Sallie, the faithful mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry

Jan 4, 2017
Ont. Canada
In May 1861, the Eleventh Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers was organized under the command of Colonel P. Jarrett for what they thought would be a short three months to put down the rebellion. One morning a civilian presented the four-week-old pup to the captain of Company I, and she was soon named Sallie Ann Jarrett, after both the commander and a certain young lady of the nearby town. Sallie thus became the official regimental mascot of what was to be The Civil War. She learned the various drum rolls and bugle calls in the months that followed. During her first winter, while quartered at Annapolis for the winter, Sallie sallied forth and became pregnant, delivering nine pups on March 7, 1862. Four more times during her career she found herself in this state, but always gave priority to her military duties, nursing her pups only after drills or marches. In April, the regiment proceeded south to engage the rebels, and was active in the bloody struggles of the next three years. Sallie went everywhere with her men and inspired them with her remarkable endurance. She never was confused about who was in “her” regiment and who wasn’t, recognizing her own even when they were out of uniform.

One year after entering the active phase of the war, the regiment—while encamped across the Rappahannock River from the battle field at Fredericksburg, VA—passed with others in review, Sallie as usual at the head of her column. A tall man in a long black coat occasionally raised his hand in a half-salute of recognition to some officer in the preceding regiment. When he saw Sallie, he doffed his stovepipe hat as a special tribute, possibly thinking of his own beloved dog, Fido. The little “bu1ldog” seemed as proud as her men to be thus honored by their commander-in-chief. (Guess who!)

True to the traditions of man’s best friend, Sallie never deserted her companions, even when the fields were crowded with fallen soldiers. She licked the hand of those victims who still moved and guarded those who didn’t. On May 8, 1864, Sallie was shot in the neck and had to be taken to the hospital. As if she were an officer or enlisted man, the head surgeon inspected and treated her, but determined the bullet (a Minie ball) could not be safely removed. A few days later, she returned to active duty—so active, in fact, that her first performance “was to tear the seat out of the pants of a young conscript from another regiment” who ran from battle and tried to retreat through the ranks of the Eleventh Regiment. Several months later, the wound in her neck, which had developed into a cyst the size of an egg, began to fester and ooze as the ball worked its way out. When the cyst broke and released the foreign object, the wound began to heal, in time leaving a noticeable and honorable battle scar.


By the start of 1865, it was obvious to many that the South could not hold out much longer. On the night of February 5, Sallie kept the men in her tent from much sleep by mournful cries like omens of doom. In the morning, with Sallie at the head, the troops marched to a position near Petersburg, VA, where they immediately encountered fierce opposition. Among the dead of the Eleventh were the sergeant and one of the privates, while the other two men who had shared her tent were badly wounded. In the middle of this group lay a medium-sized brindle Bull Terrier *****, shot through the head. Sallie had served faithfully, from the beginning of the terrible war which was to end barely two months later. For her and so many of her friends the war had an earlier end.

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Feb 14, 2012
Central Pennsylvania
I knew of Sallie, and had been to give her a biscuit as a child being taken to Gettysburg by Dad. It's funny, he had no knowledge of where an uncle had died- and if he'd turned around after leaving Sallie's tribute, he'd have been there. We just went to visit Sallie, from a Pennsylvania regiment, where Schuylkill men fought. Pretty big deal to Dad. She was a high point, Dad a Gettysburg buff, we were there with different groups. He was a Lutheran minister so our youth groups became fairly well educated, not, as you'd think, on the seminary. Never went there except to point out Buford's perch- it was the battlefield.

David Adams, although it should be 'Adam ', everyone gave up after awhile, the gosh darn ' S ' followed them like an unwelcome tail. 11th Pennsylvania, found my grgrgrandmother's brother in a trunk, in a curled, old newspaper notice. Really do not wish to make a ' Sallie ' thread about just one, 11th PA soldier. It was just a little wonderful, thinking David touched this kind of splendid little piece of History, perhaps did receive a measure of comfort himself with Sallie in their midst, died that day not as terrified because their regiment really was a little different. Sallie made it that way. Imagining it? Maybe.

My sister is named ' Sally ' supposedly short for ' Sarah '. All of us have family names. Hers is not. We have a ' Sadie ', not a Sally ' or ' Sarah '. I have always, always suspected why she was called ' Sally ' and it'll cause a family ' Gettysburg ', if I insist this is the case. I do think I know. Wish she'd feel it was an honor. And, I'm guessing, a tribute to an uncle buried at the National Cemetery, under ' Unknown '.




First Sergeant
Jul 15, 2013
One of my favorite Gettysburg stories and one of my favorite monuments on the battlefield. I go there every time I am there. Thank you for sharing!


