Malvern. Should these two veterans not meet the fate of Beauty, and be allowed to return with the living to Pittsburg, a bright brass collar, with appended silver medal, will, no doubt, be voted to each, and be worn by their dogships the remainder of life.

“Reader, these two dogs give evidence of thinking as quickly, and reasoning as accurately as yourself. What is it, then, which separates you from them so widely, marking a distinction lasting as eternity? They have no conscience, no moral sense, no remorse for the past, no hope or dread of the future. All these you possess, and in their daily exercise they argue you accountable—a being, the consequences of whose actions are not to cease, as will those of Jack and York. Yet, perchance, these dogs are acting in a manner much more rational than yourself. Daily they do honor to every faculty their Maker has given them, while it may be both you and those who proudly boast themselves as the owners of the dog, are daily and recklessly dishonoring, by misimprovement, each power of body and faculty of soul bestowed for high aims and holy purposes.

“Two years have now elapsed since the above chronicle was made of our two camp friends. These two eventful years have made rapid and fearful changes among the human members of our regiment, as well as of the whole army. Nor have our canine companions been exceptions to war's rapid mutations. Eighteen months since, poor York sank under a complication of injuries, diseases and exposures—died in camp, was buried with appropriate military honors by the members of his company, while a board at the spot duly chronicles the event. Jack still survives, through multiplied dangers and vicissitudes, maintaining his honorable position in the field and active service….”

From “Camp, March and Battle-field; Or Three Years and a Half with the Amy of the Potomac,” 1865
And, here's "Dog Jack" of the 102nd Pa.:
 

John Hartwell

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In 1866, Richard Devens summarized Jack's story nicely:

"Jack served a regular term with the Niagara Fire Insurance Engine Company in Pittsburg, Penn., before the war broke out; and when volunteers were called to put down the rebellion, several members of the Niagara Company entered the service in the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania volunteers, and Jack, no doubt prompted by patriotic impulses, also went into the field with some of his old friends, and made a good military record of himself. He was at the siege of Yorktown, battle of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, battle of the Pickets, Malvern Hill, (where he was wounded,) first and second Fredericksburg; at Salem Church he was captured, after which he was exchanged and returned to the regiment. In the battle of Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, he was again taken prisoner by the Confederates, early in the morning, while on duty at division headquarters, but was recaptured when General Sheridan made his famous advance at four in the afternoon. 'Jack' had to run on three legs, as the penalty of his patriotic services, but in other respects continued as agile as ever, — wearing his honors with the meekness becoming a good dog."
[The pictorial book of anecdotes and incidents of the war of the rebellion, p.182]
 

John Hartwell

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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

The scene: Camp Meigs, Readeville, Massachusetts.

Romeo and Juliet were a star-crossed couple if ever there was one. They were adopted by the men of Co. D, 44th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, raised for 9 months’ service in the summer of 1862. Their companionship, and their service to their country, was lamentably brief, as reported in the Regimental History:

June 28th: “Your correspondent, and the other members of Company D, are indebted to Corporal Gardner for the introduction of a company dog, 'Romeo', a promising fellow, whose laughing countenance and wagging tail and general intelligence have already won him a host of friends. Several of the boys are industriously laboring to reconcile him to the society of 'Juliet', a cat which has come to our barrack.”

Sadly, it was not to be. Barely six weeks later, the colonel announced that when the 44th shipped out for the Carolinas, they could not take Romeo with them. And, Juliet ... well, her tale, briefly told, is sadder still:

“Unfortunately, an order promulgated from headquarters sent ‘Romeo’ out of camp and ‘Juliet,’ in despair, followed the example of her illustrious namesake; at least it was so supposed, as p*ssy died very suddenly the day following Romeo’s departure. One of the members of Company D was accused of murdering her, tried by court-martial, and convicted; but the evidence against the alleged culprit was far from conclusive.”(Of course, we all know the truth: fair Juliet obtained a 'potion' from the apothecary, and, in despair for the loss of her dear Romeo ...
rsz_grave.png
)

Record of the service of the Forty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in North Carolina, August 1862 to May 1863, by James B. Gardner, (1887)
 
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LoyaltyOfDogs

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Specster

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Not that it is even close, but when I wake up in the morning, and the arthritis is acting up, and I have nothing but work ahead of me, I bring the dog even if it hot and I keep the car running all day with the A/C on. A dog in hard times can make a big difference in your circumstance.
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

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Not that it is even close, but when I wake up in the morning, and the arthritis is acting up, and I have nothing but work ahead of me, I bring the dog even if it hot and I keep the car running all day with the A/C on. A dog in hard times can make a big difference in your circumstance.
No matter what we humans must face, there is nothing like the companionship of a dog to help see us through.
 

Specster

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talk about warrior spirit, I have no doubt that most dogs would die for their masters without a second thought. I know many, many soldiers would do the same. They should both be recognized for that quality
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

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talk about warrior spirit, I have no doubt that most dogs would die for their masters without a second thought. I know many, many soldiers would do the same. They should both be recognized for that quality
I agree, they are like soldiers in that regard. I think many dogs wouldn't hesitate to get between a beloved person and anyone or anything the dog considered a threat.
 



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