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Sheridan, Philip H., major-general, was born at Albany, 
N. Y., March 6, 1831, but while he was yet in his infancy his 
parents removed to Somerset, Ohio, and some of his earlier 
biographers have made the error of naming the latter as the 
place of his birth.  His father was a contractor for the 
building of roads, and was away from home a great deal, so 
that Sheridan was reared by his mother and at the village 
school learned the rudimentary English branches.  The ambition 
to be a soldier had already evinced itself, but as soon as he 
could do so he entered a country store at a salary of $24 per 
year; thence he went to another store, where his pay was $60 
per annum, and finally secured a situation where he earned 
$12O for twelve months' labor as book-keeper and general 
manager, It is said that up to the time he was sixteen years 
old he had never been ten miles away from Somerset after his 
parents located there.  At this period he applied to the 
member of Congress from his district for an appointment as 
cadet at the United States military academy.  The answer was 
the enclosure of his warrant as such cadet, and the direction 
that he report at the academy on June 1, 1848.  Passing the 
preliminary examinations without trouble, he was aided by 
Cadet H. W. Slocum of New York, who was his roommate, in 
studies of which he knew nothing upon his entry into the 
institution.  In 1852, his graduating year, Sheridan was 
suspended from the academy for his action in some trouble with 
another cadet, but he afterward joined the class of 1853 and 
was graduated with it, rating the thirty-fourth in a class of 
fifty-two.  He was assigned to the 1st U. S. infantry, but was 
soon afterward transferred to the 4th.  In 1856 he was 
stationed in Washington territory, defending the cascades of 
the Columbia river against Indians.  In May, 1861, he became a 
captain, and in December was appointed chief quartermaster and 
commissary in southwest Missouri, on the staff of Maj.-Gen. 
Curtis.  He was quartermaster at Gen. Halleck's headquarters 
in April, 1862, but in response to an application from the 
governor of Michigan, who wanted an educated soldier to 
command the 2nd Mich. cavalry, Sheridan was made its colonel, 
and so received his first command.  In the advance on Corinth 
he participated in several engagements, and on June 2, 1862, 
he was placed in command of the 2nd cavalry brigade of the 
Army of the Mississippi.  At the battle of Booneville on July 
1, where he was attacked by a force of Confederates at least 
4,500 strong, he converted his defense into an offensive 
movement by detaching a part of his force to take his foe in 
the rear and flank, and the surprised enemy, utterly routed, 
fled from the field.  For this he received his star and 
commission as brigadier-general of volunteers, dating July 1; 
on Oct. 1 he found himself in command of the 11th division of 
the army, and on the 8th of that month he took part in the 
sanguinary battle of Perryville, holding the key-point of the 
position and defending it successfully against several attacks 
of the enemy.  In the battle of Stone's river Sheridan 
sustained four separate attacks, and four times repulsed the 
enemy.  On recommendation of Gen. W. S. Rosecrans, the U. S. 
commander in that engagement, he was now made major-general of 
volunteers, dating from the first day of the battle of Stone's 
river.  He remained with the Army of the Cumberland in its 
march toward the Chickamauga creek, and in the battle of that 
name, Sept. 19-2O, 1863, he did his best to beat back the 
furious storm which so nearly destroyed the Federal army, and 
he never displayed more stubborn courage or military skill in a 
subordinate sphere than on that eventful day.  The battle of 
Missionary ridge was fought two months later, and it was 
Sheridan who, with his division, carried the ridge under a hot 
enfilading fire from thirty pieces of Confederate artillery, 
and a tempest of musketry from well-filled rifle pits on its 
summit; worked his way up to the front till he reached the 
highest crest, and then went thundering down the ridge until 
within 500 yards of the headquarters of the Confederate 
commanding general, Bragg.  Competent authority declares that 
in this battle he really did as much as in any other to earn 
what finally came to him, the generalship of the U. S. army.  
He took command of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac on 
April 4, 1864, and at once set about making it a fighting 
force, rather than a defensive picket-line for the infantry and 
artillery.  In June he was sent to cut the Virginia Central 
railroad and unite with Gen. Hunter, who was then marching up 
the valley of Virginia, and it was expected that this movement 
would draw off the Confederate cavalry and leave the James 
river free to the unimpeded passage of Gen. Grant's army.  It 
did so, Sheridan having on his route, however, to fight a smart 
battle at Trevilian Station, as he also did at Darbytown, Va., 
in the month of July.  Soon thereafter Sheridan came to the 
leadership of the Army of the Shenandoah, by direct appointment 
of Gen. Grant, after personally visiting Sheridan, and without 
consulting the government at Washington.  Sheridan attacked 
Early on Sept. 19, and after a severe struggle scattered the 
enemy in all directions, sending them "whirling through 
Winchester," Va., and on Sept. 22, after pursuing Early, struck 
him again in flank and rear at Fisher's hill where the Virginia 
valley is but three miles wide.  While he was in Winchester on 
Oct. 19, his wily foe, Early, surprised the Federal forces in 
their camp at Cedar creek, and drove back large portions of 
them for six or seven miles in great disorder.  This occasioned 
the famous ride celebrated in song and story, and what appeared 
like disastrous defeat was turned into a decided victory.  
Sheridan was at once made a major-general in the U. S. regular 
army, in President Lincoln's words, "For the personal 
gallantry, military skill, and just confidence in the courage 
and gallantry of your troops, displayed by you on Oct. 19, at 
Cedar run, whereby, under the blessing of Providence, your 
routed army was reorganized, a great national disaster averted, 
and a brilliant victory achieved over the rebels for the third 
time in pitched battle within thirty days." Gen. Sheridan's 
career from this time until the surrender of Lee is a part of 
the history of the final days of the war, and after the 
surrender he had charge of the Department of the Gulf, and 
later he was commander of the Department of Missouri.  He was 
made U.S. lieutenant-general in 1869, when Gen. Grant was 
elected president, the western and southwestern military 
divisions of the United States were under his command in 1878, 
and when Gen. Sherman was retired in 1883, Sheridan became 
general-in-chief of the regular army, being the nineteenth 
officer who had attained that rank.  Gen. Sheridan died at 
Nonquitt, Mass. Aug. 5, 1888.
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