Civil War Animals and Mascots

Civil War Animals and Mascots

Did you know …

There were many different animals that traveled with the soldiers during the Civil War.

Horses pulled the cannons on caissons.

Horses worked hard during the war. Hauling cannons was one of their important jobs. The cannons were placed on a two-wheeled structure and pulled from battle to battle by horses.

Horses were also used by soldiers in the cavalry. These soldiers rode horses to find enemy camps.

The most famous horse was Traveller, ridden by General Robert E. Lee. General Stonewall Jackson rode Little Sorrel. General Ulysses S. Grant’s favorite horse was named Cincinnati.

Mules pulled supply wagons.

There were about 25,000 mules at the Battle of Gettysburg alone, so thousands of the animals worked hard throughout the war.

Mules were sturdier than horses in tough conditions. They pulled the many supply wagons needed by the armies in mule trains.

Dogs became mascots.

Jack was one of the most famous dogs. The brown and white bull terrier traveled with the 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry. Jack’s soldiers claimed that the dog understood bugle calls.

The 11th Pennsylvania Infantry had a bull terrier named Sallie. Old Harvey, a white bulldog, was a mascot of the 104th Ohio, along with a cat, a tamed raccoon, and another Newfoundland dog. The 1st Maryland Artillery listed their dog, Grace, on the roster with the soldiers’ names.

Other animals used as mascots.

Old Abe was a bald eagle (8th Wisconsin.)

General Robert E. Lee kept a pet hen named Nellie.

A tame bear marched to Missouri with the 12th Wisconsin.

A donkey kept the 3rd Louisiana soldiers company.

The men of the 2nd Rhode Island taught tricks to a sheep named Dick.

The soldiers of the 43rd Mississippi kept a pet camel named Douglas.

These are just a few interesting examples of the furry mascots that camped with the Civil War soldiers.


– Sandra Merville Hart


“Animal Mascots of the Civil War,” Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, 2014/11/10

“Gettysburg: An animal-lover’s tour of the battlefield,” Evening Sun, 2014/11/10

“Old Abe the War Eagle: At War,” Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 2014/11/10





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