Brev. Brig. Gen'l
May 27, 2011
los angeles ca
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 9 [S# 9]
MARCH 14, 1862.--Battle of New Berne, N. C.
No. 11. -- Report of Lieut. Col. William S. Clark, Twenty-first Massachusetts Infantry.
Camp Reno, New Berne, N. C., March 16, 1862.
CAPTAIN: About 9 o'clock on the morning of the 13th instant the Twenty-first Massachusetts Volunteers, 743 strong, landed at the mouth of Slocum's Creek, and by order of General Reno advanced about 2 miles through the pine woods along the south bank of the river Neuse toward New Berne. Arriving out upon a large open field, the regiment stacked arms, to await the arrival of the general with the rest of the brigade. Company G, under Lieutenant Taylor, formed the advance guard, and discovered a short distance into the woods beyond the cleared space a large number of wooden barracks, which had been evacuated about two hours before by the rebel cavalry, whose equanimity had been disturbed by shells from the gunboats. An advance of 4 miles brought the regiment to Croatan, where we found a very extensive earthwork running at right angles to the highway.
Among the incidents of the day perhaps the following may not be out of place here: Capt. J. D. Frazer, of Company H, was wounded in the right arm just before charging, and dropped his sword. He, however, instantly picked it up with his left hand and led on his men with the colors. At the time of the retreat from the battery he was unable to clear the ditch, and fell into the water. As soon as the rebels discovered him they ordered him to get up, took him back over the parapet, and removing his sword, placed a guard of three men over him. When his captors in their turn retreated again he was unable or unwilling to move as rapidly as they, and when he had detained his guard sufficiently long to permit him to attempt it, he drew his revolver and declared he would shoot the first one who stirred. They surrendered to him and were delivered over to the Fourth Rhode Island as prisoners of war. The lieutenant to whom Captain Frazer gave his sword was also captured and the sword returned to its rightful owner. Captain Frazer, before the close of the fight, was again in command of his company. Private J. A. Miller, of Company A, in clambering over the parapet in the retreat, dropped his rifle into the ditch, and rather than leave his pet remained searching for it until captured. He was ordered to the rear of the enemy with a guard, and as the bullets were rather numerous in the air, he laid himself down between two logs and forgot to get up when his captors retreated.

Hoping this report of the part performed by the Twenty-first Massachusetts Volunteers at the memorable battle of New Berne may be satisfactory, I am, captain, very respectfully, yours,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Twenty-first Mass. Vols.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.
AUGUST 1, 1864.--Skirmishes near Independence, Mo.
No. 2.--Report of Col. James H. Ford, Second Colorado Cavalry.
INDEPENDENCE, Mo., August 1, 1864.
I sent two scouts out to-day, one west under Lieutenant Parsons, and Sergeant Coy, with his pet lambs, south. Coy ran on two camps, one of twenty-five and one of forty; killed 1, wounded 2; our loss, 1. Enemy scattered every way; we hear of them in all directions from here. Scout leaves Pleasant Hill to-night; leave here to-morrow morning be fore daylight.
Colonel Second Colorado Cavalry.
Captain STEGER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
I doubt Sgt Coy was looking for guerrillas eith pet lambs. Pet lambs are just Col. Ford's an affectionate nick name for his troopers. The 2nd Colorado were anything but sweet little lambs.

Burning Billy

Jul 6, 2016
Harvey was a Bull Terrier that traveled with the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry–known as the Barking Dog Regiment because they had several dogs attached. Harvey, mostly white with some black markings, became part of the unit in 1862 when his owner, Daniel M. Stearns of Wellsville, Ohio, joined the regiment. Both Stearns and Harvey had had previous military experience with the Pennsylvania Reserve.

In November 1862 Stearns was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, and he proudly fitted Harvey with a special collar with a nameplate that read, “I am Lieutenant D.M. Stearn’s dog, whose dog are you?”

Because many of the soldiers in the 104th wrote home about the antics of the dogs, there are some anecdotes that live on about Harvey.

One letter from Captain William Jordan written to his children on February 14, 1864 described actions of three of the dogs. Two of them, Harvey and Colonel, were described as “having the run of the regiment.” They slept in whatever tent appealed to them on any given night, or sometimes the dogs could be encouraged to stand sentinel with the men on guard in the evenings.

The third dog, Teaser, makes an appearance in Jordan’s letter when the Captain tells of how Teaser made a run at one of squirrels that was considered a pet. According to Captain Jordan, Harvey saved the day by picking the squirrel up in his mouth and depositing it out of harm’s way.

Private Adam Weaver wrote to his brother that Harvey attended campfire sing-alongs and was known for barking and swaying from side-to-side. Weaver wrote that he thought this was because the singing hurt Harvey’s ears.


