Our Documentary Heritage showcases holdings drawn from the vast collections of the Pennsylvania State Archives.

The 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment originally entered service near the beginning of  the American Civil War on April 26, 1861, as a three-month unit. Later that year, many of its soldiers reenlisted in the three-year regiment. The men of the 11th were eventually classified as veteran volunteers; they fought at Falling Waters, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericks- burg, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Globe Tavern, Petersburg, Hatcher’s Run and Five Forks. The 11th also assisted in pursuing Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the campaign leading to the surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

A brindle-coated terrier named Sallie was the mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers. She was given to the regiment when she was still a puppy during the early days of the conflict. Sallie quickly became a beloved regimental pet and served with the 11th for almost the entire war. During battles, she usually took a position at the end of the front line of troops, barking as loudly as she could at the enemy.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, Sallie was separated from her regiment during the tumult, chaos and retreat through the town during the first day. She maintained a vigil over the dead and wounded of her regiment who fell that day until the end of the battle. She was then reunited with the survivors of the regiment after the Confederates retreated. Casualties for the 11th Volunteers at Gettysburg were high; the regiment lost 138 of its 212 soldiers serving in the battle.

In May 1864 Sallie suffered a neck wound at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House but was nursed back to health by the men in her regiment and resumed her spot in the outfit. Sadly, she was killed in action by a bullet at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run in February 1865, only a few months before the war’s end. The regiment also suffered 87 casualties in this fight. The 11th mustered out of service on July 1, 1865.

A quarter-century after the war, Sallie remained so well loved that when the association of veterans of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers made plans for their regimental monument at the Gettysburg battlefield, they decided to include a life-sized bronze statue of the dog near the foot of their memorial. The 11th’s statue was cast by the Bureau Brothers Foundry of Philadelphia, and the monument was paid for on September 4, 1890, at a cost of $2,255. Today, visitors often leave dog biscuits and treats at the monument in honor of the faithful regimental companion.

This image of Sallie from a carte de visite, now in the photograph collection of the Pennsylvania State Archives (MG-218), was used by sculptor E. A. Kretschman  (1849–c.1923) as he designed the statue of the dog that is part of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers monument on Oak Ridge at Gettysburg National Military Park. It is the only known photograph of Sallie. The larger photograph (also in MG-218) was taken by William H. Tipton (1850–1929), a well-known Gettysburg photographer. It depicts veterans of the 11th and their families, c. 1890, gathered alongside the monument that includes their beloved comrade Sallie.


Richard C. Saylor is an archivist for the Pennsylvania State Archives and author of the award-winning book Soldiers to Governors and numerous articles on military, political and sports history.