Philip Sheridan 1831–1888
Born Albany, New York?
After an inauspicious beginning as an army quartermaster, General Philip Sheridan subsequently compiled a brilliant military record that by the Civil War’s end had earned him recognition as one of the North’s most effective generals. When a series of battlefield successes brought him to the attention of General Ulysses S. Grant, Sheridan was first chosen to command the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac (April 1864), followed by the Army of the Shenandoah (August 1864). In the latter capacity, under direct orders from Grant, Sheridan and his army swept through the Shenandoah Valley, driving the enemy south while systematically laying waste to the fertile region that had served as a major source of Confederate supplies. In the final campaign of the war, Sheridan and his troops played a key role in dislodging General Robert E. Lee’s army from Petersburg and later blocking its retreat near Appomattox Court House.