The Faithful Dog by Terry Lee Caruthers
in Children’s 1800s US Historical Fiction
When German-born Louis Pfeif leaves home to join the Fifty-Eighth Illinois Infantry Regiment in 1862, his dog accompanies him. At Chicago’s Camp Douglas, Bärchen charms Louis’s fellow officers—even Colonel Lynch. As the Civil War escalates, the unit is transferred to Tennessee and placed under the command of General Lew Wallace. Shortly afterward, they come under fire at Erin Hollow. Bärchen proves his mettle—remaining by Louis’s side amid the boom of cannon and the rattle of musketry. Then one morning the two are thrust onto a battlefield, where one will die and the other must learn to carry on.
Based on a true story and the history of the Fifty-Eighth Illinois, The Faithful Dog powerfully illustrates the unwavering bond of devotion between dogs and their humans.
A country was torn in the conflict between the north and the south. Many of the combatants who fought were immigrants or first-generation Americans in the new world. Second Lieutenant Lewis W. Pfeif was one of those volunteers. He served valiantly fighting to support President Lincoln and his new homeland.
This story is about his faithful dog Bänchen. The family dog was his pride and joy and went with him to the various camps. Second Lieutenant Pfeif was attached to the Fifty-Eighth Illinois regiment. They were transported by rail or steamboat to the various battlefields they fought in. The dog was a constant companion and was instrumental in alerting the regiment whenever danger was near.
Second Lieutenant Pfeif was killed in a battle against the Thirteenth Tennessee commanded by Confederate Colonel Alfred J. Vaughn. A head wound dispatched the Lieutenant instantly but the dog stayed by his master’s side and could not be coaxed to leave, nor would he allow anyone to approach or assist his master. Despite all of his efforts, his master would not rise.
After the war, his mistress went to the battlefield to try to find her husband’s remains. She was unable to find him until she was approached by a very tired and beleaguered Bänchen. The dog was so dirty and mangy that she hardly recognized him. However, he was able to lead her to the location of her husband’s remains and they were dug up and returned to Illinois.
This well-written story describes the horror and sacrifices the combatants suffered on both sides during the Civil War. The heartbreak of most families during this conflict was the lack of knowledge of where their brothers, fathers, or sons fell and were buried. Because of this war dog, he was able to get his master’s remains back to the proper burial site in Illinois. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Children’s 1800s US Historical Fiction, Children’s Dog Books, Children’s 1800s American Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Print Length: 166 pages
Publication Date: July 7, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: The Faithful Dog [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
The Author: Terry Lee Caruthers enjoys writing, storytelling, and cats with a little cross-stitching on the side. Her preference is to spend her days curled up in the porch swing with a large glass of ice water and a good book. And yes! Unbelievably, she actually has a porch swing in her living room!
Terry credits her mother and maternal grandmother for nurturing her love of books. As a lifetime reader, she is drawn to coming-of-age novels and Southern literary fiction, but can’t pass up a good mystery. Her favorite book of all time is Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which she was assigned to read in ninth grade–and has re-read almost every year since. Because of her prior involvement in cat rescue, Terry collects books on stray, feral, lost, and abandoned cats.
While fall is her favorite time of the year, she does love a good, deep snow. Summer is a season she could do without–although she does love its caladiums!
When not working, Terry spends her time writing. She has several more manuscripts in progress which she hopes to share with you in the future!
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams