It's this kind of fact that keeps us searching all around the web for the less known trivia we feed on. Learning something new, especially something no one else seems to be aware of, is a very satisfying past time!
Mascots are a long standing military tradition. Soldiers have adopted dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, monkeys, pigs, birds—but the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment topped them all with the emblem of America itself, a tame bald eagle. The eaglet was taken from the nest and eventually made her way to the 8th Regiment, where she was named Old Abe after President Abraham Lincoln. She became a very popular patriotic symbol of the Union cause. She had a special shield shaped perch, but would walk through the camp stealing food.
Old Abe flew over battlefields—39 in total—and although the Confederates had orders to capture her if possible, the eagle got through the war unscathed. After 1865, she was retired from the Army and given a new home in Madison, Wisconsin, in the State Capital building. Unfortunately, in 1881 after suffering smoke inhalation during a fire, Old Abe died. Some controversy exists regarding the bird’s sex, and whether “Old Abe” was one bird or several. That the eagle existed isn’t in doubt due to ample photographic evidence.
You can read more about Old Abe right here!
This is the kind of story that would have made history class so much more interesting in school! Don't you agree?
Another day pretty enough to have our coffee out on the patio. That's OK, isn't it?