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Civil war units, both North and South, had canine mascots. The soldiers did not feel any differently about their four footed companions than people today feel about their pets. Some were an inspiration for the troops, while others were a reminder of beloved pets back home. Mascots brought loyalty and enthusiasm, and for soldiers, the act of nurturing animals offset boredom in camp and brought solace and a needed distraction from the horror of battle. Both men and dogs were unprepared for the war’s duration and the ugliness it entailed. While soldiers were trained for battle and cognizant of its consequences, their pups were not, many making the ultimate sacrifice.