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The Contentious Burial of Bo-Bo, the Blenheim Spaniel of Civil War Hero General Daniel E. Sickles

General Daniel E. Sickles (previously at Neatorama) led a remarkable life. He was a murderer (he shot Philip Barton Key, the son of Francis Scott Key), a Civil War hero, an amputee, a New York City alderman, and a Congressman. He was also devoted to his purebred Blenheim spaniel named Bo-Bo, who lived from 1902 to 1905.

Following Bo-Bo’s death, General Sickles was inconsolable. For two days, he sat beside his companion, refusing to leave the dead dog’s side. During this time, he made plans to give Bo-Bo a burial fit for a king. He  ordered a magnificent wood coffin lined with tufted satin, which he topped with a small American flag and numerous roses and cut flowers. For several days, Bo-Bo lay in state in the front parlor at 23 Fifth Avenue.

Bo-Bo’s burial was originally scheduled for August 24, but the general had to postpone it because it took him some time to find a cemetery to accept his dog. He first approached the trustees at the Beechwoods Cemetery in New Rochelle, New York, where his father had purchased a family crypt prior to his death in 1887. They turned him down. He looked into several other cemeteries, but no one wanted to accept the general’s beloved dog.

The Beechwoods Cemetery eventually relented and allowed Bo-Bo to be buried in the family plot. That's when the trouble started. The other plot owners objected, and Sickles' family members threatened to sue. Read the story of the dog buried in General Sickles' family plot at The Hatching Cat.


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