Romeo and Juliet of Co. D, 44th Massachusetts Volunteers: A Tragedy in Two Brief Acts

Soldiers of Company D of the 44th Massachusetts Volunteers were pleased to have a friendly dog and cat join their ranks while the regiment was training at Readville, Massachusetts, in October 1862. Writing under the pen name “Corporal,” Zenas T. Haines, a member of Company D and a journalist and correspondent for the Boston Herald newspaper, reported on the jolly reception the men gave to their new canine comrade, whom they named Romeo:

“In Barracks at Readville,
Saturday, Oct. 11, 1862.


“Your correspondent, and the other members of Company D, are indebted to Corporal Gardner for the introduction of a company dog — Romeo, a promising fellow, whose laughing countenance, waving tail, and general intelligence have already won him a host of friends. Several of the boys are industriously laboring to reconcile him to the society of a cat which has come to our barrack.”
Alas, the budding friendship between dog and cat—and the camaraderie of soldiers with their pets, as well–was cut short, first, by authoritarian decree, and then by treachery. Only a week after introducing Romeo, Haines reported his banishment from camp…followed by worse proceedings.


The regiment’s 1887 history summarizes the tragedy this way:

“Unfortunately, an order promulgated from headquarters sent ‘Romeo’ out of camp, and ‘Juliet,’ in despair, followed the example of her illustrious namesake; at least it was so supposed, as pussy died very suddenly the day following Romeo’s departure. One of the members of Company D was accused of murdering her, tried by court-martial, and convicted; but the evidence against the alleged culprit was far from conclusive.”

But Haines’s full report in 1863 gives us a true tale of crime and punishment.

“In barracks at Readville,
Saturday, October 18, 1862

“When in my last I made allusion to our company dog Romeo and his feline companion, we could not foresee the sad and sudden rupture of all the relations between us. On Sunday a fiat from headquarters sent Romeo out of camp; the succeeding night pussy departed this life. Did she die of grief at the loss of Romeo? No one can say; but general opinion inclines to catalepsy. Her little stiffened body was encoffined in a paper box, and placed in the centre of the barrack. A small American flag was thrown over it, and the boys gathering about the remains sung Pleyel’s Hymn with an appearance of solemnity that was altogether irresistible. The remains were then carefully placed upon an extemporized bier, and borne to the rear of the kitchen in the midst of a formidable guard of honor, marching with arms reversed, and chanting doleful symphonies. The weeping skies were in sympathy with the occasion; and the clouds were soon shedding tears upon the turf imprisoning the pet of the barrack. Imaginary volleys were fired, but all was not over. The funeral party had no sooner returned to the barrack than rumors of foul play began to circulate. A horrid secret was believed to be involved in the death of the cat. Suspicion fell upon a man whose bunk she had lately occupied, and who had been heard to utter threats against pussy for certain alleged rank offenses. The suspected party was arrested, a court organized, the defendant tried, convicted, and sentenced to subsist two days upon the rations. The unhappy man, anticipating his fate, made three desperate attempts to escape, but was foiled in each instance, and forced to submit to the decree of justice.”

We can only hope the “sentence” was carried out in full view of comrades enjoying delicacies sent by loved ones back home and patriotic residents of Readville. Now that would be just deserts.

Our cover illustration of Romeo and Juliet as we imagine them is based on an 1878 chromo-lithograph in the Library of Congress titled “Uncle Tobey and the widow / after F. Dielman.

See the original illustration here:
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Larry Kelly and His Dog, “Watch,” Reunited in Eternity

Sketch-artillery crew and dog

Albion Winegar Tourgée, historian of the 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, recounted the story of Larry Kelly and his dog, Watch, who served in the regiment together until a fateful day in August 1864:

“Everyone in the regiment knew Larry. His dog, too, had long been a fixture of the regiment. When leaving Louisville, Ky., on the Perryville campaign this dog came bounding to our (Parson’s) battery. He immediately enlisted for the war. attaching himself to the battery and to the gun to which Larry belonged. He made it his business to look after the interests of the battery in general and that gun in particular. He distinguished himself by his strict watchfulness over all the property of the battery when strangers were about, and his excellent judgment in determining who were proper characters to have around. At Perryville he shared in the dangers and glory of the occasion and received a wound. When the battery was broken up and Larry returned the regiment, “Watch” (this dog) accompanied him and has ever since followed this regiment faithfully, always ready “for duty, ” always in the front, joining in the sports of the regiment with zest, knowing, by instinct apparently, when a pig was to be “foraged” and following on to catch the “game” and receive his share of the prize.

