Born in 1831 in New York, Philip Sheridan graduated from West Point in 1853 and served in the West until the war began. He fought at Perryville and his success at Stone's River earned him a promotion to major general in March 1863. Sheridan participated in the Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Overland campaigns.
His Shenandoah Valley campaign lasted until early March 1865 when he returned to Petersburg. Grant then sent Sheridan westward to destroy the South Side Railroad, the last supply route into Petersburg. Sheridan's victory at Five Forks sealed the fate of Richmond and Petersburg and initiated the campaign to Appomattox Court House.
A month after the war he led U.S. troops to the Mexican border in response to a military threat from that country. Sheridan then served as military Governor of Texas and Louisiana. In 1884 he succeeded Gen. Sherman as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army and four years later he died.
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Did You Know?
The 4th Division of the Union 9th Corps lost 209 men killed and wounded at the Battle of the Crater. Poplar Grove National Cemetery is the resting spot for 331 United States Colored Troops. Most of these men are unidentified burials from the Crater battlefield. (Petersburg Nat'l Battlefield)