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

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
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Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
Twenty percent of dogs in a recent study by researchers at Emory University actually preferred praise over food. That and other findings in the neuroscientists' research prove what people who love dogs have long believed -- that their dogs actually love them in return.

This suggests a new understanding of canine Civil War mascot Sallie Ann Jarrett's behavior. It was said that Sallie had so thoroughly adapted to army life that she would ride in a wagon with sacks of beef rations and never touch them. She would eat only when her soldiers invited her to do so. Maybe Sallie was not merely a well-trained and obedient dog but a dog who so deeply loved her soldiers that she would rather forego a meal than disappoint them. No wonder they considered her their fellow soldier.

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LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
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Aug 8, 2011
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Gettysburg area
Tomorrow, Feb. 6, will be the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of Hatcher's Run, where Sallie was killed in action. Soldiers of the 11th hastily buried her where she fell, laying aside their guns though they were under a "murderous fire."

Modern artist and illustrator Edward Gallivan Jr. recently remembered Sallie's camaraderie with her soldiers the evening before the battle in his painting, "Sallie Ann's Final Night." For the full picture and to see more about Mr. Gallivan and his work, you can visit his page on Inkphy.com.

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
It's why so many stories of dogs in the war are tough to read. It's so silly, being sad over a dog who died 150 years ago but her image at Gettysburg always gets to me! Grgrgrandmother's brother was killed, with the 11th at Gettysburg. That he must have at least known of Sallie brings it all home, harder.
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
The popularity of Sallie’s statue at Gettysburg is due, in part, to the mystique that surrounds it. Many visitors who are unfamiliar with her story miss the statue because it is not at the back of the monument, which is the side visible from the road. Instead it’s at the front, which faces across the fields. So visitors are often surprised, after walking around the monument, to see the dog lying there. But her name is not marked anywhere. And because she is not a stylized image, it suggests to visitors that she must represent a specific dog, maybe a real dog who was at Gettysburg. But they can only wonder. Recently someone posted a comment somewhere about viewing monuments as the veterans themselves saw them. That got me thinking. Just how did the veterans of the 11th Pennsylvania see their monument? I have somehow felt closer to those old soldiers after giving some thought to the reason Sallie’s statue is unnamed.

The monument’s most prominent feature is the towering figure of a skirmisher who watches across Forney’s fields, face to the enemy, ready to defend. Inscribed on the base is a record of the regiment’s service, listing the battles fought and enumerating the men lost. Though the soldiers are not named, they are numbered there so that none might be forgotten. Other visitors to the battlefield might read it and know of the soldiers’ deeds. For generations since, it has remained a record of their service so that visitors even today learn of their sacrifices.

But what are we to make of the dog? There is no inscription, no name carved on her stone. Like the skirmisher, she faces the adversary across the fields, ever watchful, but she is lying at rest, not alert to fight. Why not mark her name? Why place no tablet attesting to her vigil for her dead and wounded companions? Why not inscribe her history so visitors who read of the soldiers could read of their loyal companion too?

We wonder because we see the monument through the lens of history. But look, for a moment, as with the soldiers’ own eyes. For them, her statue needed no name. The skirmisher would represent their deeds to their countrymen and women for posterity, but Sallie’s statue was a more personal tribute, from the soldiers, and for them alone. She was their dog, and to see her whenever they returned to Gettysburg was to remember her as in life. As though she had never left the side of one who needed her. As though their memory might never dim. And so it never has.

Soldier and Sallie.jpg
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
Is anyone familiar with this picture? A reader of the Emerging Civil War blog posted it in response to a great blog post about Sallie, with the notation that it includes Sallie in its depiction of a camp of the 11th Pennsylvania. He said the print, dated 1863, was recently sold in an on-line auction. It appears that a caption or title is printed immediately below the picture, but the photo's resolution isn't high enough for me to read it.

1863 print 11th PA camp.jpg
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
The gentleman who posted the picture in the blog's comment section has kindly provided a link to the auction house's listing, where several close-up views are shown. It is apparently a watercolor and is attributed to S.B. Wilkeson, the war correspondent who wrote the famous account of the Battle of Gettysburg that was published in The New York Times.

The title at the bottom of the painting reads "View of Col. Coulter's 11th Regt. Penna. Vols." That is followed by a key to specific elements of the scene. Sallie is listed as number "13. The Dog Sallie, Killed at Hatcher's Run." Because Sallie was killed in 1865, that would place the date of the painting later than 1863. It may even be considerably later, based on her location in the painting. She appears to be shown beneath the figure of a soldier holding something -- maybe a sword. Since no actual soldiers are depicted in the painting, this would seem to be a reference to the regiment's monument at Gettysburg. If that's the case, then the painting may be considerably later, since the monument was not placed until 1890. The auction listing notes that Wilkeson died in 1889, so perhaps he painted the scene while the veterans were planning their monument. That could explain why the soldier shown here appears to hold a sword, while the figure on the monument actually holds a rifle.