“Last night, while scouting about our picket line, he received a wound which proved mortal. Larry was almost inconsolable but he had not long to mourn his constant companion. This morning a stray shot, such as killed his dog, hit him….”

“As I was passing Co. C,  going to my breakfast this morning,” Tourgée explained, “a ball came in, striking Larry Kelly of that company as he sat over a fire cooking his breakfast. It entered near his collar bone, passing down, inflicting a mortal wound.”

~From “The Story of a Thousand: Being a History of the Service of the 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in the War For the Union From August 21, 1862 to June 6, 1865,” 1896.

(The modern illustration above is adapted from Alfred Waud’s sketch, “Union Artillery at Petersburg,” in the Library of Congress, shown below. See the original at

Waud artillery sketch (LOC)

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When dogs visit Gettysburg…

Gus and Sallie (angled)

Gettysburg has a well-earned reputation as a dog-friendly town. Its welcoming spirit is cited frequently in travel blogs* and other publications. “Dogs welcome” signs can be spotted in windows of downtown shops, sometimes accompanied by water bowls beside the door where dogs can quench their thirst. The town has become the annual destination for a popular convention of greyhounds and their people.  Several local ice cream spots cater to canine visitors with cool treats especially for them.

When dogs visit Gettysburg, they often pay their respects at a statue dedicated to one of their own. Sallie Ann Jarrett was the loyal mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, a regiment that fought at Gettysburg in July 1863. When the soldiers of the 11th were forced to retreat to Cemetery Hill during the first day’s fighting, they discovered that their dog was nowhere to be found, and they believed she was dead. But loyal Sallie had remained behind on Oak Ridge, guarding her dead and wounded friends. You can read more about her and other loyal dogs of the Civil War here.

Sallie’s statue is part of the regiment’s monument, dedicated in 1890, located along Doubleday Avenue just north of town.  Like the figure of the skirmisher who stands atop the granite slab, Sallie faces across farmer John Forney’s fields, alert to watch for the enemy. But because she lies at the front of the monument on a pedestal at its base, she is not visible from the road, and many visitors who admire Doubleday Avenue’s statuary while driving or walking by are unaware of the life-size bull terrier on the opposite side of the monument.


See more photo from Sallie’s friends here:

But many Gettysburg visitors who love dogs, including many who travel with dogs, know that Sallie is there, and they have made her statue a must-see destination.  Some leave her “gifts” of flags, flowers, or biscuits. From time to time, some of her visitors share “souvenir” photos of their dogs (or themselves) and Sallie with a small photo gallery we created for that purpose.
(If you have a photo with Sallie to share, please contact us!)

What should you know about traveling to Gettysburg with your dog? The National Park Service, which administers Gettysburg National Military Park, offers guidance on how to keep your pet safe during your visit and also how to ensure that your dog will be

No pets in the cemetery

No dogs in Soldiers’ National Cemetery, please!

a good neighbor. Most important: Never leave a dog unattended in a parked vehicle in warm weather (or at any time in the parking areas of the Museum and Visitor Center), and do not allow your dog off leash at the Park. Know specifically what sites are appropriate for dogs and where they are not permitted. Read more here.

Have you visited Gettysburg with your dog? What memories have you kept to share?

*This post on the blog of Gettysburg’s official travel and tourism organization is just one example of places to visit and things to do for dogs and their people.





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Waggish Soldiers Are Barking Mad About Their Tents

2close-up Many tents in camp (Leslie's)

About those “dog tents”:

“Winter and spring, 1863. Cold and rain and mud while the armies waited out nearly six months for good marching and fighting weather. By March there was an indication it had come. The Pioneer Brigade was ordered to strike its big tents and turn them in. In their place it was issued small shelter ones which the men derisively called dog tents or pens and placarded accordingly.

PURPS [sic]

“General Rosecrans and staff, while riding by one day, were greeted with a tremendous bowwow. The boys were on their hands and knees, stretching their heads out of the ends of the tents, barking furiously at the passing cavalcade. The general laughed heartily and promised them better accommodations.”

