Volunteers Capture Eagle During the Civil War

Regiment of volunteers answer the call of President Abraham Lincoln; found eagles nest yields regiment mascot.

| Good Old Days

My grandfather was among the Civil War volunteers, answering President Abraham Lincoln's first call. He told us about this incident in the War.

In the first part of 1861, the 8th Wisconsin regiment was at Belmont, Missouri, where they found an eagle's nest. Some of the soldiers cut the tree and captured one, which had a broken wing. They called him Abe.

The soldiers fed and cared for the eagle. One soldier was paid to carry the eagle on a perch. The perch had a wooden shield painted with stars and stripes like the flag, and it was carried by a long handle.

When the eagle was hungry, it would fly away to eat and then fly back to its perch. Grandpa saw it do this.

The eagle was wounded sometimes, but always got well. The day Vicksburg surrendered, the eagle flapped his wings and screamed all day, while the army marched and the band played.

Abe was cared for until he died. Then his body was mounted and is in the museum at Washington, D.C.

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