|A smooth St. Bernard, 1919.|
I think General the Civil War dog
might have looked sort of like this.
In 1851, Mr. Grimes got married. His wife died just six years later, but first she had four children, and one of them died very young. Mr. Grimes was so sad that he went on a trip to Europe to try to feel better. When he came back home, the Civil War was about to get started. He joined the Confederate Army as a major in the 4th North Carolina Infantry on May 16, 1861, and he fought for the first time in the First Battle of Bull Run, two months later.
|General Byran Grimes|
In September of 1863, General Grimes had got married again. He and his second wife eventually had ten children together. This is a lot of children, if you ask me, but no one did.
Okay, so that's the part about General Grimes, and now I will tell you the more important story, which is about General, the dog. In June of 1864, at Cold Harbor, Virginia, the Confederates had been fighting the Union soldiers for a while, and then the Union soldiers started to retreat. So the rebels took over the yankee breastworks and camps. General Grimes wrote this in a letter to his wife:
Here I captured a fine St. Bernard dog, which was protecting the corpse of a Colonel of a Pennsylvania regiment, who upon inspection was found to have on steel breast plates which had protected him so long as his face was to the fire, but upon retreating had received a mortal wound in the rear...
General Grimes named the dog General, and he kept the breast plate "as a memento of the battlefield" and "Yankee cowardice." General became a mascot for the regiment and went with them through some of their hardest fights. Sadly, General eventually "succumbed to the hard marching, broke down and was lost, not having the endurance of men."
Anyway, I wish I could have told you more about General, the dog, but there wasn't much information about him. So that's why I had to mostly talk about General Grimes, the person. But he turned out to be at least somewhat interesting, so I hope you still learned something.