~ From “Storming Of The Gateway Chattanooga 1863” by Fairfax Downey, published 1960.

We wonder did they get their big tents back?

The soldiers must have known General Rosecrans would appreciate their raucous appeal. Perhaps he appreciated dogs as army companions. At this link you can see an illustration of the General in camp with a canine friend.

About our illustration:

Our cover illustration can be viewed in full here, courtesy of the Internet Archive:

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Dogs at Lincoln’s Funeral

A clipping from The New York Times, April 28, 1865, about a dog meeting the Lincoln funeral train in New York.

Crowds gathered in Springfield, Illinois, 154 years ago today to lay Abraham Lincoln to rest following the last funeral to be held as his body made its journey home from Washington, D.C. To all those who knew that the late President loved dogs, it might come as no surprise that a dog would be present at Lincoln’s Springfield home for the occasion.

Not only did Lincoln love dogs, they seemed to love him in return. Stories of his companionship with dogs span Lincoln’s life from his youth to his presidency. As a young man moving west to Illinois, he saved his small dog from drowning in an icy creek. At Springfield, stray dogs, and cats too, found comfort and care at the Lincoln family’s home. Perhaps his famous dog Fido was one of these.  In Washington, a dog once followed Lincoln home to the White House.

It seems fitting that a man who loved dogs so well should be accompanied by dogs even in death. On at least three occasions, dogs were present at funeral ceremonies or viewings held after Lincoln’s assassination.

Fido was a well-known figure in Springfield, where he had lived with the Lincolns for about six years, frequently accompanying the future president around town. He would wait for his master outside the barber shop, and often carried papers for him as the two walked along.

When the Lincolns left for Washington in 1861, Fido remained behind with the family of John Roll, whose sons were friends of the Lincolns’ sons. Concerned that Fido would be fearful and unhappy with the bustle of Washington, the Lincolns had arranged for the Rolls to care for him. They specified that Fido could not be tied up alone in the yard, must be allowed in the house whenever he asked to come in, and allowed in the dining room at mealtime. To help Fido feel at home, the Lincolns gave the Rolls the dog’s favorite horsehair sofa.

Fido Lincoln (front)


When Springfield held Lincoln’s funeral on May 4, visitors flocked to the Lincoln home. John Roll took Fido there as well, and also to the photography studio of Springfield photographer F.W. Ingmire. Cartes de visite of the yellow dog became popular keepsakes.

Days earlier, in New York City, another dog who also  knew Lincoln took part in meeting his casket when it arrived by train. The New York Times reported on the episode in its April 28, 1865, edition:

Bruno, the Dog Mourner at Lincoln's Funeral




On the day that Lincoln’s casket reached Indianapolis, heavy rains curtailed plans for a procession to the Statehouse, where Lincoln would lie in state. Instead, his casket was quickly transported, preventing a public gathering at an elaborate building that had been erected as an archway and memorial exhibition hall. But event organizers would not allow their tribute to be missed. The next day, a crowd assembled at the arch for photographs, with a substitute casket in the hearse.

A photograph taken that day is in the collection of the Lincoln Financial Foundation at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, and can be seen here. Zooming in on the photo reveals one small figure in a prominent position directly beneath the front of the hearse. Behind its front wheels stands a small dog, facing away from the camera.

If the dog looks familiar, it may be because of his remarkable resemblance to another dog who had been present during Lincoln’s historic visit to Gettysburg on November 19, 1863. The Indianapolis dog, with his short legs and distinctive white ruff of fur at the base of his neck, looks much like the dog who stood with the crowd watching the procession that filed through Gettysburg’s streets to the dedication of Soldiers National Cemetery.

Close-up of dog in crowd

Close-up of a dog in the crowd at Gettysburg, November 19, 1863


Crowd watching Gettysburg dedication procession

Along Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg –

Like that little dog of Gettysburg, the Indianapolis dog, Bruno, and Fido all were witnesses to history. And, as dogs, ever keen to perceive human emotion, maybe they too felt the solemnity of the events they witnessed.

For Further Reading: “Twenty Days: A Narrative in Text and Pictures of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the Twenty Days and Nights that followed—The Nation in Mourning, the Long Trip Home to Springfield,” by Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip B. Kunhardt Jr.


