I came across these images of soldiers with dogs and found them so touching I thought I'd share them here. These canine companions must have been quite important to their owners to have been included in their wartime photographs.
It appears that in the top image the hound slightly moved his head as his right ear seems sort of blurry. However, it is impressive that the dog stayed still long enough for the photograph to expose as well as it did. This image must have been taken very early in the war as the unidentified soldier holds a double barrel percussion shotgun, which was perhaps a photographer prop. But then again, perhaps not, as the man also has a powder flask at his waist.
The unidentified Union soldier and his dog above also seem to sit still for an excellent image. The soldier appears to be wearing some type of corduroy pants tucked into boots. It looks like he is wearing a vest under some style of overcoat, all of which looks as much civilian as military to me. It is difficult to tell if there is a painted backdrop in the background, but it might be a camp scene of some type. I can't tell if the dog is a mixed breed or not, but he/she sure looks friendly and relaxed.
Dogs probably served as comfortable reminders from home for soldiers. And, whether these pooches were camp mascots or the soldiers just brought their family pets along for their hometown mustering photographs, it shows how important canines companions were to some men on both sides.
Images courtesy of the Library of Congress.