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Phillip Henry Sheridan was one of the greatest American cavalry generals. He was born March 6, 1831, at Somerset, Perry county, Ohio, and was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, from which he graduated and was assigned to the First Infantry as brevet second lieutenant July 1, 1853. After serving in Texas, on the Pacific coast, in Washington and Oregon territories until the fall of 1861, he was recalled to the states and assigned to the army of southwest Missouri as chief quartermaster from the duties of which he was soon relieved. After the battle of Pea Ridge, he was quartermaster in the Corinth campaign, and on May 25 he was appointed colonel of the Second Michigan Cavalry. On July 1, in command of a cavalry brigade, he defeated a superior force of the enemy and was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers. General Sheridan was then transferred to the army of the Ohio, and commanded a division in the battle of Perrysville and also did good service at the battle of Murfreesboro, where he was commissioned majorgeneral of volunteers. He fought with great gallantry at Chickamauga, after which Rosecrans was succeeded by General Grant, under whom Sheridan fought the battle of Chattanooga and won additional renown. Upon the promotion of Grant to lieutenant-general, he applied for the transfer of General Sheridan to the east, and appointed him chief of cavalry in the army of the Potomac. During the campaign of 1864 the cavalry covered the front and flanks of the infantry until May 8, when it was withdrawn and General Sheridan started on a raid against the Confederate lines of communication with Richmond and on May 25 he rejoined the army, having destroyed considerable of the confederate stores and defeated their cavalry under General Stuart at Yellow Tavern. The outer line of defences around Richmond were taken, but the second line was too strong to be taken by assault, and accordingly Sheridan crossed the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge, reaching James River May 14, and thence by White House and Hanover Court House back to the army. The cavalry occupied Cold Harbor May 31, which they held until the arrival of the infantry. On General Sheridan's next raid he routed Wade Hampton's cavalry, and August 7 was assigned to the command of the Middle Military division, and during the campaign of the Shenandoah Valley he performed the unheard of feat of "destroying an entire army." He was appointed brigadier-general of the regular army and for his victory at Cedar Creek he was promoted to the rank of major-general. General Sheridan started out February 27, 1865, with ten thousand cavalry and destroyed the Virginia Central Railroad and the James River Canal and joined the army again at Petersburg March 27. He commanded at the battle of Five Forks, the decisive victory which compelled Lee to evacuate Petersburg. On April 9, Lee tried to break through Sheridan's dismounted command but when the General drew aside his cavalry and disclosed the deep lines of infantry the attempt was abandoned. General Sheridan mounted his men and was about to charge when a white flag was flown at the head of Lee's column which betokened the surrender of the army. After the war General Sheridan had command of the army of the southwest, of the gulf and the department of Missouri until he was appointed lieutenant-general and assigned to the division of Missouri with headquarters at Chicago, and assumed supreme command of the army November 1, 1883, which post he held until his death, August 5, 1888.

 

 

From A Biographical History of Darke County Ohio, Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago, 1900