From the National Tribune, 7/11/1889

Something About the Dog Slayer and a Female Soldier.

EDITOR NATIONAL TRIBUNE: I was much interested in an article under the head of “What Became of the Dog Slayer.” It was worth to me a year’s subscription to read it. I was present on Belle Isle in 1863 when the dog was killed. Lieut. V. Bossieux, 25th Va. battalion, had command of the prison camp. When the dog slayer was brought out of camp, and the Lieutenant had threatened to take his heart’s blood, I think I heard the order, “Buck and gag him for four hours.”

I have in my possession a picture or photograph copied from a pencil sketch drawn on the spot by one of the prisoners, which represents the dog slayer near the gate, sitting on the ground. It also shows the commander’s tents, cook-house, James River, with the flatboat, and Petersburg Railroad bridge, and an excellent view of Richmond in the distance; also thee trees and rebel flagstaff ad colors in the foreground. It is an exceedingly interesting picture for any comrade who was ever confined there.

I saw the prisoner make the sketch at the time, but don’t know who he was, and on my return - being exchanged in March, 1864, - had some photos made. Last Winter, at a Campfire of Chamberlain Post, No. 1, St. Johnsbury, Vt., I related the incident. I should be glad to find out who the dog slayer was. I reading my diary of Dec. 9, 1863, I find the following:

“This morning a young woman was discovered in camp on Belle Isle, belonging to the 11th Ky. Cav., named Mary Jane Johnson, 16 years of age. She has been in the Union army a year, has neither father nor mother, and was induced to join the army by the Captain of her company, who was killed in the battle where she was taken prisoner. She was sent over to Richmond to be sent North.”

Does any old comrade remember the circumstance?

W. W. SPRAGUE, Co. B, 13th Mass., St. Johnsbury, Vt.

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