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Three Dogs Saved From Drowning

A group of oil rig workers in the Gulf of Thailand are being praised as heroes today, after  rescuing a dog found swimming more than 130 miles off the coast of Thailand. If you missed that story, you can see it here, courtesy of Great Britain’s Daily Mail. The dramatic rescue of the dog — now named Boonrod, a Thai term meaning “making a spiritual donation for good luck in the future” — reminded us that two of the most famous figures of the American Civil War also saved dogs from drowning: Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee.

Thai dog rescue (2019)

Years before the Civil War, Lee, the future Confederate general, was on a boat near Staten Island, New York, when he spotted, bobbing in the water, a dog who had apparently fallen overboard from a passing boat and drifted out of sight. Lee rescued her and took her home to his children. She became Dart, a beloved family member. Later, one of her pups, named Spec, was also a much-loved companion who was known for accompanying the family to church.

Abraham Lincoln’s lifelong love of dogs is also well known. In 1830 he saved one of his family’s dogs from drowning in an icy stream. Lincoln, then 21, was accompanying his father, stepmother and siblings as the family moved from Indiana to Illinois. Streams were overflowing their banks with the thawing and refreezing of early spring, and as the party crossed a flooded spot, a small dog jumped from the wagon and broke through the ice. Lincoln biographer David Herbert Donald quotes Lincoln’s own retelling of the episode, “‘I could not bear to lose my dog,’ Lincoln recalled many years later, ‘and I jumped out of the wagon and waded waist deep in the ice and water[.] got hold of him and helped out and saved him.’”

Boonrod, Dart, and Lincoln’s little friend whose name is lost to history are three dogs fortunate that kind-hearted people were nearby to help them in their distress.

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The “Singing” War Dog of Co. F, 5th Massachusetts Infantry

The band of the Fifth Massachusetts Infantry celebrated the regiment’s return home from the war with a concert that was almost, but not quite, drowned out by the “singing” of Company F’s dog.

Singing dog backed by brass band

“Everybody remembers the trip home, especially the concert given as we sailed into Boston harbor. All went well until we played “Home, Sweet Home,” when the big dog of Company F joined in the chorus. The tones he uttered were not heavenly, yet were they unearthly. It was a self-evident fact that the dog preferred to remain at the seat of war. What a reception we received when we landed. We did our very best that day, and many were the compliments we received from Boston musicians who listened to us. Bandmaster Kennedy remarked many times in later years that that day was one long to be remembered. This I can say after an experience of forty-two years in the best bands and orchestras in this country, that the members of the regiment have every reason to be satisfied with the music furnished by the little band of sixteen men.​  

~From “The Fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in Its Three Tours of Duty 1861, 1862-’63, 1864,” by Alfred S. Roe, published 1911.

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Jack, Dog of Company F, the 5th Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers

terrier illustration (jack, 5th ct)

(Illustration based on a painting of a terrier by Charles H. Van Den Eycken 1859-1923)

Intelligent, brave, and feisty, Jack obviously appreciated good order in military life and did his part to see that appropriate decorum was maintained. No doubt he endeared himself to the officers as well as the enlisted men of the 5th Connecticut’s Company F.  Edwin E. Marvin, third captain of the company, told Jack’s story in the regimental history, published in 1889:

“There were many dogs in the regiment which staid in for longer or shorter times, according to their own inclinations or the value placed upon them by the men of the regiment. When the regiment passed through Winchester, a black and tan terrier, weighing perhaps fifteen pounds, joined it and became domiciled in Company F He was named Jack, and although he was not a handsome dog in any respect, he very soon became, on account of his intelligence, a very general favorite. He was a remarkably successful dog in a fight, and would generally maintain himself against any other dog of twice his weight or less. He was fleet and would often overtake and catch a rabbit in a straight away run.

“He had a peculiar respect for the commanding officer of whatever detachment or expedition he was upon. If the whole company was out, he kept close to the captain. If only a platoon he kept with the lieutenant in command. If only a sergeant and squad he kept with the sergeant. On dress parades, which he was very particular to attend, he left the company and went to the rear of the colonel or commander of parade and there seated himself and watched the parade with as much interest and dignity as if had pay for it, or had to make a report of it. He never was known in but one instance to seat himself between the colonel and the regiment. At night he would manage to get inside the blanket and curl around the feet of whoever he slept with, and he was as good as a hot brick for a cold night. He knew how, also, to keep himself free from fleas and vermin of every kind, which was more than his tent mates could do at all times. He took a general supervision of affairs, and at daylight always turned out and nosed around the cook till he was started, and then would look up the orderly and start him. Although all soldiers looked alike, he could tell a Company F man as far as he could see him from any other soldier without mistake, and he never followed others. Of that company for a long time he did not attach himself to anyone in particular, but like some politicians, whenever there was a division went with the majority

