Secesh, the squirrel

donna

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Clarissa Jones who was a Union nurse had a pet gray squirrel named Secesh. He was a gift from her brother, Lane. She had named him Secesh as that was a nickname at the time for Confederates.

She put her squirrel out to board as it was so lonely.

She wrote to her brother, " Let me tell you about Secesh--I have put it out to board--the poor little beast seemed so lonely and felt so lean that I feared it pined for the native woods and as I had not the time to notice it thro' the day I concluded to lend it to Tom Lyman, Mr. H's grandson. I took it there today to exhibit it to the children. Tom brought up a large cage which he had made for his own pets of a like race--he offered it to me and knowing his propensity for--such things I loaned it to him till he got tired of it".

From: "Guardians of the Artifacts: Pets and Mascots of the Civil War".
 

James N.

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Reminds me of one I owned as a boy that was the only survivor from a litter (?) taken from their home by my stupid cousins. I only had "Buck" a month or so until a family friend paid me $5 for him, only to take him somewhere and release him back into the wild where he belonged. I'm sure he was happier than in the bird cage he had been living in!
 

John Hartwell

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Another secesh squirrel, though not named so, was owned by none other than Belle Boyd. Union army surgeon C. E. Goldsborough encountered the critter in the spring of 1863:

“There was another very amusing incident connected with our stop at the hotel over night at Staunton that is worth relating. After Dr. Pierce and I had partaken of a nice supper and had a short chat with the hotel clerk, that gentleman showed us upstairs to a large, well furnished room, with a large double bed in it, and, after wishing us a comfortable night's rest, retired. Pierce and I were both tired from our day's tramp, and soon fell asleep; but it was not long before the Doctor gave me a violent shake, and when I woke up said there were rats in the room. I replied, "Oh! rats," but he insisted one had run over his face, and I called the clerk up from the office. When the clerk arrived and heard Dr. Pierce's story, he laughed heartily, and said he had assigned us to Miss Belle Boyd's room, as that lady had gone down the Valley to Winchester after the fight, but had left a pet squirrel behind in her room, and he had forgotten to mention it. The squirrel, he said, was perfectly harmless, but if we desired he would remove it, and we both said we preferred to occupy the room alone, and he took it out.”
National Tribune Scrapbook (1909), p. 46-7
 

James N.

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squirrel-tooth-alice.jpg


For some perverse reason this thread reminds me also of this famous/notorious courtesan of the Old West known as Squirrel Tooth Alice for her pet seen here on a leash and lying in her lap!
 
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