Marker 14: Old Abe, the War Eagle

Photographed September 27, 2014
Erected 1954 by Wisconsin Historical  Society
Jim Falls, Chippewa County, Wisconsin
45° 3.529′ N, 91° 16.281' W
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This wayside is part of the old McCann farm, childhood home of Old Abe, the War Eagle. In the Spring of 1861 a band of hungry Chippewa came to the McCann farm and traded a young eagle for corn. The eagle became a family pet. When Company C, Eighth Wisconsin was organized at Eau Claire for Civil War duty, the crippled Dan McCann offered his eagle’s services as mascot, feeling that “someone from the family ought to go.” On October 12, 1861, the Eagle Regiment started for the front. In action Old Abe spread his wings and screamed encouragement to his men. The louder the noise of battle, the louder and fiercer were his screams. The eagle served with the regiment in 42 skirmishes and battles and lost only a few feathers. After three years’ service, Old Abe was formally presented to the State of Wisconsin September 26, 1864. A room was equipped for him in the Capitol and a man employed to care for him. His last public appearance occurred at the National Encampment of the G. A. R. in Milwaukee in 1880, where he and General U. S. Grant were honored guests. After a brief illness, Old Abe died March 28, 1881.
The marker is located at a pull-off on northbound Highway 178, at 14981 Highway 178, south of its intersection of Highway 178 and 150th Avenue / Barn Road, Jim Falls, Wisconsin 54748.

There are many markers / sites in Wisconsin honoring Old Abe. Use the "eagle Old Abe" label below to easily locate all the Old Abe postings on this website.

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Photographed July 9, 2013 (in a downpour)

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