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Dogs of War – And Stories of Other Beasts of Battle in the Civil War

By Marilyn W. Seguin
Branden Books

PO Box 812094
Wellesley MA 02482

Marilyn W. Seguin unleashes the Dogs of War – and an amazing number of other critters – in this collection of vignettes about animals of battle in the American Civil War. Military organizations "adopting" animals as mascots is as old as war itself. However, Seguin is able to capture the affection soldiers throughout history have had for their working animals as well.

This book, which sells for $12.95, focuses on the Civil War period with short, readable anecdotes about the exploits of dogs, pigs, squirrels, bunnies, and chickens--among other animals--in camp or in battle. The stories are two or fewer pages in length; this is not a sit-down and read type of book, though you may quickly become engrossed in the lively and sometimes moving stories of soldiers and their pets.

The legendary stories (including Dog Jack and Robert E. Lee's horse, Traveler) are all there, though some are far too brief. Seguin covers a wide variety of animals rather than telling only the familiar dog and pony type stories.

The benefit to books like Dogs of War is the flexibility they bring to a homeschool course of study. Animals are a part of life--and warfare--and are a topic most kids enjoy learning about. Adding this light-hearted look at animals in the Civil War is a great way to add fun and adventure to your next unit study on the War Between the States.

Product review by Tony Silva, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, September 2010

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