Phil Sheridan Quotes

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Of all the men who were photographed that day, the chief’s life had come closest to the American ideal, closest in observing the principles on which this nation had been founded. He was immeasurably greater than Chester Arthur, the hack politician from New York, incomparably finer than Robert Lincoln, a niggardly man of no stature who inherited from his father only his name, and a better warrior, considering his troops and ordnance, than Phil Sheridan. His only close competitor was Senator Vest, who shared with him a love of land and a joy in seeing it used constructively.
James A. Michener (Centennial)
On April 1, 1865, in Virginia, Pickett was defending an intersection known as Five Forks, six miles south of the Appomattox River and a good bit closer to the Southside Railroad, the last remaining supply line to Richmond. While thirty thousand Union troops led by Little Phil Sheridan approached from the southeast, Pickett’s twelve thousand, spread two miles wide behind fences and in ditches, braced to meet them. Pickett’s supreme commander, Robert E. Lee, was headquartered ten miles away, near Petersburg. Should Pickett fall to Sheridan, Lee would be forced from Petersburg, the Federals would capture Richmond, and the Confederate cause would be lost. Someone mentioned shad. The spring spawning run was in full penetration of the continent. The fish were in the rivers. Tom Rosser, another Confederate general, had caught some, and on the morning of April 1st ordered them baked for his midday dinner, near Hatcher’s Run, several miles from Five Forks. He invited Pickett and Major General Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee, to join him. Pickett readily accepted, and rode off from his battle station with Lee. The historian Shelby Foote continues the narrative (“The Civil War,” vol. 3, p. 870): “Neither told any subordinate where he was going or why, perhaps to keep from dividing the succulent fish too many ways; with the result that when the attack exploded—damped from their hearing, as it was, by a heavy stand of pines along Hatcher’s Run—no one knew where to find them. Pickett only made it back to his division after half its members had been shot or captured, a sad last act for a man who gave his name to the most famous charge in a war whose end was hastened by his threehour absence at a shad bake.
John McPhee (The Founding Fish)
L. Wilson, editor of the Chicago Evening Journal; and General Henry Eugene Davies, who wrote a pamphlet, Ten Days on the Plains, describing the hunt. Among the others rounding out the group were Leonard W. and Lawrence R. Jerome; General Anson Stager of the Western Union Telegraph Company; Colonel M. V. Sheridan, the general's brother; General Charles Fitzhugh; and Colonel Daniel H. Rucker, acting quartermaster general and soon to be Phil Sheridan's father-in-law. Leonard W. Jerome, a financier, later became the grandfather of Winston Churchill when his second daughter, jenny, married Lord Randolph Churchill. The party arrived at Fort McPherson on September 22, 1871. The New York Herald's first dispatch reported: "General Sheridan and party arrived at the North Platte River this morning, and were conducted to Fort McPherson by General Emery [sic], commanding. General Sheridan reviewed the troops, consisting of four companies of the Fifth Cavalry. The party start[s] across the country tomorrow, guided by the renowned Buffalo Bill and under the escort of Major Brown, Company F, Fifth Cavalry. The party expect[s] to reach Fort Hays in ten days." After Sheridan's review of the troops, the general introduced Buffalo Bill to the guests and assigned them to their quarters in large, comfortable tents just outside the post, a site christened Camp Rucker. The remainder of the day was spent entertaining the visitors at "dinner and supper parties, and music and dancing; at a late hour they retired to rest in their tents." The officers of the post and their ladies spared no expense in their effort to entertain their guests, to demonstrate, perhaps, that the West was not all that wild. The finest linens, glassware, and china the post afforded were brought out to grace the tables, and the ballroom glittered that night with gold braid, silks, velvets, and jewels. Buffalo Bill dressed for the hunt as he had never done before. Despite having retired late, "at five o'clock next morning . . . I rose fresh and eager for the trip, and as it was a nobby and high-toned outfit which I was to accompany, I determined to put on a little style myself. So I dressed in a new suit of buckskin, trimmed along the seams with fringes of the same material; and I put on a crimson shirt handsomely ornamented on the bosom, while on my head I wore a broad sombrero. Then mounting a snowy white horse-a gallant stepper, I rode down from the fort to the camp, rifle in hand. I felt first-rate that morning, and looked well." In all probability, Louisa Cody was responsible for the ornamentation on his shirt, for she was an expert with a needle. General Davies agreed with Will's estimation of his appearance that morning. "The most striking feature of the whole was ... our friend Buffalo Bill.... He realized to perfection the bold hunter and gallant sportsman of the plains." Here again Cody appeared as the
Robert A. Carter (Buffalo Bill Cody: The Man Behind the Legend)
In less than three years he would be the most celebrated American battle captain of the twentieth century, a man whose name—like those of Jeb Stuart and Phil Sheridan—evoked the dash and brio of a cavalry charge. In less than four years he would be dead, and the New York Times obituary would offer the perfect epitaph: “He was not a man of peace.
Rick Atkinson (An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943)