Dogs have figured prominently in art of the Civil War, from illustrations in the popular press of the 1860s to the present day, when noted Civil War artists continue to include them in their paintings. Some of these dogs, like Grace, the mascot of the 2nd Maryland CSA (originally the 1st Maryland Infantry Battalion), would be all but forgotten except for a single instance of loyalty and bravery that captured the popular imagination.
When painter Peter Frederick Rothermel portrayed the July 2 fighting on Culp’s Hill as part of his series on the Battle of Gettysburg, he was inspired to include Grace among the charging Confederates based on a story told by Union General Thomas Kane. In a letter, Kane spoke of finding the wounded dog limping along among the dead and wounded as if looking for an explanation for the carnage. “He licked someone’s hand, they said, after he was perfectly riddled,” Kane wrote. He ordered Grace to be buried with honor, as “the only Christian minded being on either side.”
Rothermel’s painting, “Repulse of General Johnson’s Division by General Geary’s White Star Division,” hangs in the State Museum of Pennsylvania. It is also depicted prominently on a wayside marker on the Gettysburg Battlefield, where visitors can see Grace leading her soldiers’ charge at the site where the action took place.