Personal Memoirs Of P. H. Sheridan Volume 1


While on his meteoric rise in the Union army, Philip H. Sheridan earned the enmity of many Virginians for laying waste to the Shenandoah Valley. His date and place of birth is uncertain, but he himself claimed to have been born in New York in 1831. Although he was destined to come out of the Civil War with the third greatest reputation among the victors, his military career did not begin auspiciously. It took him five years to graduate from West Point (1853) because of an altercation with fellow cadet and future ...
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While on his meteoric rise in the Union army, Philip H. Sheridan earned the enmity of many Virginians for laying waste to the Shenandoah Valley. His date and place of birth is uncertain, but he himself claimed to have been born in New York in 1831. Although he was destined to come out of the Civil War with the third greatest reputation among the victors, his military career did not begin auspiciously. It took him five years to graduate from West Point (1853) because of an altercation with fellow cadet and future Union general, William R. Terrill.

After serving in a staff position during the early part of the war he was recommended for the command of a cavalry regiment by Gordon Granger. Within days of taking command he was in charge of the brigade with which he earned his first star at Booneville in northern Mississippi. He fought well at Perryville and Murfreesboro and was given a second star in the volunteers. At Chickamauga, almost two-thirds of the army including his division was swept from the field. However, at Chattanooga he regained his somewhat tarnished reputation when his division broke through the Rebel lines atop Missionary Ridge.

When Grant went to the East, he placed Sheridan in command of the Army of the Potomac's mounted arm. Following Early's threat to Washington, Grant tapped Sheridan to command a new military division, comprised of three departments, and charged him with clearing out the Shenandoah Valley.

Despite being plagued by irregulars along his supply lines, he managed to worst Early at 3rd Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. For this campaign he was named brigadier and major general in the regular army and received the Thanks of Congress.

The next March he destroyed Early's remaining forces at Waynesboro and then went on a raid, threatening Lynchburg. Rejoining Grant, he smashed through the Confederate lines at Five Forks, necessitating the evacuation of both Petersburg and Richmond. It was his cavalry command, backed by infantry, which finally blocked Lee's escape at Appomattox. His role in the final campaign eclipsed even that of army commander Meade.

After a postwar show of force against Maximilian in Mexico, he headed the Reconstruction government of Texas and Louisiana. His severity forced his removal within half a year. Remaining in the regular army, he died as a full general in 1888, having been the commander-in-chief since 1884. In the meantime he had commanded the Division of the Missouri, observed the Franco-Prussian War, and worked for the creation of Yellowstone National Park and its preservation.

