Dogs In The War

Si Klegg

Corporal
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Location
Bedford UK
I was looking at the uniforms close up in this George Barnard image of the Atlanta defences in 1864 and look who else I found ... sensibly lying in the shade!

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atlanta dog3.jpg
 

Specster

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Location
Mass.
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.


Just started learning about the Karelian Bear Dog, on average about 45 pounds, that will attack 400 plus pound bears and absolutely stand their ground.....brave dogs that are in high demand by forestry folks because they dont have to kill the bear to drive them off. Then they go back to their handlers at no peril to them
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
Just started learning about the Karelian Bear Dog, on average about 45 pounds, that will attack 400 plus pound bears and absolutely stand their ground.....brave dogs that are in high demand by forestry folks because they dont have to kill the bear to drive them off. Then they go back to their handlers at no peril to them

Wow. Hadn't heard of them before. It looks like they're very determined hunters, too.
 

Specster

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Location
Mass.
Just started learning about the Karelian Bear Dog, on average about 45 pounds, that will attack 400 plus pound bears and absolutely stand their ground.....brave dogs that are in high demand by forestry folks because they dont have to kill the bear to drive them off. Then they go back to their handlers at no peril to them
Wow. Hadn't heard of them before. It looks like they're very determined hunters, too.


Ive seen them work with Forestry Folk...they let the bears out of a cage and these dogs chase them off while the Rangers fire guns in the air...They call it a Hard Release and bears usually stay away after
 

Specster

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Location
Mass.
Great to see this older thread back up. Always did enjoy all the posts.
I hope I dont get flagged for saying this but in the "Current" war on our Southern boarder the soldiers on both sides of the fence say "The dogs are the best soldiers because they cannot be corrupted" - That is a huge factor. The dog will always be loyal to his handler or troop (ACW).....that is so huge!!!
 

Specster

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Location
Mass.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer of December 1, 1863, tells of this canine member of the 91st New York Volunteers:
Dogs have been used in battle at least since the Roman Empire and I would bet anything far earlier. Yet, I dont think they have been used to the training and extent as they have been used by the USA in the past 20 years. The ACW saw many "mascots" but I dont think there were many fighting dogs. Either way, I would have taken them as a comrade in arms.
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
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 ...View attachment 137336 )

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


Notwithstanding the scant evidence against Juliet's alleged killer, it turns out that the men of Company D did manage to exact some slight justice in her name. But first, they gave her a rather lavish funeral. Company D's Corporal Zenas T. Haines, a newspaperman and correspondent for the Boston Herald, detailed the ceremony and the "legal" proceedings that followed:

“In barracks at Readville,
Saturday, October 18, 1862

“When in my last I made allusion to our company dog Romeo and his feline companion, we could not foresee the sad and sudden rupture of all the relations between us. On Sunday a fiat from headquarters sent Romeo out of camp; the succeeding night [kitty] departed this life. Did she die of grief at the loss of Romeo? No one can say; but general opinion inclines to catalepsy. Her little stiffened body was encoffined in a paper box, and placed in the centre of the barrack. A small American flag was thrown over it, and the boys gathering about the remains sung Pleyel's Hymn with an appearance of solemnity that was altogether irresistible. The remains were then carefully placed upon an extemporized bier, and borne to the rear of the kitchen in the midst of a formidable guard of honor, marching with arms reversed, and chanting doleful symphonies. The weeping skies were in sympathy with the occasion; and the clouds were soon shedding tears upon the turf imprisoning the pet of the barrack. Imaginary volleys were fired, but all was not over. The funeral party had no sooner returned to the barrack than rumors of foul play began to circulate. A horrid secret was believed to be involved in the death of the cat. Suspicion fell upon a man whose bunk she had lately occupied, and who had been heard to utter threats against [kitty] for certain alleged rank offenses. The suspected party was arrested, a court organized, the defendant tried, convicted, and sentenced to subsist two days upon the rations. The unhappy man, anticipating his fate, made three desperate attempts to escape, but was foiled in each instance, and forced to submit to the decree of justice.”

~ From “Letters from the Forty-fourth regiment M.V.M.: a record of the experience of a nine months' regiment in the Department of North Carolina in 1862-3,” by Zenas T. Haines, published 1863

I can't help hoping that the “sentence” was carried out in full view of comrades enjoying delicacies sent by loved ones back home and patriotic residents of Readville. Now that would be just deserts.
 
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