Old Abe, Eagle Hero
The Civil War’s Most Famous Mascot
By Patrick Young, illustrated by Anne Lee
Kane Miller, 2010
Old Abe, Eagle Hero is a slice of the Civil War that will capture the hearts of the youngest. Patrick Young, great-grandson of Capt Victor Wolf, Commander of Company C of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, writes the story of that company’s mascot, a Bald Eagle. Old Abe was sent to war in place of a man with a bad leg. Raised from an eaglet, “…the soldiers loved Old Abe. They taught him to shake hands and to drink water from a canteen.” The courageous eagle fought in twenty-five major battles. He dragged a fellow soldier to safety and was instrumental in capturing a group of confederate soldiers. Old Abe flew above battles and inspired his company to fight harder. Confederates tried to capture him, but failed. After the war, Old Abe retired a national hero and lived out his days in a two-room apartment.
Artist Anne Lee beautifully captures Old Abe’s playful antics in watercolor and ink illustrations. Written simply, yet ‘gloriously’, each page shares a fascinating nugget of the eagle’s story and gently introduces children to the Civil War.