Five members of the regiment served as eagle-bearers during Old Abe's years at war. Upon her return to Wisconsin, Old Abe was reclassified as a “War Relic" by the state and an “Eagle Department” was set up in the state's Capitol building. This department included a caretaker, a two room apartment, and a custom bathtub.
In February 1881, a small fire broke out in the Capitol building. Old Abe alerted people to the flames with her famous war cry, but breathed in a large amount of a smoke in the process. Despite the efforts of Wisconsin's finest doctors, the war eagle died a month later in the arms of her caretaker.
Since her death, Old Abe's image has been adopted as the screaming eagle on the insignia of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division and has become a national treasure in Wisconsin. Everything this bird accomplished happened two months shy of her 19th birthday.
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and once had a parakeet that died after it flew into the refrigerator.