1775: AMERICAN, FRENCH & INDIAN WAR!
SiteBuilder's Note: Colonist Benjamin Franklin was very concerned about the indian attacks on the settlements close to Boston. Towns and villages were being raided and burned, the inhabtiants killed. His remarks were directed to the colonial militias fighting both, the French and the various indian tribes who were fighting for them.
FRENCH & INDIAN WARS! Benjamin Franklin, 1775. Is quoted as writing to a friend:
"Dogs should be used against the Indians. They should be large, strong and fierce; and every dog led in a slip string, to prevent their tiring themselves by running out and in, and discovering the party by barking at squirrels, etc. Only when the party come near thick woods and suspcious places they should turn out a dog or two to search them. In case of meeting a party of the enemy, the dogs are all then to be turned loose and set on. They will be fresher and finer for having been previously confined and will confound the enemy a good deal and be very serviceable. This was the Spanish method of guarding their marches."
Later, the employment of war dogs was urged by John Penn, the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, between 1763 and 1771. In a letter to James Young, Paymaster and Commissioner of Muster, he proposed that "every Soldier be allowed three shillings per month, who brings with him a strong dog, that shall be judged proper to be employed in discovering and pursuing the savages."
But no action was taken, not even after the Revolutonary War of 1776. In 1779, yet another plea for war dogs was made, this time by William McClay of Pennsylvania's Supreme Executive Council. "I have sustained some ridicule for a scheme, which I have long recommended, that of hunting the scalping parties with horsemen and dogs," he wrote in 1779, recalling that "it was in this manner, that the indians were extirpated out of whole countrys in South America."
1835: 2nd SEMINOLE WAR!
First Officially RecordedUse Of Dogs By The Army!
The first recorded use of dogs by the United States Army was during the 2nd Seminole War, and not as previously thought the Spanish American War.
33 cuban-bred bloodhounds were bought at a cost of several thousand dollars and 5 handlers were used by the us army to track the seminole indians and the runaway slaves they were harboring, in the swamps of western Florida and Louisana.
At the time, there were afew petitions filed and recorded with the United States Congress, by the Quakers living in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana, strongly protesting the use of these bloodhounds by General Zachary Taylor against the Seminole Indians in the Florida War.
1865: THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR!
The War Between The States!
During the bleakest time in the history of the United States, the American Civil War, some casual use of dogs as messengers, sentries, and guards by both sides was recorded. Most though were family pets, whom their loving masters couldn't bear to leave behind, that became regimental mascots, one such dog, was Sallie!
Only Known Photo Of Sallie, Civil War 1865.
"Sallie" The Regimental Mascot11th Pennsylvania Vol. Infantry
Sallie, a brindel bull terrier, joined the regiment as a puppy in the early days of the war. Through it all, she provided a source of comfort, pride, and inspiration for her fighting comrades. Sallie would hold her position on the line and bark fiercely at the enemy. One thing was clear; a bond of unconditional love and loyalty existed between Sallie and the men.
At Gettysburg, the gallant little dog became separated from her unit in the confusion of the first day's battle. Refusing to pass through the Rebel lines, Sallie returned to her unit's former position atop Oak Ridge, staying among her fallen comrades, licking wounds of the injured and watching over lifeless bodies. Days later, after the Confederates retreated from the field, she was found weakened and malnourished, amidst the dead and debris. A compassionate soldier recognized her and returned Sallie to her unit. No doubt, the reunion was joyful!
Miraculously Sallie had avoided being shot at Gettysburg, but on May 8, 1864, the same day Captain Keenan was killed; she was shot in the neck by a minie ball. After being examined at the field hospital, a surgeon pronounced she would live but the bullet could not be removed. After a few days recuperation at the hospital, she returned to the unit with the painful and annoying wound, eventually becoming a battle scar. Upon reporting for "active duty" she felt it necessary to tear the seat out of the pants of a young soldier from another unit running away from the battle line as he crossed along the back of the "Old 11th."
Fatefully, Sallie was in her usual position on February 6, 1865, at Hatcher's Run, Virginia, when a bullet struck her in the head, killing her.
Heartbroken over the loss of their beloved mascot, the men buried her on the filed of battle under heavy enemy fire.
The 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry
had a mascot, named Jack.
