NPS Martin Van Buren
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  • Sallie - Gettysburg National Military Park

    In May 1861, while drilling as part of the Civil War, the newly formed 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was gifted with a four-week-old American Staffordshire Terrier puppy. The entire regiment was enamored with the puppy and quickly declared her their mascot. They bestowed upon her the name Sallie Ann Jarrett after their commanding officer, Colonel Phaon Jarrett, and Sallie Ann, a local beauty. 

    Sallie attended roll call each morning and accompanied the soldiers for drills, becoming a prominent member of the infantry. During parades, she walked alongside the soldiers in regimental colors front and center alongside Colonel Richard Coulter’s horse. Sallie had the distinction of twice parading for Abraham Lincoln, sparking a legend that the President had tipped his hat at the beloved canine.

    But Sallie was more than just a parade dog. She was a powerful force for the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and often went straight to the front of the line, barking ferociously. Sallie saw battle at some of the most high-profile battles, including Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. The proud Sallie is said to have escaped death on two occasions. Once, she was separated from her comrades at Gettysburg and feared dead. After three days, they found her guarding the regiment’s wounded and dead. Then In May 1864, Sallie was wounded during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. A bullet was lodged in her neck but eventually worked its way out several months later.

    Tragedy struck the regiment on February 6, 1865. During the Union advance at Hatcher’s Run, she was struck by a bullet and killed instantly. Although under intense enemy fire, several of the regiment’s soldiers immediately dropped their weapons to bury their beloved canine comrade where she fell.

    When the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Monument was designed for placement at Gettysburg, the regiment’s survivors voted unanimously to include a memorial to their courageous comrade.

    Veterans of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry pose in front of the memorial to their comrades and Sallie.
    Close-up of Sallie's memorial.