J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Mascots and the War Between the States

We all know the important role that horses and mules played in the Civil War. They were essential to the mobility of armies. They pulled artillery caissons, carried officers, served as couriers, and of course, transported the cavalry. But besides equines, many other animals served in the War Between the States as well.

Soldiers were attached to their pets, and some brought along dogs, cats, and various domesticated livestock to the war front. They adopted squirrels, bears, birds, raccoons, and other wildlife as company mascots. Some unusual mascots included a badger, a camel, and a bald eagle known as “Old Abe,” which represented the 8th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers. General Lee kept a hen that dutifully laid an egg for him every morning.

Many of these special animals are immortalized in statuesque form, including General Lee’s horse, Traveller, General Grant’s Cincinnati, and General Stonewall Jackson’s Little Sorrel. Dogs are honored, too, including Sallie, mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania. Her likeness is carved in bronze on the regimental monument at Gettysburg. There are many other famous canines that accompanied their masters to the battlefield … and to their death. A few are even buried there. These include Jack, with the 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry, Old Harvey with the 104th Ohio, and Major with the 19th Maine.

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One thought on “Mascots and the War Between the States

  1. Gary E Magee on said:

    “Old Abe”,the 8th Wisconsin eagle & “Douglas the Camel” of the 43rd Mississippi , both achieved immortality at Vicksburg.

    The eagle is at the top of the Wisconsin memorial, the camel is buried in the Vicksburg Confederate Cemetery.

    Abe is said to have immediately started flying over his yankee regiment when gunfire erupted. Douglas tried to get along with everyone, but scared his Confederate horse comrades.

    Douglas was KIA, but Abe survived -and I think was eventually “stuffed” and put on display at the Wisconsin State House.

    Douglas was buried with full military honors.

    Rumors of a Vicksburg camel BBQ have yet to be documented.

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