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Pit Bulls In History: Sallie Ann Jarrett

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Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin is the founder, president, and soul behind Pinups for Pitbulls. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Drexel University, where she specialized in breed-specific legislation.

Pit Bulls in American History: Sallie Ann Jarrett

One of my favorite dogs in history is the dog named Sallie Ann Jarrett, you can see her statue erected in Gettysburg from the civil war. Sallie Ann Jarrett was an inspiration to her battalion so much so that, in the middle of the war, in the middle of an actual fight, she was killed in the line of duty and when she died, everybody stopped fighting, everybody on her side stopped to take her and bury her during the war. How amazing is that? Dogs are incredible.


The brave and loyal canine stood by her fellow soldiers for almost three years in some of the bloodiest battles during the Civil War. On September 17, 1862, the soldiers were fighting in the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, the Battle of Antietam. The men attempted to send Sallie to the rear to protect her from the vicious fighting, but the dedicated dog refused to go.

On May 8, 1864, Sallie was shot in the neck, was treated and returned to active duty a few days later. The bullet, a minie ball, remained lodged in her neck for several months before it worked its way out, leaving a noticeable and honorable battle scar. On the night of February 5, 1865, Sallie kept waking the men with her mournful cries as though she knew something bad was about to happen. The following morning, Sallie Ann was struck by a bullet and killed during the Battle of Hatcher’s Run – three months before the end of the war.

“Poor Sallie fell in the front line in the fight at the Run – a bullet pierced her brain,” mourned a fellow soldier in a letter after the battle. “She was buried where she fell, by some of the boys, even whilst under a murderous fire, so much had they become attached to the poor brute, who so long had shared with them the toilsome march and the perils of battle. It would, indeed, be a pleasant reverie if one could reconcile himself the poor Indian’s theory of the happy hunting-grounds, where his faithful dog would bear him company.”

PFPB is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate people about the history, temperament, and plight of the pit bull-type dog; raising awareness to rally against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and Breed Discriminatory Laws (BDL). PFPB’s goal is to restore the image of the pit bull-type dog to its former reputation of America’s companion animal, war hero, and family member.