It was the brutality and horror of the American Civil War that prompted Union General William Sherman to declare that 'war is hell'.
And it was truly a hellish experience. Advances in medicine had failed to keep up with advances in military technology. Disease in camp killed far more soldiers than the guns of the enemy. Union troops were well-equiped but their morale was poor due to a lack of confidence in their officers. Conversely, Confederate soldiers had total faith in their officer corps and enjoyed high morale, but they often went hungry or lacked shoes or proper uniforms.
So when something came along that reminded the soldiers of home, they were quick to latch onto it. Such was the case with the Union Army's 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and their mascot 'Sallie'.
The dog joined the regiment early in the war when she was still a puppy. When her soldiers were in action against the Confederates, she is said to have stood along the front lines barking at the Southerners.
She was separated from her unit at the Battle of Gettysburg during the first day's fighting. Refusing to cross enemy lines, she remained with her fallen comrades, licking the wounded and guarding the dead until she was found after the battle.
During her service in the war, she bore four litters of puppies which her comrades divided among them and sent to their families back home. She was wounded once during the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in May 1864 and was killed in action on 6 February, 1865 at Hatcher's Run, Virginia.
Her service to the soldiers of the 11th Pennsylvania was not forgotten by the men whose lives the precocious dog brightened. In 1890, the regimental association erected a monument on the Gettysburg battlefield with a life-size model of Sallie lying at its base.
The monument is located at.......