In 1864 the 104th was fighting in Georgia as part of the Atlanta Campaign. Harvey was wounded and captured near Kennesaw Mountain, but he was returned the next day under a flag of truce.

Several months later, Harvey’s owner was seriously injured at the battle of Nashville but healed well enough to be with the regiment in North Carolina when the Confederate Army surrendered and fighting stopped in the eastern theatre. Stearns and Harvey finished their term of service there and in June 1865 they traveled to Camp Taylor near Cleveland where they received pay and were mustered out of the military.

Harvey presumably went home with Stearns afterward. Though his final story is not known, he became a popular symbol for the regiment. The reunion badges carried Harvey’s picture, and an oil painting that had been done of him was featured in the reunion photo that was taken in 1886, long after Harvey could have lived.

John Hartwell

Forum Host
Aug 27, 2011
Central Massachusetts
The regimental history of the 13th Massachusetts has a fun story about Sallie. But first, a little background about the 13th.

The nucleus of the regiment was the 4th Battalion of Rifles, a militia formation whose members were drawn from some of Boston’s wealthiest and most influential families. In fact, they were so exclusive that proposed recruits had to pay $12.50 each, in order to join! They were a proud and gaudy lot, with polished brass buttons, brightly shined shoes, a big brass eagle badge on their shakos, and snowy-white gloves and paper collars. Joined by six other, rather less refined companies, they left for the seat of war in July 1861. The fancy-pants style had already begun to influence those other companies, and a general attitude of gaiety threatened to become a regimental hallmark. At their first Division inspection the brass buttons on their coats, and the brass eagles on their hats, "shined so brightly a comical yellow glow cast itself over the regiment."

"They are a d*mned insubordinate lot," said brigade commander General John J. Abercrombie when asked what kind of troops they were. General Irvin McDowell sneered and called them a 'bandbox brigade.'

But, they would prove they could fight, too. By the spring of 1863, they had shown their worth at Cedar Mountain, Thoroughfare Gap, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and other places, earning the praise of their commanders. The fancy uniforms, paper collars and all, were long gone, and they became a less "pretty" but more serious lot of soldiers. They were now in the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, of Gen. John Reynolds' 1st Army Corps.

Sallie comes into the story in April, 1863, at their encampment near Falmouth, Virginia.

“Friday, April 13, The division was reviewed to-day by its commander, Gen. John C. Robinson, and other distinguished officers.

“We were notified in advance that this was to be an unusual occasion, so the boys shined their buttons, brushed their coats, blacked their boots, and last but not least, adorned themselves with paper collars purchased from the sutler. This prinking which the boys indulged in occasionally, just to remind them of days gone by, and which gave the regiment the sobriquet of ‘Band-box guard,’ reached the ears of Colonel Coulter, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania, who was bound to have a little fun at the regiment's expense.

"Now it happened that " Dick " Coulter was the owner of a brindle bulldog called Sally, who was famous throughout the brigade for her intelligence, and had a habit of sticking close to the colonel’s heels when not restrained. On this occasion she was decked with a white paper collar round her neck labelled "13," and a white glove fastened on each paw. During the whole of the ceremony "Sally" trotted about in plain sight, a most ludicrous object, affording a deal of amusement to all who witnessed it. In spite of this ridicule the regiment made a fine appearance, and received the praise of General Reynolds, who liked neatness and orderly appearance in the soldier.”

[Three years in the army. The story of the Thirteenth Massachusetts volunteers form July 16, 1861, to August 1, 1864, by Charles E. Davis, (1894)]
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Sergeant Major
Aug 8, 2011
Gettysburg area
Sally...was decked with a white paper collar round her neck labelled "13," and a white glove fastened on each paw. During the whole of the ceremony "Sally" trotted about in plain sight, a most ludicrous object, affording a deal of amusement to all who witnessed it. In spite of this ridicule the regiment made a fine appearance, and received the praise of General Reynolds, who liked neatness and orderly appearance in the soldier.”

[Three years in the army. The story of the Thirteenth Massachusetts volunteers form July 16, 1861, to August 1, 1864, by Charles E. Davis, (1894)]

That's a great story, @John Hartwell. Here's Sallie decked out somewhat more rustically (and with a chew treat) thanks to some recent visitors.

Sallie w dandelions.jpg


Sergeant Major
Aug 8, 2011
Gettysburg area
A lesson from the life of a great dog never gets old. The Gettysburg National Military Park's new weekly distance-learning series for teachers, students and families--starting Oct. 4--will focus on character education as illustrated by historical figures at Gettysburg. One segment will feature Sallie, with "commitment" as its theme. Here's the announcement on Facebook: