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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"


Chapter  15 - Spanish-American War

by Marshall Cousins

"Happy Jack"

(-as transcribed from pages 260 - 261)


Will the publishers of the Eau Claire County History give one of the men of the Puerto Rican expedition a little space to make mention of Happy Jack?  He was the horse ridden by Adjutant Cousins during the Spanish-American War and for years after the war.  Jack was a Kentucky thoroughbred, born in the state of fine horses and beautiful women, but as a young colt was sent to a Georgia plantation, about forty miles from Chickamauga Park.  It was at Chickamauga Park he was purchased by the Eau Claire officer on May 25, 1898.  The planter from whom he was bought frankly stated he did not think the horse suited for military purposes as he was a plantation saddler and had never been in the city or been among large bodies of men.  Jack was accepted, however, and in a few days had established friendly terms with matters military and with officers and men.  He quickly learned bugle calls and seemed to recognize the uniform.  He was a particularly handsome, well-bred animal, and could take the single foot gait at considerably better than a three-minute gait.  He was as intelligent as he was handsome.  He received a painful wound while on the island, which was dressed and attended to by Captain E. H. Grannis, one of our regimental surgeons.

Jack came home with the regiment and lived in Eau Claire until February 10, 1912, when he passed quietly away.  From 1899 on he annually attended the regimental encampments at Camp Douglas, and hundreds of men will recall his attitude as he would stand before the regiment at evening parade while his master, Captain Cousins, Regimental Adjutant, published the orders.

Jack, although spirited and lively, was never vicious excepting when colored people were about.  For the negro race he seemed to have a particular aversion and would not hesitate to use his hoofs or teeth to impress upon them his dislike.  Jack rendered his country good and faithful service, and was a kind, affectionate and agreeable friend and comrade.


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