In most cases, the music of regimental bands—like the companionship of pet dogs and mascots—helped to raise soldiers’ morale during the Civil War. But that was not the experience of the Third Rhode Island Heavy Artillery. With the band already a subject of criticism, the very public and untimely death of a soldier’s dog only served to tarnish the ensemble’s reputation further. Frederic Denison, writing the history of the regiment, relates the episode:
The band’s woes were not over.
~From “Shot and shell: the Third Rhode Island heavy artillery regiment in the rebellion, 1861-1865. Camps, forts, batteries, garrisons, marches, skirmishes, sieges, battles, and victories; also, the roll of honor and roll of the regiment,” published 1879.
Illustration adapted from a political cartoon, “Trouble in the Spartan ranks. Old Durham in the field,” published 1843. (Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/resource/cph.3b37748/)