“In battle he became highly excited and faced the rebels several feet ahead of the company line, and expressed all the exasperation that a dog can ever show towards an enemy If they ran he would follow them up and get in his little nip at some of their disloyal heels if it was possible. The striking of a shell into the ground near him would make him almost wild, and he would spring about in all directions as if it were possible he was trying to see and catch the missile that had caused such commotion.

“He went home with [Francis E.} Kernan* to Rockville, at the end of his three years’ term of service, and there spent the remainder of his days.”

(*In the company roster his last name appears as Kernon.)

~From “The Fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers. A History Compiled From Diaries and Official Reports.”

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Hatcher's Run w caption

Union and Confederate forces fought their way to a draw at Hatcher’s Run, Virginia, on Feb. 5, 1865. The conflict would resume the next day, and the Union would ultimately prevail. But among the casualties of Feb. 6 was the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry’s canine mascot, Sallie. She had accompanied the soldiers from their earliest weeks at Camp Wayne, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1861. That day at Hatcher’s Run, she was killed in action, shot in the head, one soldier said, while advancing with the file closers.

Several men of the 11th dropped their guns, though under a “murderous fire,” and buried her where she fell.

Sallie-historic photo

The only known photograph of Sallie (Pennsylvania State Archives)

While all who had known and loved Sallie grieved at the loss of their dog, her absence was perhaps most keenly felt by the regiment’s commanding officer, Colonel (later Brigadier General) Richard Coulter. In his post-war memoirs he lamented of Sallie’s death at Hatcher’s Run, “There is nothing now to mark the spot where she fell, no stone or tablet to her memory.”

But later there would be a marker to her memory, though not a stone or tablet, and not at Hatcher’s Run. Instead it is a bronze statue, part of the regiment’s monument at Gettysburg. The monument’s most prominent feature is the towering figure of a skirmisher who watches across Forney’s fields, face to the enemy, ready to defend. Inscribed on the base is a record of the regiment’s service, listing the battles fought and enumerating the men lost. Though the soldiers are not named, they are numbered there so that none might be forgotten. Other visitors to the battlefield might read it and know of the soldiers’ deeds. For generations since, it has remained a record of their service so that visitors even today learn of their sacrifices.

But what are we to make of the dog? There is no inscription, no name carved on her stone. Like the skirmisher, she faces the adversary across the fields, ever watchful, but she is lying at rest, not alert to fight. Why not mark her name? Why place no tablet attesting to her vigil for her dead and wounded companions? Why not inscribe her history so visitors who read of the soldiers could read of their loyal companion too?

Sallie w bronze plaque

We wonder because we see the monument through the lens of history. But look, for a moment, as with the soldiers’ own eyes. For them, her statue needed no name. The skirmisher would represent their deeds to their countrymen and women for posterity, but Sallie’s statue was a more personal tribute, from the soldiers, and for them alone. She was their dog, and to see her whenever they returned to Gettysburg was to remember her as in life. As though she had never left the side of one who needed her. As though their memory might never dim. And so it never has.

Sallie on pedestal (glowing)


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“Only A Dog”

Only A Dog header

From an unassuming beginning, Tommy quickly went on to earn the admiration and affection of the men of the 165th New York Volunteers.  He served throughout the war, remaining with comrades in the hospital, trekking over many miles to miraculously return to his regiment after a long absence, soldiering through every engagement. Then, honorably discharged and on the return trip to New York, accidentally going overboard as the men prepared to board a ship for home….

Sergeant John Fleming is Tommy’s biographer in this excerpt from “History of the Second Battalion Duryee Zouaves – One Hundred and Sixty-fifth Regt. New York Volunteer Infantry,” published in 1905. The book notes that the story was first published in the March 7, 1878, edition of the “Long Island Farmer.”