The close-up of Sallie below is still fuzzy, but it's possible to make out a dog's figure at the left side, just above the number 13. The figure of the soldier is above her.

Close-up of Sallie in camp.jpg


Here is the auction house's description of the painting from the listing:

"1863 Civil War Col. Coulter's 11th PA regiment encampment watercolor signedS B Wilkeson, Charleroi, PA. 19 1/2" x 25" Samuel Wilkeson (American 1817-1889) was a newspaper correspondent attached to The Army of the Potomac. Wilkeson covered the Civil War for the New York Times and was present during the Battle of Gettysburg. His 19 year old son Bayard Wilkeson was a first lieutenant commanding Battery G, 4th United States Artillery and was killed at Barlow’s Knoll during the Gettysburg Battle. Samuel Wilkeson pulled his sons body off the battlefield after his son was shot and unsuccessfully amputated his own leg on the battlefield. Samuel Wilkeson wrote a famous report in the battle’s aftermath which appeared in the Times on July 6, 1863. The report was then redistributed as a popular pamphlet under the title “Samuel Wilkeson’s Thrilling Word Picture of Gettysburg”. Wilkeson’s report inspired Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln paraphrased Wilkeson’s words in his “Gettysburg Address”.The 11th PA is pictured encamped at Fletcher's Chapel, VA., along with the 13th MA, 88th PA, & the 97th NY until April 29th, 1863 before the Chancellorsville campaign. The legend at the bottom includes "the dog Sallie" pictured in the encampment (Sallie Anne Jarrett was a female pit bull terrier with a brindle coat- she accompanied the regiment into every battle. She was wounded in action, nursed back to health, fought at Gettysburg, and was finally killed in action at Hatch's Run in 1865. A bronze statue was erected at the Gettysburg Battlefield for Sallie Ann after the war)"



 

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
Sallie appears in several threads, but I don't think anyone has previously shared her story as told by the person who knew her best, the 11th Pennsylvania's commanding officer, Colonel Richard Coulter. (If his account has already been posted, please excuse this duplication!)

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Col. Coulter's account was originally published in 1867 in pamphlet form by the Republican and Democrat newspaper of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The abbreviated version below appears in Samuel P. Bates's "Martial Deeds of Pennsylvania," published in 1875. "Martial Deeds" is available here on the Internet Archive, and Sallie's story begins on page 1098. Here it is in its entirety, following Bates's introduction.

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LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
This article, "The Maryland Liberty Tree Project Grows | St. John's College," details recent efforts by conservationists to preserve scions of a monumental witness tree that lived in Annapolis, Maryland. At one time, the Liberty tree was the largest tulip poplar in the US, standing 124 feet tall, with a circumference of 26 feet and a spread of 117 feet.

What, you might wonder, is a story about a tree doing in a thread about a dog? It’s here because Sallie liked this tree!

The Liberty Tree was an estimated 400 years old when it was destroyed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. For much of its life, it stood in a prominent spot at the center of St. John’s College, where the 11th​ Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was posted through the winter of 1861-62 and into the following spring. At that time, local people considered the tree, associated with the American Revolution, an historic landmark, and it was already showing signs of decline, with a large cavity at its base, when they became alarmed by soldiers shooting at it. At their request, the 11th​’s commanding officer, Colonel Richard Coulter, issued an order in January 1862 prohibiting soldiers from damaging the tree (or any others on the college property) by shooting at it, removing bark, breaking branches, or in any other way. It’s well that the tree was being protected; on March 7, 1862, its cavity was the spot where Sallie chose to give birth to her first litter of puppies. She and her nine pups were discovered there in a search that began when Sallie failed to appear for roll call that morning. The little family was soon moved to an even safer spot, a straw bed in one of the college buildings.

(Besides witnessing pre-Revolutionary patriotic meetings and the birth of Sallie’s puppies, the Liberty Tree also witnessed a walk across the St. John’s College campus by Abraham Lincoln in February 1865 as he traveled to the Hampton Roads Peace Conference. We don’t know whether he noticed the tree, but if he did, it’s likely he never knew of its connection with that little dog he had saluted in April 1863 as her regiment passed in review before him at Fredericksburg. What stories these witness trees could tell!)
 
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