Old Abe the War Eagle: A True Story of the Civil War and Reconstruction

Old Abe the War Eagle: A True Story of the Civil War and Reconstruction

by Richard Zeitlin


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Old Abe the War Eagle: A True Story of the Civil War and Reconstruction by Richard Zeitlin

The story of Old Abe, the bald eagle that became the mascot of the Eighth Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. It is also the story of the men among whom Old Abe lived: the farmers, loggers, clerks, and immigrants who flocked to the colors in 1861.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870202391
Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society
Publication date: 02/01/1986
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 864,247
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Richard Zeitlin earned a Masters and a Ph.D. in U.S. History at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He worked for the Wisconsin Historical Society, operated a historical consulting corporation, and became the director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. As the director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Zeitlin presided over the redevelopment of a new facility and a major expansion in the museum's programs.

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Old Abe the War Eagle: A True Story of the Civil War and Reconstruction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jmgallen More than 1 year ago
Animal military mascots are probably as old as warfare but in the American pantheon none are more revered that Old Abe, mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Captured by the Flambeau band Chippewa Indian who shot his mother and cut down the tall while pine containing his nest, Old Abe was traded to Dan and Margaret McCann who lived along the Chippewa River across from Jim Falls, Wisconsin for a bushel of corn in 1861. Upon purchase and adoption by the Eau Claire Badgers Regiment, soon to be the Eagles, it began its military career at Camp Randall, Wisconsin on September 4, 1861. Mustered into the 8th Wisconsin, the eagle matured as it led the “Eagle Regiment” in a parade through St. Louis and shared dangers and privations with its unit through 39 battles including Island No. 10, Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, the Red River Campaign. When the unit’s enlistments expired Old Abe returned to Madison and was made a gift to the state in return for a promise to care for Old Abe “as long as he lived.” Od Abe lived until 1881. During his post-war years he resided in the capitol and became a frequent focal point at veterans’ reunions, fundraisers and civic festivals. His fame did not end with his life as his stuffed remains were a fixture in the capitol until destroyed by fire and his image was engraved on monuments and continues to this day in the shoulder patch of the “Screaming Eagles” of the 101st Airborne. The tale of Old Abe is not complete without the stories of the men whom he inspired and those privileged to be “eagle bearers.” This book describes in detail the actions in which they were engaged and recites anecdotes from their service. The text of this oversized book is supplemented by numerous pictures of Old Abe, the soldiers of the Eighth and battle and camp scenes as well as maps to aid understanding of their battles. I appreciate it for introducing me to the legend of Old Abe and, despite my extensive Civil War reading, for the enhanced understanding I gained about major battles and life in the field. I recommend it to any Civil War fan who is looking for a new saga of the War. I did receive a copy of this book without an obligation to post a review.