Friday, August 5, 2011

The Rooster Who Went to War and Camp Douglas-- Part 1

From the August 5th Marshall County (Tn) Tribune "Civil War rooster's portrait to be displayed" by Karen Hall.

George F. McCanless, the great-great nephew of the man who bought the rooster named Jake Donelson, will speak to the local historical society this Sunday about the bird and show a painting of it.

The account was first published in the April 1862 issue of the Civil War Times.

Company H, 3rd Tennessee regiment organized at Cornersville, Tennessee in the spring of 1861. One of its lieutenants, Jerome B. McCanless, while the group was training at Camp Cheatham, boght some chickens to eat from a local farmer. One was a young red rooster, who they noted was a really good fighter which saved him from being eaten.

They name him Jake and he fought rival companies' roosters with great success. The bird traveled with the company to its deployments and was captured along with the regiment by Union General U.S. Grant at Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862.

The Union soldiers didn't eat Jake, who became known as Jake Donelson, and he accompanied the prisoners to Camp Douglas in Chicago where he survived seven months incarceration, especially something considering the lack of food the Confederates received. That must have been some bird.

Jake and the soldiers were exchanged at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

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