“A Death Not Reported in Official Reports”

Maybe Sergeant looked something like this dark-and-tan dog.

William H. Tunnard, historian of the Third Louisiana Infantry, did not let the loss of the regiment’s dog Sergeant go unrecorded. Like many other dogs who accompanied soldiers for the North or South, Sergeant apparently relished the excitement of combat. In Tunnard’s 1866 account of the regiment’s service, he made certain to include Sergeant among the casualties at the Battle of Oak Hills (Wilson’s Creek):

“A DEATH NOT REPORTED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS. When the army first left Camp Jackson on the march, a large dark-and-tan-colored dog attached himself to the regiment, and soon became a universal pet. When on the march he invariably trotted along the road a few paces in advance of the van, and hence earned the sobriquet of ‘Sergeant.’ He seldom left his position in front of the moving column, when the regiment was ordered out of camp. On the morning of the battle of Oak Hills, ‘Sergeant’ was on hand to participate in the events of the day. Amid the storm of leaden bullets and the fierce rattle of musketry in the first close, deadly and obstinate engagement with the enemy, ‘Sergeant’ charged through the bushes, leaping over logs and obstacles, barking furiously all the time. He seemed to enjoy the fight exceedingly. As he passed down the line his sharp voice attracted the attention of some of the men, one of whom shouted to him, ‘Get out of that Sergeant, you d–d fool, you’ll be killed.’ The words were scarcely uttered ere a fatal ball struck him, and, with a long piteous whine, he rolled on the ground never to rise. The intelligent animal fell among the prostrate forms of many who had fed and caressed him, the victim of his own fearless temerity.”​

~ From “A Southern Record. The History of the Third Regiment Louisiana Infantry,” by W.H. Tunnard​

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Our unique souvenirs and gifts honor the faithful dogs of the American Civil War to support animal rescue. Our donation total to date: $4,871. (updated 1/6/23). We also offer Vintage Dog gifts and souvenirs from decades--or centuries--past! Their sales, like sales of our Civil War dog items, also support animals in shelters and rescues. Learn more at http://www.LoyaltyOfDogs.com.
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