A Forgiven Spaniel

It’s fortunate for this dog that he was so good-looking, and also that his new soldier friends had gone to so much effort to win him over from his dead master. Otherwise, how willing would the major have been to forgive him his costly error?

A forgiven spaniel

A handsome spaniel. The Louisianans’ dog may have looked something like this fellow.

His story is told by Napier Bartlett in “Military Record of Louisiana,” 1875:

“One of the men came across a beautiful spaniel at Malvern Hill, whom it was difficult to persuade to quit his dead master’s side. The offer of rations, however, finally triumphed over his virtue. The dog was alive at Richmond, and apparently infected with strong Confederate prejudices
when last seen; though he made a narrow escape for having indulged in a vitiated taste for gnawing off all the buttons off a $500 coat. This was the property of one of those fierce Majors, whose marches extended only through the streets of Richmond. The feelings of this gallant soldier soldier may be imagined, when upon awakening the morning after a debauch he discovered the extent of his misfortunes. His fury and agony of mind could only find relief by asking such questions, and failing to understand, ‘as what in the deuce anybody wanted to keep any such a d — d flop-eared hound around for anyhow.'”​

Were they bone buttons, perhaps? We hope, for the spaniel’s sake, the major replaced them with brass.

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