Dadblamed Union Army Cow

by Susan Fletcher and Kimberly Bulcken Root

Susan Fletcher turns a scrap of unusual history into a delightful picture book set... read more

Susan Fletcher turns a scrap of unusual history into a delightful picture book set during the Civil War. In an author’s note Fletcher reveals the facts: the 59th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers traveled for three years and through many campaigns and skirmishes with a cow, who gave milk to the soldiers. Fletcher spins the spare facts into a lighthearted story that showcases both human and bovine bravery and loyalty. The first-person narrative is in the vivid yet plainspoken voice of the cow’s imagined owner. The cow follows him to the enlistment office and then on through years of active duty and fighting. At first annoyed and then beleaguered by her presence (she gets stuck in the mud and bolts in the midst of battle) he comes to appreciate the cow, especially when she won’t leave his side after he’s wounded, and later provides milk for his regiment when food is scarce. Through it all, the cow herself has only one thing to say: “Moo.” Kimberly Bulcken Root’s illustrations don’t try to embellish an already incredible, though not unbelievable, tale. Her straightforward depiction of the action, whether amusing or alarming, is a perfect accompaniment to Fletcher’s story. (Ages 6–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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