John Fleming, 1865 and 1905

“Only A Dog”

by Sergt. John Fleming, 165th New York Volunteers (2nd Duryee Zouaves)

“During the last war many of the regiments had a pet animal of some kind or other, the history of some of which has been preserved in the field literature of those days, while others, equally deserving of fame, have scarcely received a mention outside of the home letters of the boys who cherished them. The stirring events of those years did not permit the subject of this sketch to receive the justice that was due to him, and now that twelve years have passed since he took his part in them, full reparation for the neglect is impossible. But courage and fidelity, when found, even in a dog, should not be allowed to pass without some tribute of a less perishable character than the testimony of the tongue, and hence the pen pleasurably turns to chronicle some of those incidents in the life of a regimental pet which, if they do not prove that the reasoning faculty is not with man alone, do at least indicate how closely animal instinct approaches man’s ‘crowning gift.’

“When the 165th New York Volunteers, known as the second Duryee Zouaves, was organizing at Camp Washington, on Staten Island, it had its full complement of cats and dogs, each the favorite of some red leg, who pleasantly thought it might follow and cling to him through all the vicissitudes of a soldier’s life. Among this collection was the afterward famous dog of the regiment, Tommy, who at this time, before his worth was known, received, like all the others, more kicks than crusts; but which, unlike the others, clung all the closer to his new associations, and which alone of all that feline and canine tribe in the barracks of the men accompanied them on a cold December day to the steamer Merrimack, that was lying at one of the piers in New York to carry them to New Orleans. Tommy, though strictly speaking a ‘cur,’ and with nothing in his ‘make-up’ that would secure him redemption from any well-regulated pound, marched intrepidly aboard the vessel, and with true soldiery instinct soon made himself perfectly at home. His presence aboard the vessel at once secured him the favorable attention of the men and excited their interest in his career. It was a New York dog. The boys were New York boys. It was bound far away from home, going to face danger. So were they. Perhaps his last growl would be heard within a few weeks on the banks of the Mississippi. Perhaps some of the boys would wearily lie down at the same spot to dream of home no more. What wonder, then, that Tommy soon won the watchful care and sympathy of the men whose fate he was sharing. It was with such thoughts as these that brought an unstinted supply of hard tack and pork and an abundance of friendly caressings. His personal appearance contributed nothing to them, for, in all truth, this was common enough. He was simply a firm, compact fat little dog, with a sleek brown hide who looked capable of undergoing considerable fatigue after a little training, but with nothing about him to indicate the wonderful staying qualities and devotion he afterward exhibited. The transport, however, had not reached the mouth of the Mississippi before nearly every man in the battalion had learned that Tommy, fully conscious of the growing esteem in which he was held, was a self-respecting dog, quick to resent any insult or injury, and no longer the submissive cur of the days when his friends were few. Kind treatment had worked a favorable revolution in Tommy’s nature. He was now a dog who would take his own part, and the boys respected him accordingly. This respect was not lessened when it became apparent that he fully realized that he was of the ‘rank and file,’ and that neither the threatening nor coaxing of any officer of the regiment could succeed in winning for him Tommy’s slightest consideration or attention. This virtue, for it was so looked up on by the men never forsook him, and during his long term of active service he never permitted any of the officers the familiar privilege of patting his back, though manifesting every evidence of delight when any of the enlisted men bestowed the same attention. His incurable indifference to the officers was several times the cause of considerable amusement to the camp.

“It was at Camp Parapet, or Alligator Swamp, as it was called by the men, that Tommy, like the rest of the regiment, began to live a soldier’s life in earnest. At the first tap of reveille he might be seen moving from the spot where the fire of some company cook had left a little of its warmth, and immediately after begin to shake himself vigorously, in preparations for his duties of the day. At the rolling of the blankets, putting tents in order, and lavatory exercises, which followed reveille, he kept himself busy in visiting and saluting the men, and when the drum for company drill sounded, Tommy selected his company and followed it faithfully through all its evolutions. At the battalion drills he belonged to no company, but with pardonable vanity stationed himself on the right of the line, and unless some interloping mule became visible, maintained his position with dignity until the drill was over, when he would march off at the head of his favorite company. At guard mountings he was always on hand, and whether the detail was large or small, the sound of the drum or bugle brought Tommy to its head, and go where it might he would accompany it, and march back to camp at the head of the guard that was relieved, not forgetting, during the day, to go out and pay a short visit to the men at their posts, and receive their friendly salutations. He seemed never idle, and never weary of interest in the affairs of the boys. If a fatigue party was formed, he was at its heels; or a special detail for any purpose, he was off with the corporal or sergeant in charge, only to return to camp as soon as its duties were performed, and evince his readiness to be off with some other. At tattoo he would decently retire, being always sure of finding shelter when the men had it for themselves; and all these soldierly services he faithfully performed, not at Camp Parapet alone, but in every camp in Louisiana, Virginia, at Charleston, and at Savannah; wherever he found himself.