One of the better known dogs, was Jack, the brown and white bull terrier mascot of the 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry.
This unit of Pennsylvania volunteer firemen claimed that Jack even understood bugle calls and obeyed only the men of his regiment, and no one else. Jack's career spanned nearly all the regiment's battles in both Virginia and Maryland. Jack was present at the Wilderness campaigns, Spotsylvania, and the siege of Petersburg.
After a battle he would seek out the dead and wounded of his regiment. Jack himself was wounded severely at Malvern Hill and was captured twice. The second time, he was exchanged for a Confederate soldier at Belle Isle.
Jack disappeared shortly after being presented a silver collar purchased by his human comrades, an apparent victim of theft.
Some other famous dog mascots were:
Harvey, the white bulldog, mascot of the 104th Ohio, who served with distinction at the battle of Franklin. This unit also adopted a Newfoundland dog, a cat and a tamed raccoon as mascots.
Major, a mutt for the 10th Maine Voluteers, had a very bad habit of snapping at Confederate minie balls in flight. Unfortunately, one day Major caught one and died. During engagements, he would bark and growl ferociously until the battle was over.
The 69th New York used a Irish Wolfhound as the regimental mascot. The wolfhound is depicted on the regiment's coat of arms. Two Irish wolfhounds were adopted by the unit and were clad in green coats bearing the number "69" in gold letters. They would parade immediately to the rear of the Regimental Color Guard.
Company B, 28th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, had a mutt named Calamity, that would assist the soldiers in foraging missions, knowing full well, that he would have a share of the spoils of war.
Lieutenant George A. Custer And Friend,
During the 1865 Peninsula Campaign.
While Not Exactly A War Dog...Lt. Pfieff's Dog Became A Dog Of War!
Mrs. Pfieff, like many other widows of Union soldiers killed in the battle of Shiloh, had traveled all the way from Chicago to Tennessee to find her dear husband's dead body and take it back home to Illinois. Travel was hard in 1862, especially for ladies traveling alone, but Mrs. Pfieff was determined that her husband's remains be returned home for his reburial.
When she arrived at the battlefield, she searched tirelessly among the markers of the thousands of hastily dug graves of the Union troops that had died during the two days of fierce fighting on April 6th and 7th. Casualties numbered 10,000 on each side, she had been told, but she only cared about one -- the casualty of Lt. Louis Pfieff of the 3rd Illinois Infantry.
At the end of the day, Mrs. Pfieff was about to give up. No one had been able to direct her to the grave of her husband.
Discouraged and grief stricken, the widow looked up from the burial field and saw a large dog coming toward her. As the dog approached, Mrs. Pfieff recognized it, as her own dog, one that her husband had taken with him when he had left Illinois. The dog seemed pleased to see her and she knelt and hugged the animal, burying her face in the animal's coarse fur.
When at last Mrs. Pfieff stood, the dog began to slowly move away from her, looking back at her from time to time, almost like it was beseeching her to follow. The dog led the widow to a distant part of the burial field and stopped before a single unmarked grave that stood apart from the others. Trusting the dog to lead her to her husband, Mrs. Pfieff requested that the grave be opened. Sure enough, the grave contained the remains of Lt. Pfieff. Later, the widow learned that the dog had been by her husband's side when he was shot, and had remained at his master's burial site for 12 days, only leaving his post long enough to get food and water.
Capt. G.A. Custer With One Of His Dogs!
Note: The above excerpt about Mrs. Pfieff was taken from the book: 'Dogs Of War And Stories of Other Beast of Battle in the Civil War," written by Marilyn W. Seguin and Adolph Caso, Editor. Available at your local bookstore.
1898: THE SPANISH, AMERICAN WAR
America's SecondRecorded Use Of Dogs!
During the Spanish-American War in 1898, dogs were used as scouts for Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders' horseback patrols in the dense jungles of Cuba. Each of these "war dogs" were trained as point scouts, and while being used ambushes by the enemy became near impossible; the lessons learned in Cuba by the Corp were later proven again in the many Pacific Island jungles against Japan during WWII* and again much later in Vietnam.
*SiteBuilder Note: At the beginning of the 2nd World War, it was the Marines' early experiences during the "banana wars," that convinced the Marine Corp, as to the need for war dogs in the coming battles against Japan.