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Philip Sheridan
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Military Personnel
    (March 6, 1831-August 5, 1888)
    Born in Albany, New York
    Union general during the Civil War
    Commanded the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac
    Appointed general-in-chief of the US Army (1883)
    Promoted to four-star general (June 1, 1888)
    Abraham Lincoln described him as 'A brown, chunky little chap, with a long body, short legs, not enough neck to hang him, and such long arms that if his ankles itch he can scratch them without stooping.'
    He was suspended from West Point for a year for fighting with a classmate.
    He launched one of the first scorched earth campaigns, devastating Virginia's Shenandoah Valley (1864).
    Andrew Johnson fired him as military governor of Texas and Louisiana, declaring 'His rule has, in fact, been one of absolute tyranny, without references to the principles of our government or the nature of our free institutions.'
    He did not endear himself to Texans when he said, 'If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.'
    He encouraged the mass slaughter of bison to deprive American Indians of their main food source.
    He allegedly said, 'The only good Indian is a dead Indian.'
    He was rumored to have actually been born in Ireland and to have claimed Albany as his birthplace so he would be eligible for the US presidency.
    He rose from captain to major general in only six months (July-December, 1862).
    His cavalry prevented Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia from escaping, forcing the surrender at Appomatox (April 9, 1865).
    Ulysses S. Grant declared, 'I believe General Sheridan has no superior as a general, either living or dead, and perhaps not an equal.'
    He denied ever saying, 'The only good Indian is a dead Indian.'
    He was in Chicago during the Great Fire (1871) and coordinated military relief efforts.
    He successfully lobbied Congress to keep Yellowstone Park from being sold off to developers (1883).

Credit: C. Fishel


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