*See note below about registered Service Dogs in cemeteries.
At Antietam National Cemetery, the grave of Captain Werner von Bachelle of Co F 6th Wisconsin gets its share of visitors. Von Bachelle died like many other brave soldiers in the Battle of Antietam, but it's his dog that attracts visitors to the grave site.
In response to Lincoln's first call, Werner von Bachelle volunteered in April 1861 with the local militia, the Citizen Corps of Milwaukee. The officers were commissioned into Federal service in May and the unit became Company F of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Most of the members of the company were German born immigrants and, like von Bachelle, most spoke German. The Regiment was brigaded with the 2nd Wisconsin, 7th Wisconsin and 19th Indiana Infantry Regiments which became the famous “Black Hat” Brigade (aka Iron Brigade.)
Von Bachelle befriended the Newfoundland dog (obviously not the dog in this picture ) in the days prior to the battle of Antietam and the regiment adopted the dog as their mascot. The dog was found with Capt. von Bachelle's body two days after the battle and was buried with the Captain. It is possible that the remains of the fine Newfoundland dog were reinterred with von Bachelle and lie in the Antietam National Cemetery.
Major Rufus Dawes commanding the regiment that day had this to say about Von Bachelle and the dog:
"At the very farthest point of advance on the turnpike, Captain Werner Von Bachelle, commanding Company F, was shot dead. 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.
Read the whole story here at Antietam on the Web blog http://behind.aotw.org/2011/01/09/the-newf-and-werner-von-bachelle/
Find A Grave memorial http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12391087
*Note: For obvious reasons, regular companion animals are not allowed in National Cemeteries. The dog in the picture, paying respects at the grave site, is a specially trained and registered Diabetes Alert Service Dog. As such, he is allowed in public places, including National Cemeteries.