Sheridan Philip Henry 183188

Philip Sheridan (see Plate G3) was born in Albany, New York, on 6 March 1831, but his family soon moved to Somerset, Ohio. There Sheridan acquired his basic education and clerked in a general store, before being appointed to the West Point class of 1852. While at the Academy he was suspended for a year for fighting with a fellow cadet, hence graduating in 1853, in the bottom third of his class. He was appointed to the 4th US Infantry, and served thereafter on the frontier.

Coming East at the outbreak of (lie Civil War, he served on Gen. 11 en 17 Halleck's staff, before being appointed chief quartermaster and commissary of the Army of Southwest Missouri. Although Sheridan's hard work kept that army well maintained, he and his army commander

Philip Sheridan, an infantry officer before the war, earned command of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry in the West; he did so well in that and higher commands that Grant brought him East to command the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. Seen here toward the end of the war, Sheridan was supremely self-confident, and with reason. Energetic and ruthless, he would eventually become the US Army's general-in-chief in 1883, living just long enough to receive the rank of full general five years later.

did not see eye to eye. Halleck transferred him back to his own headquarters just before he was court-martialed. There Sheridan caught the eye of some superiors, including William T.Sherman, who saw that he was given command of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. From this point on Sheridan conducted himself so well that he became one of the bright lights of the Union army.

He was made a brigadier-general of volunteers on 13 September 1862, and saw hard fighting at Perryville (8 October) and Murfreesboro (31 December 1862-3 January 1863). On 16 March 1863 Sheridan was promoted major-general, ranking from the date of Murfreesboro. He commanded a division of XX Corps at Chickamauga (19-20 September 1863), losing some 1,500 men out of the 4,000 under his command. After being besieged in Chattanooga, it was Sheridan's men who stormed Missionary Ridge and hurled the Confederates south (25 November 1863). Ulysses S.Grant, now on the scene in Tennessee, was suitably impressed. When Grant came East he brought in Sheridan to take over the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, whose previous commanders had lackluster records.

Colonel J.I I.Kidd, 6th Michigan Cavalry, described Sheridan as he saw him first when the newcomer assumed this command: "There was nothing about Sheridan's appearance at first glance to mark him as the principal figure in the scene... He was well mounted and sat his horse like a real cavalryman. Though short in stature he did not appear so on horseback. His stirrups were high up, the shortness being of leg and not of trunk. He wore a peculiar style hat not like that of any other officer. He was square of shoulder and there was plenty of room for the display of a major-general's buttons on his broad chest. His face was strong, with a firm jaw, a keen eye, and extraordinary firmness in every lineament. In his manner there was an alertness, evinced rather in look than in movement. Nothing escaped his eye, which was brilliant and searching and at the same time emitted flashes of kindly good nature. When riding among or past his troopers, he had a way of casting quick, comprehensive glances to the right and left and in all directions. He overlooked nothing. One had a feeling that he was under close and critical observation, that Sheridan had his eye on him was mentally taking his measure and would remember and recognize him the next time."

Sheridan's vastly stronger cavalry manhandled the smaller and less well supplied Confederate cavalry in the 1864 campaign, striking deep into the enemy's rear areas. As a result, Grant gave him command of the army sent against Jnbal Early in the Shenandoah Valley after Earlv's "Washington Raid". Sheridan, given orders to clear the Valle\ once and for all, defeated Earlv in battle after battle between August 1864 and March 1865. Early struck at Cedar Creek (19 October) while

Sheridan was recognized by his men by the odd little black hat that he wore. On 19 October 1864 he rode along the lines of troops driven from their positions at Cedar Creek by Jubal Early, rallying them to hold and then leading them back into the attack that eventually gained one of the most overwhelming victories of the war.

Daniel Sickles, a shady New York lawyer and politician who dabbled in militia affairs, was given a general's commission to prove that Democrats supported the Republican administration in the Civil War. Not a professional soldier, he wears here a comfortable, informal version of the general's uniform. Sickles was certainly no coward (he smoked a cigar while being carried from the field with a smashed leg at Gettysburg), and seems to have been an effective leader at a junior level, but he was unfitted to command a corps.

Sheridan was away in Washington, but the latter returned in the nick of time to rally his troops and virtually destroy the Confederate force.

