Friday, 29 April 2016

Civil War Photo Friday: Black Civil War Soldiers Fighting Bloodhounds

I've been researching the Civil War for more some 15 years now and this is the first time I've come across this little tidbit. Titled, “Terrible Fight with Bloodhounds,” this engraving appeared in Leslie’s Illustrated magazine in March of 1864. It illustrates the strange fight of one of the very first African-American regiments organized during the Civil War.

On October 23, 1862, the 1st South Carolina Regiment (Colored) was attacked by the Confederates at Pocatalago Bridge, South Carolina. The rebels sent bloodhounds after the black troops. These dogs, as any student of black history knows, were commonly sent after runaway slaves and most black people were terrified of them. Things had changed, however. Now these former slaves had rifles and bayonets. As their hated canine enemies charged at them, the Union soldiers bayoneted them.

This odd little fight made quite an impression on both the black and white population and highlighted that black soldiers were not to be trifled with. They weren't scared anymore!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Gun beats dog every time.
Funny how some of the dogs almost look like big cats or bears.

D.G. Hudson said...

Bloodhounds are noted for their baying and for their good noses. . . but it seems rather cowardly of the southern soldiers to me. I know the police use dogs, and bloodhounds have been used to find jailbreak criminals for a long time. Thanks for digging up these bits of history, Sean!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Interesting post, Sean. You always seem to turning up a fascinating tidbit about the Civil War.

Michael McMillan said...

Very interesting image. Please note that there were two breeds of dogs referred to as bloodhounds: "Cuban bloodhounds" shown in the image and "bloodhounds" often seen today. The Cuban bloodhounds were very aggressive beasts, the breed didn't survive over time. The bloodhound of today is a very good tracker but very friendly. The AKC breed standard for bloodhounds states they must be "extremely affectionate, neither quarrelsome with handlers or other dogs".
Look at the ears on the dogs in the image, they are short and pointed, typical of Cuban hounds. Bloodhounds today are known for their long floppy ears.

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