Military dog ​​mascot and its history (8 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
10 June 2024

She put her head on her paws and fixed her eternally frozen gaze on the battlefield where she fought more than a century and a half ago.

There is a monument on Oak Ridge in Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is located near the site where the right flank of the First Corps was located on July 1, 1863. On the pedestal is a bronze statue of a Union soldier, facing the advancing enemy. At the base there is a granite ledge on which a small bronze dog stands frozen.

In May 1861, while training in West Chester, the newly formed 11th Pennsylvania Infantry received a four-week-old American Staffordshire Terrier puppy as a gift. The soldiers, fascinated by the little dog, immediately proclaimed the puppy their mascot. They gave the animal the double nickname Sally Ann Jarrett in honor of their commander, Colonel Phaon Jarrett, and the local beauty Sally Ann. The puppy quickly integrated into regimental life and became the favorite of every soldier.

Every morning, Sally attended roll call and accompanied the soldiers during exercises.

At parades she marched next to the regimental banners. When the regiment marched, Sally was always in the front row next to Colonel Richard Coulter's horse. Twice she paraded with her regiment in front of President Abraham Lincoln.

Legend has it that the president once even took off his hat to her. Over the next four years, Sally accompanied the 11th Pennsylvania to each of its battles. Fearless and unwilling to remain behind the front line, she always walked forward, barking furiously at the enemy. Sally took part in the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

On the first day of fighting at Gettysburg in July 1863, Sally fell behind her regiment. Everyone's favorite was considered dead. Three days later she was discovered on Oak Ridge, where the 11th Regiment's original fighting position was located. Weak but alive, Sally guarded the wounded and dead. In May 1864, Sally herself was wounded. The bullet remained lodged in the neck for several months until it came out on its own and left a noticeable scar.

On February 6, 1865, during the Union advance at Hatcher's Run, she was struck by a bullet and killed instantly. Despite intense enemy fire, several soldiers of the regiment threw down their weapons to bury their beloved four-legged comrade where she fell.

When a monument to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was being designed for installation at Gettysburg, the surviving soldiers unanimously voted to include the image of their little four-legged friend.

As a sign of gratitude, people leave coins, toys and dog treats here to honor the brave creature's devotion.

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