A Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Sallie Ann Jarrett was one of the most famous American Civil War mascots. She belonged to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army.
After the war, a statue was erected in her honor at the Gettysburg Battlefield.
What’s the story of Sallie Ann Jarrett?
During the American Civil War, animals played an important role in military life. They provided companionship, and morale-boosting in addition to serving as mascots.
Sallie belonged to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army. She was adopted by the soldiers as a puppy and became a beloved member of the regiment. Sallie was known for her fierce loyalty to her human companions and her bravery in battle.
Sallie accompanied the regiment on many of its campaigns and was present at some of the most significant battles of the war. This included the Battle of Gettysburg.
At Gettysburg, soldiers reported seeing Sallie standing guard over the bodies of the fallen, refusing to leave their side. Sallie got a leg wound in the battle, but she survived. Afterwards, Sallie continued to serve as their mascot until the end of the war.
Honoring a mascot’s legacy
After the war, the 11th Pennsylvania erected a monument in honor of Sallie at Gettysburg. It’s now a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the role that animals played in the Civil War.
In addition to the statue, there are many stories and legends about Sallie’s exploits during the war. One story claims that she was present at the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse. Storytellers claimed that she barked so loudly that Lee himself heard her. Another story claims that she once saved a Union soldier from drowning by jumping into a river and pulling him to safety.
While some of these stories may be exaggerated or apocryphal, they are a testament to the enduring popularity of Sallie.
Source: “Statue of Sallie Ann Jarrett” — Atlas Obscura