Quite a number of regiments went to war with special mascots -little drummer boys, vivandieres (women in military costume), and most of all pets. Dogs, cats, raccoons, even small bears, went to war, but no mascot was as distinctive as "Old Abe", the "war eagle" that went into battle with the 8th Wisconsin Infantry of the old Iron Brigade. All across the battlefields of Tennessee and Georgia, "Old Abe" soared into the air when the bullets started to fly, hovering over the fighting until it was done. In camp and on the march, he stayed on a special perch made in the shape of the Union shield, with the stars and stripes painted on the surface, and tending to the eagle was a special duty in the regiment. His tenders wore very much the regulation uniform and equipment, excepting their headgear, some wearing slouch hats like this private.
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