Who Are These People Memorialized on Horseback around the District? Vol. 5 – General Philip Sheridan

Mass Ave and 23rd St, NW

Perhaps DC’s finest horse in action features – General Philip Sheridan at the reins:

“a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who transferred Sheridan from command of an infantry division in the Western Theater to lead the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac in the East. In 1864, he defeated Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley and his destruction of the economic infrastructure of the Valley, called “The Burning” by residents, was one of the first uses of scorched earth tactics in the war. In 1865, his cavalry pursued Gen. Robert E. Lee and was instrumental in forcing his surrender at Appomattox.

Sheridan fought in later years in the Indian Wars of the Great Plains. Both as a soldier and private citizen, he was instrumental in the development and protection of Yellowstone National Park. In 1883 Sheridan was appointed general-in-chief of the U.S. Army, and in 1888 he was promoted to the rank of General of the Army during the term of President Grover Cleveland.”



8 Comment

  • Sheridan’s horse Rienzi was as famous as he was. He saw 19 battles and was wounded several times. Rienzi’s name was changed to Winchester after the Battle of Cedar Creek. When he died Sheridan had him stuffed. He’s on display at the Smithsonian’s Armed Forces Hall to this day.

  • Dig that flag in the background!

  • “Sheridan fought in later years in the Indian Wars of the Great Plains” Some might consider that genocide.

    • Edward Ellis in his book The History of Our Country: From the Discovery of America to the Present Time (1895). Entitling a short paragraph “Sheridan’s Bon Mot”, Ellis relates the following event from an eye-witness account of Captain Charles Nordstrom:

      It was the writer’s good fortune to be present when General Sheridan gave utterance to that bon mot which has since become so celebrated. It was in January, 1869, in camp at old Fort Cobb, Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, shortly after Custer’s fight with Black-Kettle’s band of Cheyennes. Old Toch-a-way (Turtle Dove), a chief of the Comanches, on being presented to Sheridan, desired to impress the General in his favor, and striking himself a resounding blow on the breast, he managed to say: “Me, Toch-a-way; me good Injun.” A quizzical smile lit up the General’s face as he set those standing by in a roar by saying: “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.”[24]

  • @fritz: Outweighed by his enormous contribution in preserving the U.S.

  • Sheridan is one of my favorite Civil War generals. Sherman, of course, is my very, very favorite. I also have a certain fondness for the very minor William Thompson Martin (CSA) and the astoundingly incompetent Braxton Bragg (also CSA).

    Fun fact: Sherman was the first superintendent of the military academy that would become LSU. He resigned when the war broke out.

  • Let me add that this is probably my favorite PoP series of all time!

    • Agreed, it’s very interesting. One request: I would like to know what they called the various circles before they stuck the man on a horse in the middle of them.

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