Monday, September 17, 2012
Capt. Werner von Bachelle and his Faithful Dog
They found Capt. Werner Von Bachelle of the Sixth Wisconsin dead on the turnpike next to the cornfield. His company was on the roadway and was caught in the first flurry of bullets from the Confederates. He was hit several times and fell. When the company dropped back into the corn, the officer's large pet dog refused to leave him. Later, they found the captain on his back, "his feet crossed and arms folded, his cap drawn forward over his eyes, like a soldier taking his rest, his body riddled with bullets, his field glass across his shoulder shattered into innumerable pieces, and his faithful dog...lying across his body dead." Said Col. Edward Bragg: "He was a soldier of fortune and died as he desired--a soldier in the front line of battle." The dead of the Sixth regiment were buried under "a locust tree on the right of the pike and in the field proximating the church, well up to the front, but close toward the wood, Captain Bachelle with is feet to the south, on one side of the tree, and the enlisted men in a trench dug with a battery hoe on the reverse side. The captain's dog was placed beside him in the grave. Von Bachelle's body was later removed to the National Cemetery at Sharpsburg, Maryland. For reasons not explained, he was buried with a group of officers, and not with his Wisconsin men. It is not known if his dog was moved with him. Lest we forget.