Sheridan, Philip Henry

Life Span
Full name
Philip Henry Sheridan
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
John Sheridan (father), Mary Meenagh (mother), Irene Rucker (wife, 1875)
West Point (US Military Academy)
Relation to Slavery
White non-slaveholder
US military (Pre-Civil War)
Union Army
US military (Post-Civil War)

Philip Henry Sheridan (American National Biography)

Sheridan found the cavalry units in Virginia widely scattered, their camps filthy, the horses broken down, and the men poorly armed. While he straightened out the routines, reestablished discipline, and cleaned up the camps, he became convinced that the Cavalry Corps was being misused carrying messages, escorting infantry officers, patrolling enemy territory, and guarding a perimeter sixty miles in circumference.

As Grant's brutal overland campaign toward Richmond began in the spring of 1864, Sheridan argued repeatedly with the commander of the Army of the Potomac, Major General George G. Meade, over the proper use of cavalry. After one especially heated exchange on 8 May, Sheridan, flirting with insubordination, demanded permission to mass the cavalry, go out into enemy territory, and whip the enemy cavalry under the legendary Jeb Stuart. When Meade complained to Grant, the general in chief responded mildly, "Did he say that? Well, he generally knows what he is talking about. Let him start right out and do it."
Thomas A. Lewis, "Sheridan, Philip Henry," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
Date Event
- In Georgia, advancing Union forces suffer a very heavy defeat near Chickamauga Creek
Famed Confederate cavalry leader J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded in the stomach at Yellow Tavern
In the Shenandoah Valley, Union forces triumph at the hard-fought Third Battle of Winchester
- In western Virginia, Union forces drive Confederates from entrenched positions at the Battle of Fisher's Hill
In the Shenandoah Valley, Union troops under Sheridan turn defeat into crushing victory at the Battle of Cedar Creek
Union cavalry General George Custer leads a delegation to present captured battle-flags to the War Department
At Dinwiddie Courthouse, Horatio Collins King performs the heroics for which he will later receive a Medal of Honor
In Dinwiddie County, Virginia, the Union's Fifth Corps capture a vital crossroads at the Battle of Five Forks
At Jetersville, Virginia, Sheridan's Union force blocks the Confederate Army's retreat to Danville
In Amelia County, Virginia, Union forces consolidate to block General Lee's retreat towards Danville
In Virginia, CSA corps commander General Richard S. Ewell is taken prisoner, along with four of his generals
At Sailor's Creek, the Army of Northern Virginia loses almost a quarter of its remaining strength
In Virginia, Custer's cavalry captures vital supplies and blocks the Confederate retreat at Appomattox Station
At dawn, the Army of Northern Virginia makes one last effort to break out the Union encirclement
In Washington D.C., thousands watch as the victorious Army of the Potomac parades through the city
Union General Philip Sheridan calls the mayor of New Orleans "a bad man" and recommends his removal.
In Brownsville, Texas, General Philip Sheridan removes General John Sedgwick from his command.
President Johnson appoints the commanders of the five new military reconstruction districts.
Fifth District military governor General Phil Sheridan removes several New Orleans officials from office.
Fifth District military governor General Phil Sheridan removes from office the sitting Louisiana governor.
Fifth District military governor General Phil Sheridan removes the sitting Texas governor from office.
President Johnson relieves Fifth District military governor General Phil Sheridan of his duties.
The controversial Texas military governor Major General Charles Griffin dies of yellow fever in Galveston.
The Union League of New York City hosts a massive reception for General Philip Sheridan.
Chicago Style Entry Link
Hergesheimer, Joseph. Sheridan: A Military Narrative. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1931. view record
Hutton, Paul Andrew. Phil Sheridan and His Army. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985. view record
Morris, Roy. Sheridan: The Life and Wars of General Phil Sheridan. New York: Crown, 1992. view record
Sheridan, Philip Henry. Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, General, United States Army. 2 vols. New York: C. L. Webster & Co., 1888. view record
Tremain, Henry Edwin. Last Hours of Sheridan’s Cavalry. New York: Bonnell, Silver & Bowers, 1904. view record
Wittenberg, Eric J. Little Phil: A Reassessment of the Civil War Leadership of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2002. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Sheridan, Philip Henry," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,