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Table of Contents

Volume II.
Chapter I.
Organizing Scouts
Miss Rebecca Wright
Important Information
Decides to Move on Newtown
Meeting General Grant
Organization of the Union Army
Opening of the Battle of the Opequon-Death of General Russell
A Turning Movement
A Successful Cavalry Charge
Three Loyal Girls
Appointed a Brigadier-General in the Regular Army
Remarks on the Battle
Chapter II.
Pursuing Early
A Secret March
Fisher's Hill
A Great Success
Removal of Averell
The Retreat
Capturing an Old Comrade
The Murder of Lieutenant Meigs
Chapter III.
Reasons for Not Pursuing Early Through the Blue Ridge
General Torbert Detailed to Give General Rosser a "Drubbing"
General Rosser Routed
Telegraphed to Meet Stanton
Longstreet's Message
Return to Winchester
The Ride to Cedar Creek
The Retreating Army
Rallying the Troops
Re-forming the Line
Commencing the Attack
Defeat of the Confederates
Appointed a Major-General in the Regular Army
Results of the Battle
Chapter IV.
General Early Reorganizes His Forces
Mosby the Guerrilla
General Merritt sent to Operate Against Mosby
Rosser Again Active
General Custer Surprised
Colonel Young Sent to Capture Gilmore the Guerrilla
Colonel Young's Success-Capture of General Kelly and General Crook-Spies
Was Wilkes Booth a Spy?
Driving the Confederates Out of the Valley
The Battle of Waynesboro'
Marching to Join the Army of the Potomac
Chapter V.
Transferred to Petersburg
General Rawlins's Cordial Welcome
General Grant's Orders and Plans
A Trip with Mr. Lincol and General Grant
Meeting General Sherman
Opposed to Joining the Army of the Tennessee
Opening of the Appomattox Campaign
General Grant and General Rawlins
Chapter VI.
Battle of Dinwiddie Court House
Pickett Repulsed-Reinforced by the Fifth Corps
Battle of Five Forks
Turning the Confederate Left
An Unqualified Success
Relieving General Warren
The Warren Court of Inquiry
General Sherman's Opinion
Chapter VII.
Result of the Battle of Five Forks
Retreat of Lee-An Intercepted Despatch
At Amelia Court House
Battle of Sailor's Creek
The Confederates' Stubborn Resistance
A Complete Victory
Importance of the Battle
Chapter VIII.
Lincoln's Laconic Despatch
Capturing Lee's Supplies
Delighted Engineers
The Confederates' Last Effort
A Flag of Truce
General Geary's "Last Ditch" Absurdity
Meeting of Grant and Lee
The Surrender
Estimate of General Grant
Chapter IX.
Ordered to Greensboro', N.C.
March to the Dan River
Assigned to the Command West of the Mississippi
Leaving Washington
Flight of General Early
Making Demonstrations on the Upper Rio Grande
Confederates Join Maximilian
The French Invasion of Mexico, and its Relations to the Rebellion
Assisting the Liberals
Restoration of the Republic
Chapter X.
A. J. Hamilton Appointed Provisional Governor of Texas
Assembles a Constitutional Convention-The Texans Dissatisfied
Oppressive Legislation
Ex-Confederates Controlling Louisiana
A Constitutional Convention
The Meeting Suppressed
A Bloody Riot
My Reports of the Massacre
Portions Suppressed by President Johnson
Sustained by a Congressional Committee
The Reconstruction Laws
Chapter XI.
Passage of the Reconstruction Act Over the President's Veto
Placed in Command of the Fifth Military District
Removing Officers
My Reasons for Such Action
Affairs in Louisiana and Texas
Removal of Governor Wells
Revision of the Jury Lists
Relieved from the Command of the Fifth Military District
Chapter XII.
At Fort Leavenworth
The Treaty of Medicine Lodge
Going to Fort Dodge
Discontented Indians-Indian Outrages
A Delegation of Chiefs
Terrible Indian Raid
Death of Comstock
Vast Herds of Buffalo
Preparing for a Winter Campaign
Meeting "Buffalo Bill"
He Undertakes a Dangerous Task
Forsyth's Gallant Fight
Chapter XIII.
Fitting Out the Winter Expedition
Accompanying the Main Force
The Other Columns
Struck by a Blizzard
Custer's Fight on the Washita
Defeat and Death of Black Kettle
Massacre of Elliott's Party
Relief of Colonel Crawford
Chapter XIV.
A Winter Expedition
Herds of Buffalo
A Terrible Night
Finding the Bodies of Elliott's Party
The Abandoned Indian Camps
Pushing Down the Washita
The Captured Chiefs
Evans's Successful Fight
Establishing Fort Sill
"California Joe"
Duplicity of the Cheyennes
Ordered to Repair to Washington
Chapter XV.
Inspecting Military Posts in Utah and Montana
Desire to Witness the France
German War
On a Sand
Bar in the Missouri
A Bear Hunt
An Indian Scare
Myriads of Mosquitoes
Permission Given to Visit Europe
Calling on President Grant
Sailing for Liverpool
Arrival in Berlin
Chapter XVI.
Leaving for the Seat of War
Meeting with Prince Bismarck
His Interest in Public Opinion in America
His Inclinations in Early Life
Presented to the King
The Battle of Gravelotte-The German Plan
Its Final Success
Sending News of the Victory
Mistaken for a Frenchman
Chapter XVII.
Searching for Quarters
Hunting up Provisions
A Slender Breakfast
Going over the Battle
Field-The German Artillery
A Group of Wounded-Dining With the King
On the March
The Bavarians
Urging on the Troops
Chapter XVIII.
After McMahon
The Battle of Beaumont
The French Surprised
The Marching of the German Soldiers
The Battle of Sedan
Gallant Cavalry Charges
Defeat of the French
The Surrender of Napoleon
Bismarck and the King
Decorating the Soldiers
Chapter XIX.
Riding Over the Battle-Field
Destruction of Bazeilles-Mistakes of the French
Marshal Bazaine
On to Paris
A Week in Meaux
On the Picket-Line
Under Fire
A Surrender
At Versailles
General Burnside and Mr. Forbes in Paris
Chapter XX.
Deciding to Visit Eastern Europe
Down the Danube
In Constantinople
The Ladies of the Harem
The Sultan
Turkish Soldiers
A Banquet
A Visit in Athens
King George of Greece
"Bedeviled with Cares of State"
Deer Shooting
A Military Dinner
Return to Versailles
Germans Entering Paris
Criticism on the France
Prussian War
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