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Sallie, a Civil War Soldier

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In lieu of President’s Day, Facebook posted a great article regarding Sallie, a Civil War Soldier. Sallie was a canine; a Staffordshire Bull Terrier to be exact. She belonged to 1st Lieutenant William R. Terry, but President Abraham Lincoln loved her, too, as he saw the morale boost Sallie provided to the Soldiers out on the field of battle.

Sallie, the brindled wonder, dutifully stayed right by Terry through the various marches and straight into battle. During the Battle of Gettysburg, Sallie got separated from her unit but she knew exactly what to do. She returned to the Union battle line and stood guard over the dead and wounded.

Sallie was later killed in battle during the Battle of Hatcher’s Run in Virginia when a bullet struck her in the head and killed her instantly. The soldiers in her unit buried her on the battlefield while war raged around them. A monument of Sallie ( was erected at Gettysburg and still stands tall and proud there today.

When people today hear about Staffordshire Bull Terriers (Pitbulls), they cringe and turn their nose up, but when the young puppy was presented to the Captain of the troops, she won the hearts of the men fighting for what they believed in.

Sallie did not just belong to the Captain though, she ingratiated herself onto the hundreds of men that would then play with her, give her scraps of their food and, of course, give her love in the form of petting. This Pitbull was affectionate and dutiful and gave the men hope when they needed it most. She did have some things that could curl her lip though: Rebels, Democrats and women.

Until sinister people got involved with this breed of dog, they were known to be loyal and true. Sallie proved herself to the soldiers when she was the first ‘soldier’ in line after the bugle sounded Reveille. Then she would pick a soldier of the day and prance along beside him, but always slept by the Captain’s tent.

No one paid any heed to the fact that Sallie was a Pit, they only knew that she was their spirit, their inspiration and brave-in-heart. The dog was always on the front lines taunting the enemy as she barked at them as loud as she could. Abraham Lincoln thought that she was special and gave her special commendations because of that fact.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been around a long time. They ingratiated themselves into the hearts of some very important people – even President Abraham Lincoln. If you would like to read more about this famous Pitbull, see if you are able to locate the book, A Colonel, a Flag, and a Dog. It may be hard to find since it is out of print, but maybe some of the larger libraries in the nation may have a copy or two that you could read.

Happy President’s Day!



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