We hope the wounded Confederate soldier in this story actually did survive. If so, he owed his life to his Newfoundland dog:
“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. 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.”
~By “Flaneur,” this account appeared in the March 1871 edition of “Merry’s Museum,” a magazine for children
Newfoundlands were popular in 19th century America and among the favorite pets of soldiers on both sides in the Civil War. You can read more about these remarkable dogs in our blog post, “The Mighty Newfoundland Dog.”
Our illustration above is from in the 1846 book “Anecdotes of Dogs,” by Edward Jesse. Friends who would like to read more old tales of courageous and resourceful Newfoundland dogs will enjoy the many stories about them in this book.