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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