Remembering the dogs of the Civil War


Atop the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield stands a soldier, rifle at the ready, prepared to defend against a Rebel assault.  He’s one of many bronze figures reenacting across the centuries the small victories and tragedies played out on those three days at Gettysburg.  This seemingly solitary figure is not alone.  On the front of the  monument, facing away from the road, lies the small bronze figure of a dog.  Vigilant in repose, she looks over the fields, an enduring symbol of the loyalty between soldiers and their dogs.  Today’s soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq also know the companionship and affection of dogs, as our soldiers have known in all our wars.  But when America’s own Civil War wrenched apart families and communities, devastated cities, towns and countryside, and nearly destroyed the nation, the dogs helped to support the soldiers’ morale in the bleakest of times, strengthening their resolve and inspiring the soldiers by their own courage and faithfulness.  In this 150th anniversary year of the war, as we remember the soldiers’ sacrifices, let us also remember these loyal dogs of war.


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One Response to Remembering the dogs of the Civil War

  1. John Jaye says:

    Seeing the the memorial of the 11th PA Volunteer Infantry on one of the most famous battlefields in USA gave me goosebumps. The courage and bravery from all those who have served ( human and canine) our country through the “Civil War” and all the wars and conflicts is unsurpassed. Being a Bull Terrier owner it was neat seeing “Sallie Ann Jarrett”s bronze statue on the memorial. If you are a dog lover and into war history ( especially the Civil War), this is a must.
    John Jaye and Gaylynn Speas
    Dublin, Ohio

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