Pit Bulls in History


Harvey, a pit bull terrier, and his owner Daniel Sterns, joined the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in 1862.  Harvey was at times seen standing watch with soldiers on guard in the evenings.  He was also known to bark and sway at campfire sing-a-longs.  While the 104th battled in Georgia in 1864, Harvey was wounded and captured.  Under a flag of truce, Harvey was returned the next day.  In 1865 Harvey and his owner Sterns finished their term of service and left the military.



Sallie, a Staffordshire Terrier, was gifted to the Union Army’s 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.  During the Battle of Gettysburg, Sallie was separated from her unit.  She was found 3 days later standing guard over the bodies of soldiers from her unit.  Sallie was killed in 1865 during the Battle of Hatcher’s Run.  She was so loved that there was a monument built for her at Gettysburg. Image result for harvey the civil war dog





In 1903, Bud, a pit bull, was the first dog to travel in a car across America.  Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall Crocker traveled from San Francisco to New York City.  They found Bud in Idaho.  Bud was fitted with goggles to protect his eyes from dust and dirt.  At one point Bud got ill from drinking bad water.  Jackson, Crocker, and Bud got lost in Wyoming.  They went for 36hrs without food.  They finally found a sheepherder who gave them a meal.  Once they reached NYC, Jackson met up with his wife.  They drove home to Vermont and took Bud with them.


Sergeant Stubby:

In July of 1921, a short brindle bull terrier became a decorated World War 1 hero.  Sergeant Stubby was the first dog to ever be awarded rank in the U.S. Army.  He was a member of the 102nd Infantry.  Sergeant Stubby was the greatest war dog in the United States history.

Now there is an animated movie about Sergeant Stubby! sergent-stubby

6 thoughts on “Pit Bulls in History”

  1. Joseph, it is so nice to see someone saying something positive about pit bulls. Unfortunately this is rare and the bad press is usually undeserved.

    It is my thought that the dogs (any breed) aren’t to blame for aggressiveness – it is the owners. It seems most people need to go to dog school to learn how to be owners.

    From reading and watching dog behaviour it is the pampered pooches, if you can call a dog that is so small it is invisible, that behave aggressively. Probably through fear of all the big things around them.

    Keep up the good PR.


    1. Thank you, Helen.  I think that if people can see and understand the history of the bully breeds and see what they have gone through, then maybe people will see all the good that the dogs do.  Pitties do play a part in our history…. a positive part.

  2. Joseph, it’s nice to see you put in a good history of pit bulls. It opens the eyes to see that they behave like many other good loyal dogs too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *