The Pride Of The Regiment
"Old Abe's" perch was on a shield, which was carried by a soldier, to whom, and to whom alone, he looked as to a master. He would not allow any one to carry or even to handle him, except this soldier, nor would he ever receive his food from any other person's hands. He seemed to have sense enough to know that he was sometimes a burden to his master on the march, however, and, as if to relieve him, would occasionally spread his wings and soar aloft to a great height, the men of all regiments along the line of march cheering him as he went up.
He regularly received his rations from the commissary, like any enlisted man. Whenever fresh meat was scarce, and none could be found for him by foraging parties, he would take things into his own claws, as it were, and go out on a foraging expedition himself. On some such occasions he would be gone two or three days at a time, during which nothing whatever was seen of him; but he would invariably return, and seldom would come back without a young lamb or a chicken in his talons. His long absences occasioned his regiment not the slightest concern, for the men knew that, though he might fly many miles away in quest of food, he would be quite sure to find them again.
In what way he distinguished the two hostile armies so accurately that he was never once known to mistake the gray for the blue, no one can tell. But so it was, that he was never known to alight save in his own camp, and amongst his own men.
At the Centenial celebration held in
As was but just and right, the soldier who had carried him during the war continued to have charge of him after the war was over, until the day of his death, which occurred at the capital of