The Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley
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Major General Philip Sheridan

On March 12, 1864 Gen. Grant was appointed General-in-Chief of the Union Armies, he soon called Phil to join him in Washington. Here Sheridan was appointed Chief of Cavalry, Army of the Potomac. As aides-de-camp Phil chose his brother Mike and Lieut. T. W. C. Moore, Capt. James W. Forsyth, an old friend, was a staff officer. Sheridan's main area of operation was the Shenandoah Valley. Here he contested Gen. Early's Confederate troops, destroyed crops which were the breadbasket of the Confederate army in a campaign known locally asThe Burning, and eventually, in the battle of Cedar Creek, drove Early out of the valley. As the war neared its end Sheridan was the leader in forcing Gen. Lee out of his Petersburg, Va. defenses and eventually cutting off his retreat at Appomattox Court House.

At the end of the war Sheridan was sent to Texas to maintain peace with Mexico. Napoleon III had installed Maximilian and Carlota to the throne of Mexico. By maneuvering and threats he was able to install peace and force France to withdraw their claims. After serving sometime in New Orleans, La. as head of Reconstruction he was relieved after much controversy and was ordered to take command of the Department of the Missouri in Sept. 1867. Here he was ordered to subdue the Indians and place them on reservations. Several treaties were drawn up, few of which were kept due to the white man's encroachment on the Indian reservations.

In 1869, after Grant became president and General Sherman became General of the Army, Sheridan was appointed lieutenant general with headquarters in Chicago. In this capacity he traveled throughout the west and from this knowledge was later instrumental in having Yellowstone declared a national park. He also went to Europe as an observer with Prussia in the French and Prussian War. Returning to Chicago he presided over the Great Chicago Fire of October 7-8, 1871. He brought troops into the city to stop looters and directed fire fighting and reconstruction.

On June 3, 1875, Sheridan married Miss Irene Rucker, the youngest daughter of Gen. Daniel H. Rucker. She was 22 years younger than Phil. The couple had four children --- Mary, Irene and Louise (twins), and Philip Henry Jr. None of the girls married. Philip Jr. married and had a son, Philip II. In 1883 Gen. Sherman reached retirement age. Lieutenant General Sheridan assumed the nation's highest military office at the comparative youthful age of fifty-two. In 1887 he had built a summer cottage in Nonquit, Mass. overlooking Martha's Vineyard. The next year he suffered a series of heart attacks. Congress revived the grade of full General and he was given his fourth star by President Grover Cleveland. He was the fourth man in U.S. history to be so honored. (Washington, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan) At 10:30 p.m., Sunday, August 5, 1888, Philip Henry Sheridan passed away at Nonquit, Mass. He lay in state at St. Matthew's Church in Washington, D. C., and was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery August 11th. General Sheridan's father and mother, brothers Patrick and John, and sister Mary are buried in Holy Trinity Cemetery in Somerset, Ohio. Brother Michael, who was Phil's aide during the Civil War, is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

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