Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dogs of Honor

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

The other day, I pinned an image of the Irish Brigade Monument at Gettysburg featuring an Irish Wolfhound in repose. The picture was met with an enthusiastically positive response. So I thought for a while about other Civil War monuments featuring canine mascots and recalled this one.

The pup pictured here is Sallie - a pug-nosed brindle bull terrier presented as a gift in 1861 to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment. Sallie saw plenty of action. Well drilled, she marched in formation with the men, and took her place in line of battle. Her first combat was a Cedar Mountain, where she stood resolutely by the regimental colors for the duration.

Rumor has it, that during an 1863 review, none other than President Lincoln offered an approving tip-o-the hat salutation to the 11th's mascot. And there are claims too, that Sallie was twice captured by Confederates -  and made her escape back to Union lines and her unit.

Sallie survived a neck wound received at Spotsylvania - but her luck would run out in February, 1865. On the 6th, the Pennsylvanians attacked the Rebel lines at Hatcher's Run. Sallie, always dutifully at her post, took at bullet in the head. She was killed instantly. The men of the 11th, still under fire, buried her where she fell.

In 1890, the veterans of the 11th dedicated a monument on Oak Ridge at Gettysburg - facing the direction of the attacking Rebels. There at the base you will find Sallie's bronze likeness. The next time you are in the neighborhood, stop by and leave a little treat.I think a biscuit would be a nice offering for a dog who helped save the Union. And I am sure Sallie would appreciate it.



PS - I'll keep posting about Civil War mascots memorialized in this fashion - if you know of one you would like to see discussed here, please fill me in!


  1. Everytime I hear that story my heart thickens. I love visiting that monument in Gettysburg. Always was one of my favorite monuments with a very touching story to go along with it.

  2. "Old Abe" the eagle mascot for the 8th Wisconsin volunteers has a great history - though it would end in tragedy. The Confederates called a "Yankee buzzard." He survived the war and horrible fighting at Vicksburg. He might be a good topic. And, don't forget "Douglas" the Confederate's camel who also was involved at Vicksburg. I like you writing.

  3. Enjoyed reading your remembrance of Sallie. It's touching how often visitors leave gifts of biscuits, flowers, coins, and flags for her. Many even have their pictures--or their dogs' pictures--taken with her.