Monday, August 8, 2011

Sallie. Faithful Mascot to the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry

As the fighting raged along Oak Ridge on the afternoon of July 1st, a somewhat unique soldier stood bravely with her comrades as the bullets and artillery filled the air. The 11th Pennsylvania, a regiment in Brigadier General Henry Baxter's Brigade of Brigadier General John C. Robinson's Division of the 1st Corps, desired to honor this soldier when their men returned to Gettysburg to erect their monument on the fields where they fought. Situated along Oak Ridge, the heroic dead to whom this monument was dedicated includes Sallie, a brindle bull terrier who served as the loyal and beloved mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania. Mustered in as a pup, Sallie grew up with the 11th as her family. During a fight, she was said to have frequently positioned herself at the end of the 11th's line during battles, barking furiously at oncoming Southern troops.
On July 1, 1863, after the days first fighting northwest of Gettysburg and the Union retreat through town, the men of the 11th discovered that their faithful friend had not come with them as they moved back through town and positioned themselves near the Emmitsburg Road south of Cemetery Hill. The battle progressed in length and ferocity and the men of the 11th did their duty, moving frequently about the battlefield supporting positions on Cemetery Hill and along the length of Cemetery Ridge. Days later after the Confederate retreat, Sallie was found lying down with the dead of her regiment on the fields of the first days conflict. Weak from lack of food, her comrades successfully nursed her back to health to again serve with her regiment for nearly two more years.

Sadly, just two months before the war's end, Sallie was killed at Hatcher's Run, VA. Despite what was described as a "murderous fire", as the battle raged, men of the 11th buried their loyal friend and comrade on the field where she fell. When the 11th Pennsylvania erected their monument, they could not forget their little companion who bravely and faithfully served by their sides throughout. 


LoyaltyOfDogs said...

Hello! I enjoyed seeing Sallie's story retold on your blog! Nice photos, too! Thought you might be interested in adding a link to my Web site on your page:

Did you happen to have your photo (or maybe your dog's photo?) taken with Sallie during a visit to the 11th PA monument? I am collecting them to add a "visitors" page to my Web site.

Thanks for your consideration!

Soapbox said...

Loyalty of Dogs.

Sorry to say I did take the photos posted here, rather I borrowed them from another website. I am, however, planning on visiting Gettysburg again this year and the 11th PA monument is on my list of must see memorials.

I have happily posted a link to you website on my page. Thank you for visiting and please come back often.