Iron Brigade Dog & Capt Werner von Bachelle

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lelliott19

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*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 :nah disagree:) 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.
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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.
 
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What a great story!
Poor von Bachelle, nobody mourned for him ... but the dog!
There are still people by the name of "von Bachelle" living in Germany.

(and thanks for revealing the facts about your dog. When I saw at Gettysburg that you had a service dog and both of you looked so strong and energetic, I had already asked myself ... and how wonderful, diabetes dogs really do amazing things!)
 

MaryDee

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My daughter fostered a Guide Dogs for the Blind trainee for a few months several years ago. She was hoping to adopt him, since he had problems with the stress of guide dog training. However, the dog was so good that he went to the diabetes dog program and, last my daughter heard, had become the protector/companion of a darling 3 year old girl, solving the considerable problems of her family in controlling her severe Type 1 diabetes. Dogs can do amazing things!

Thank you, @lelliott19, for clarifying the position of real service dogs! As you undoubtedly know, the proliferation of fake service dogs has imposed a real hardship on those of you who depend--often for your lives--on the real thing!
 
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Not to abuse this thread too much, but service dogs can even help with PTSD.
I had wondered why Marcus Luttrell, the "Lone Survivor" (title of his book/movie) of a SEAL team that was ambushed in Afghanistan, often was seen on TV with a service dog, although physically he seemed unscathed (apart from a nasty parasite he got from drinking contaminated water). That is because the dog helps him to calm down. And I was really shocked to hear that his first service dog was murdered by some ... teens just for fun! As if he had not gone through enough strain!!
We have often discussed if CW soldiers also suffered PTSD, which I think is most probable, although it would be named different. Maybe the new forum sheds some light if animals also helped these soldiers after the war ...
(elegantly led back to topic ...)
 
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LoyaltyOfDogs

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What are fake service dogs?
Occasionally, people who want to take their dogs into places where only service dogs are allowed apparently have claimed, falsely, that their pets are service dogs. Although I'm not personally aware of any specific instances where such a misrepresentation has occurred, I imagine this could have negative consequences for actual service dogs and their people if the "fake" service dog misbehaved in some way. Unlike true service dogs, who are highly trained to behave well in public and social situations, ordinary pets may or may not be sufficiently well trained to avoid problems.
 
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Occasionally, people who want to take their dogs into places where only service dogs are allowed apparently have claimed, falsely, that their pets are service dogs. Although I'm not personally aware of any specific instances where such a misrepresentation has occurred, I imagine this could have negative consequences for actual service dogs and their people if the "fake" service dog misbehaved in some way. Unlike true service dogs, who are highly trained to behave well in public and social situations, ordinary pets may or may not be sufficiently well trained to avoid problems.
Thank you for that explanation... difficult subject...
 
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Pat Young

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According to Rufus Dawes, Company F was a predominantly German company. Here is what he writes:

Company F;

[was] made up of Germans from Milwaukee, had two of the most highly qualified officers whom I met in all my service, Lieutenant Schumacher and Lieutenant Werner von Bachelle… It was to me an instructive pleasure to watch them drill their company. The influence of this splendid company, …was marked in stimulating others [by] their performance. Both of these gallant men and model soldiers were killed in battle for their adopted country. Service with the 6th Wisconsin Volunteers by Rufus Dawes p. 13.

Captain Hauser, the commander of the regiments mostly German Company H, was a Swiss-trained officer who had served with Garibaldi in Italy. Dawes called Hauser a “stalwart soldier”.
 
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lelliott19

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and thanks for revealing the facts about your dog. When I saw at Gettysburg that you had a service dog and both of you looked so strong and energetic, I had already asked myself ... and how wonderful, diabetes dogs really do amazing things!)
My husband has diabetes. In addition to the obvious obedience training and public access training, Rocky (the dog) underwent extensive scent training (specific to Jody) to recognize when his blood sugar is outside of the normal range. Rocky alerts when it is too high or too low so Jody knows when he needs to take action. He can also alert others nearby in case Jody doesn't take action quite quick enough to suit Rocky. :bounce:

Occasionally, people who want to take their dogs into places where only service dogs are allowed apparently have claimed, falsely, that their pets are service dogs. Although I'm not personally aware of any specific instances where such a misrepresentation has occurred, I imagine this could have negative consequences for actual service dogs and their people if the "fake" service dog misbehaved in some way. Unlike true service dogs, who are highly trained to behave well in public and social situations, ordinary pets may or may not be sufficiently well trained to avoid problems.
Indeed the actions of these individuals can create problems for those with trained/registered dogs. Service dogs have to pass a "public access test" which ensures that they know how to act appropriately in situations that are not normal to pets. The issues are especially troubling for historic homes, national parks, public buildings, and restaurants. At historic homes where many valuable artifacts are about, the dog must walk carefully in the specified space; wait patiently while a guide gives a tour; not sniff or annoy bystanders (unless the handler allows the dog to interact with someone); go up and down narrow and winding staircases without damaging the floor; and certainly not stray from the handler inside a building where they could disturb valuable furniture or artifacts. In restaurants, the dog must quietly lie under the table without sniffing people or begging for food. When public places have encountered people with illegitimate service dogs that cause problems, the management is sometimes reluctant (and understandably so) to allow legitimate service dogs inside the establishment for fear that they might disturb other patrons or damage valuable items. We have never encountered any reluctance for entry with my husband's dog, but he is obviously exceptional in public access, very well trained with years of experience- as those who met him at Gettysburg will probably attest. :D

Thanks Pat. I meant to include the original source in the OP. Thank you for providing it.
 
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WJC

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My daughter fostered a Guide Dogs for the Blind trainee for a few months several years ago. She was hoping to adopt him, since he had problems with the stress of guide dog training. However, the dog was so good that he went to the diabetes dog program and, last my daughter heard, had become the protector/companion of a darling 3 year old girl, solving the considerable problems of her family in controlling her severe Type 1 diabetes. Dogs can do amazing things!

Thank you, @lelliott19, for clarifying the position of real service dogs! As you undoubtedly know, the proliferation of fake service dogs has imposed a real hardship on those of you who depend--often for your lives--on the real thing!
I always marvel at service dogs! They are so amazing, so disciplined....
 
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MHB1862

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Occasionally, people who want to take their dogs into places where only service dogs are allowed apparently have claimed, falsely, that their pets are service dogs. Although I'm not personally aware of any specific instances where such a misrepresentation has occurred, I imagine this could have negative consequences for actual service dogs and their people if the "fake" service dog misbehaved in some way. Unlike true service dogs, who are highly trained to behave well in public and social situations, ordinary pets may or may not be sufficiently well trained to avoid problems.

Fake may be hard to define. The Goldendoodle in my avatar has no formal pet therapy dog training but we go and visit elderly residents of a physical rehab facility every week. Residents love him and he brings smiles to folks who are struggling to get back to their homes. Don't worry, though, while we hike many battlefields together national cemeteries are not places he visits. Although he is an ersatz therapy dog, I do not try to pass him off as a service dog to flaunt the rules.
 
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That's what I thought also. I know of someone whose (not specially trained, but very well behaved) dog has such good influence that the doctor acknowledged her as a service dog. But my friend would never put the dog somewhere where she could bother people, e.g. by barking in the opera house. Either he would not go himself or he would leave her at home for a little while. Of course that can only be done if the handler is not entirely dependent on the help of the dog. A little thoughtful consideration on both sides would sure avoid a lot of troubles.
 
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