“At Port Hudson he was with his regiment, but before the siege closed accompanied a large number of the wounded men to Baton Rouge. It is possible that among these wounded there was some special favorite, for he kept a close watch upon the hospital where they lay, and remained away for such a length of time that the regiment began to think Tommy had enough of marching and fighting, and would never report back for duty. During his absence, Port Hudson had fallen, the regiment had sailed on a fruitless expedition to the coast of Texas, had returned to the Mississippi, and had been sent up the Teche country, and there was but little hope that Tommy would ever find his way back to his old friends. But one day, about five months after his departure, to the astonishment and delight of the men, he marched in among them, where they lay at Franklin, on the banks of the Teche. He had found his way on board a boat to New Orleans, where, it was afterward learned, he tarried about a week, revisiting the former resorts of the men; had crossed the river to Algiers, taken the army train to Brashear City, crossed the river there, and then started through the country afoot, marching on until he found the army, and no one ever knew how he did it, for though following squads of soldiers returning to their commands, he was a stranger to them all. Here he at once resumed his active duties, and until the close of the war never absented himself again from the main body for more than a few days at a time. With unflinching devotion he followed the regiment on the disastrous Red River campaign, and though often left on the roadside panting for life, yet when the bivouac was reached, Tommy was never far behind the flag. He was present in all the engagements of the regiment, and although he displayed every sign of fear and anxiety, he never deserted his post. At Pleasant Hill he was slightly wounded, a bullet carrying off a small piece of his short tail; but he held his ground, and when the fight was over congratulated the survivors, as he did after every engagement, by every exhibition of delight. At Cane River, the regiment, preparatory to an assault, was lying at the foot of a hill, from which the enemy was doing some very lively musket business. Tommy, with his usually good judgment, had placed his body behind a big tree. One of the men, thinking to use the tree for his own protection, unceremoniously shoved him from the position, but so furiously did Tommy attack this ungenerous soldier that he was glad to make room for him beside him. This man received a severe bite, but was only laughed at by his comrades. Tommy during his term of enlistment, over three years, had passed through many dangers; he had marched many a weary league in the heat of the day and in the darkness of the night; he had made half a dozen trips at sea; traveled hundreds of miles by river and by rail; had shown his courage upon the battlefield of the regiment; had shared in all the privations of the men without a whimper, and escaped without other injury than the wound before described, and a cut in the upper lip, received from the flying heel of his hated foe, the army mule.

“The war had ended, the men were discharged and so was Tommy. His papers were regularly drawn up, and officially signed. His meritorious services were officially recognized, and, in part, inscribed upon his parchment, and, with the men, he prepared to take his departure from the battered walls of Fort Sumter, in September, 1865. And it was at this time he had his narrowest escape. Late at night, but under a bright and beautiful moon, a steam tug conveyed the regiment from Fort Sumter to the steamer that was to carry it home, and was then lying in the harbor. The tug was closing in upon the steamer, but its engine had not yet stopped, when Tommy, with his usually desire to lead the way, attempted to jump aboard, but in doing so struck his head against the guards of the steamer and was knocked overboard. On the instant the men were on the alert, the engine was stopped, and while half a dozen stood ready to plunge into the water the moment Tommy appeared on the surface, Corporal Baker went down under the tug’s paddle, and there found the half-drowned dog resting against the wheel. He was soon safely deposited on the deck of the steamer, as much to the delight of the men as to his own.

“This regiment that Tommy loved, and in which the gallant [George E.] Cogswell and [Alex. S.] Fosdick died, landed at the Battery, in the city of New York, and, as was the return of the young Tobias to his father, ‘the dog, who had followed them all the way, ran before them, and, like a courier who might have preceded them, he testified to his joy by the wagging of his tail.’”

From “History of the Second Battalion Duryee Zouaves – One Hundred and Sixty-fifth Regt. New York Volunteer Infantry”

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