Civil War Dogs Are Part of Our History and Heritage, too!

As my regular blog readers know from several of my posts, I am an animal lover–I especially love dogs–all breeds and mixes.  And I love them for a variety of reasons: foremost, they love me unconditionally, they are life-long companions, they listen to me whenever, wherever, and without interrupting when I am feeling blue or just need to vent, and they protect me and my home. But best of all, their loyalty is as good or better than that of some “fair weather’ friends because they stick by my side through good times and bad and through thick and thin–Now, that’s what I call a “female’s best friend”.

So, when I saw the following story about dogs during the Civil War, my instinct was to share it because animals and their stories are part of my history and heritage, too.

This Dog Saved His Master’s Life During The Civil War

By Cassandra Lewis at:

Throughout history, dogs and humans have been very closely intertwined. From the wheat fields to the battlefields, our beloved four-legged friends have followed us everywhere.

But until I heard this incredible story, I had no idea that dogs were such an important part of the American Civil War. I knew horses and cattle were essential to the soldiers, but dogs?

According to The Fredericksburg and Spotyslvania County Battlefields Facebook page,  thousands of pups fought and died during the Civil War — oblivious to the causes of war, but happy to be with there with their humans.

No matter on which side of the Mason-Dixon Line, both on the fields and off, these brave dogs were very important to the soldiers. They not only helped to serve and protect, but they provided much-needed comfort and reminders of home.

But this particular piece of the Civil War, written by an anonymous source in 1871, truly brings to life the sacrifices and commitments of these brave dogs. By the end of this piece, I was in tears.

“Reason and Instinct,” Author Unknown, 1871

“After the battle of Fredericksburg, it fell to my duty to search a given district for any dead or wounded soldiers there might be left, and to bring relief.”

“Near an old brick dwelling I discovered a soldier in gray who seemed to be dead.”

 “Lying by his side was a noble dog, with his head flat upon his master’s neck.”

“As I approached, the dog raised his eyes to me good-naturedly, and began wagging his tail; but he did not change his position.”

“The fact that the animal did not growl, that he did not move, but, more than all, the intelligent, joyful expression of his face, convinced me that the man was only wounded, which proved to be the case.”

war dogs

 “A bullet had pierced his throat, and faint from the loss of blood, he had fallen down where he lay.”

“His dog had actually stopped the bleeding from the wound by laying his head across it!”

 “Whether this was casual or not, I cannot say. But the shaggy coat of the faithful creature was completely matted with his master’s blood…”


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