Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lt. George Armstrong Custer's Terrier

That's Lt. George Armstrong Custer (Union Army) reclining with a dog that looks like an over-large Fell Terrier -- almost a Border Terrier.

This picture was taken on May 20, 1862 during the middle of the Peninsula Campaign in Virginia.

Custer was a true dog man (all kinds, but running dogs when he got out West).

Click on the picture for a HUGE version -- the best quality version of this picture I have ever found. What detail! What facial hair!


retrieverman said...

Custer was such a dog man that he took packs of hounds with him on the Western campaigns. He had a few favored "Deerhounds." I don't know if these were Scottish Deerhounds as we know them today or the American staghound type. His favorite dog was named Blucher (after the Prussian general).

Custer also captured a Newfoundland during the Peninsula Campaign from Confederate soldiers. This dogs is quite different from the show type Newfoundland we know today. Think a black and white golden retriever. I have a photo of this on an entry at my blog, called "An Idea of What Newfoundland Dogs Looked Like in the Nineteenth Century."

PBurns said...

Yes, on all points. There were no pedigrees back then, and though there were types and that start of breeds, most dogs bred random and were selected for function or pet after the fact (or were drowned off the dock if not wanted). I have a huge version of the picture of the newfie-looking farm dog you are talking about that I will post later. Custer had a few greyhounds out west and some cross breds that might be called staghounds. Blucher and his mate, Maida were the staghound variety. Blucher was killed during the Washita massacre (sometimes called the Battle of Washita) -- one of the last noble events in the settlement of the West. I have an old post on this I have never put up. Maybe I will add that text under this picture.