Philip Henry Sheridan
Sheridan was born in Albany New York, on August 5th, 1831, and worked as a store clerk for the early part of his life. He entered west point in 1848. He was suspended for participating in a fracas but still graduated in 1853 and served for nearly 9 years on the frontier.
When the Civil War began, Sheridan served as federal quartermaster in southwestern Missouri and participated in the advance by Henry Halleck on Corinth, Mississippi, in the spring of 1862. As a division commander he held his position against Confederate attacks at Perryville, Kentucky in October 1862, and at Stones River, Tennessee in December 1862 to January 1863. He suffered defeat at Chickamauga in September 1863 but redeemed himself in November by storming Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga, where his hard fighting and leadership qualities attracted the favorable attention of General Ulysses S. Grant.
In early 1864 Grant brought Sheridan east as commander of the Army of the Potomac's cavalry, which Sheridan reorganized. After fighting in the Wilderness Campaign in May 1864, he made a partially successful raid near Richmond, Virginia, that captured supplies and resulted in the death of the dynamic Southern cavalry leader J. E. B. Stuart. In command of the Army of the Shenandoah during the autumn of 1864, following successes at Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek, Sheridan finally pushed Jubal Early's Confederate forces out of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Rejoining Grant and George G. Meade, he won significant victories at Five Forks and Sayler's Creek (both in Virginia) in the spring of 1865, thereby helping to compel Confederate general Robert E. Lee to surrender.
Following the war Sheridan served along the Rio Grande in 1867. After being relieved of his post as military governor of Louisiana and Texas because of excessive harshness, he led a series of campaigns against the Indians in the West and accompanied the Prussian army as an observer during the Franco-Prussian War. He was general in chief from 1883 until his retirement in 1888. His Personal Memoirs was published in 2 volumes in 1888.
Bibliography: Hutton, P. A., Phil Sheridan and His Army (1985); Morris, Roy, Jr., Sheridan: The Life and Wars of General Phil Sheridan (1992); O'Connor, Richard, Sheridan, the Inevitable (1953); Stackpole, Edward J., Sheridan in the Shenandoah (1961).