Cannonball

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York is going to the dogs

Company B of the 13th Pennsylvania, a three-months’ regiment, was encamped at York’s Camp Scott in early May 1861. A stray dog wandered into camp and was soon adopted by the soldiers. The new volunteer became the mascot and accompanied the regiment for some time. In recogition of his origins, the pet dog was named “York.”
Rev. Alexander M. Stewart, the regimental chaplain, described York as being a “curious-looking specimen of the canine. One must be more skilled in doggery than the writer to define his species. Spaniel, cur, terrier, and water-dog all seem blended into one.”
What York lacked was natural hunting instincts and a keen sense. He was clearly a city dog.


The chaplain wrote, “York’s reasoning facilities seem to operate slowly. He is accustomed to bound away, and bring back in his mouth whatever missle any one of the boys may throw from them, whether falling upon land or water. With live game he has but little acquaintance. The other day a rabbit was started, and was seen by York at a certain point. Thither he bounded with wonderful agility, then he stopped and snuffed and snorted to find the rabbit as he would a block or stone–seeming wholly oblivious, that although the rabbit was actually in that spot when he started in pursuit, it might not perchance be in the same spot when he arrived.”
York “reenlisted” with nearly all of his comrades in the 102nd Pennsylvania once the three-month term of the 13th Pennsylvania expired. Eighteen months after York first wandered into the camp, he perished from complications from injuries, disease, and exposure. He was buried with full military honors by the members of company.