With the Valley essentially Union, Sheridan was made a major-general in the regular army on 14 November 1864, and rejoined the Army of the Potomac at Petersburg. In command of both the cavalry and an infantry corps, he continued pressing Lee's battered Army of Northern Virginia in the Appomattox campaign of April 1865, preventing the Confederates from joining forces in North Carolina and thus forcing Lee's surrender.

After the war Sheridan was given command of the Fifth Military District in the southwest, where he treated the defeated Southerners so harshly that he was recalled after only six months. Thereafter he held a number of commands, and success in the Cheyenne and Pawnee campaign of 1868-69 brought him promotion to lieutenant-general. In 1870-71 he followed the Franco-Prussian War as an observer. In November 1883 he became general-in-chief of the US Army; named a full general on 1 June 1888, he died only two months later on 5 August at Nonquitt, Massachusetts. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

SICKLES, Daniel Edgar (1819-1914)

Daniel Sickles (see Plate E3) was born on 20 October 1819 in New York City. He attended New York University and studied law thereafter. Advancing through Democratic Party politics, he served as the city's corporation counsel, first secretary of the London legation, New York state senator, and US Representative. In 1859 Sickles discovered that his wife was having an affair with Philip Barton Key (son of the author of The Star Spangled Banner), whereupon he shot Key dead in broad daylight within yards of the While House. In one of the most sensational trials of the century his counsel, Edwin M.Stanton (later Secretary of War), had Sickles plead temporary insanity, the first time such a defense had ever been offered in the United States. Sickles was acquitted; but it was his defiance of the conventions of the time in taking his tarnished wife back that led to his being ostracized by polite society. In an open letter to the press Sickles declared that he was unaware "of any statute or code of morals which makes it infamous to forgive a woman."

Sickles would never escape his notoriety. Charles Haydon, an officer in the 2nd Michigan, recalled in his diary on 28 February 1862 a conversation with a local civilian near the picket line. "He wanted to know last night if I had heard abt that

Although his bungling threatened the integrity of the Union line on the second day of Gettysburg, Sickles was probably most notorious for his private life. He had shot his wife's lover dead in broad daylight, successfully pleaded temporary insanity as a defense at the subsequent trial, and publically forgave his wife thereafter.

murder in Washington. I asked him what one. "Why abt that -that whats his name - Sickles, who shot a man (Keys) the other day". He overheard some of the pickets talking abt it 8c having never heard of it before concluded it must be a new thing."

At the outbreak of war Sickles, who had earlier served in the New York militia, resigned from Congress to return to New York and raise the Excelsior Brigade. He was named a brigadier-general of volunteers from 3 September 1861, and was given command of the brigade, thus demonstrating Democratic Party support for the war. Showing great personal bravery and some aptitude for command, he was named a major-general ranking from 29 November 1862. He had command of a division on the Peninsula, at Antietam and Fredericksburg in 1862, and of III Corps at Fredericksburg and Oettvsburg.

Very few of his fellow generals thought much of Sickles, however. The waspish Marsena Patrick noted in April 1863: "Sickles & the most of his crew, are poor - very poor concerns in my opinion." Staff officer Frank Haskell, writing about Gettysburg, said that he thought that there "General Sickles supposed he was doing for the best; but he was neither born nor bred a soldier. But one can scarcely tell what may have been the motives of such a man - a politician, and some other things, exclusive of the Barton Key affair - a man after show and notoriety, and newspaper fame, and the adulation of the mob!"

At Gettysburg (2July 1863), dissatisfied with the spot in the line where he had been placed, Sickles advanced his corps to what he saw as better ground. Hardly had he done so when his line was struck by the main Confederate attack. While attempting to rally his men he was shot in the right leg and carried away, nonchalantly smoking a cigar. His leg was amputated, and he never returned to command, although he stayed in the regular army as a major-general until retiring in 1869.

Sickles was later appointed minister to Spain, where he apparently tried to gel the two countries into a war over the Spanish capture of an American boat, the Virginius, which was running guns into Cuba in 1873. Cooler heads prevailed and a compromise was worked out over his head. He then served in Congress in 1893-95, and was chairman of the New York State Monuments Commission. In 1912 he was removed from the commission for alleged peculation. Slipping into mental illness in his final years, he died at last on 3 May 1914 in New York, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Although his bungling threatened the integrity of the Union line on the second day of Gettysburg, Sickles was probably most notorious for his private life. He had shot his wife's lover dead in broad daylight, successfully pleaded temporary insanity as a defense at the subsequent trial, and publically forgave his wife thereafter.

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