Philip Henry Sheridan, an American soldier, born in Somerset, Perry co., Ohio, March 6, 1831. He graduated at West Point in 1853, served in Texas in 1854-'5, and on the Pacific coast till May 14, 1861, when he was made captain of the 13th infantry, chief quartermaster and commissary of the army of S. W. Missouri, and subsequently quartermaster to Gen. Halleck in the Mississippi campaign of the spring of 1862. On May 25, 1862, he was made colonel of the 2d Michigan volunteer cavalry, and took part in the pursuit of the confederates from Corinth, May 30 to June 10, and in the engagement at Booneville, July 1, when he was made brigadier general of volunteers. In command of the 11th division of the army of the Ohio he led the advance into Kentucky, and was in the battle of Perryville, Oct. 8, and in the subsequent march to the relief of Nashville. Assigned to the army of the Cumberland, his division was in the campaign of Tennessee from November, 1862, to September, 1863, taking active part in the battle of Murfreesboro (see Murfreesboro), when he was made major general of volunteers.
He captured a train and prisoners at Eagleville in March; crossed the Cumberland mountains and Tennessee river in August; took part in the battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 19, 20, and in the operations about Chattanooga, including the battle of Missionary ridge, Nov. 23-25; and was subsequently engaged in E. Tennessee till March, 1864. From April 4 to Aug. 3 he was in command of the cavalry corps of the army of the Potomac, and with his 10,000 men was actively employed in operations in the Wilderness, and between it and Richmond, in May, June, and July. While mainly employed in reconnoitring and in protecting the flank of the army, his corps made several vigorous raids, cutting off railway connections and capturing or destroying stores, was more than 20 times engaged with the confederate cavalry, and took an important part in the actions in and about Cold Harbor. On Aug. 4 he was appointed to the command of the army of the Shenandoah, and on the 7th to that of the middle military division. He defeated Early on the Opequan, Sept. 19, for which he was made a brigadier general in the United States army; at Fisher's Hill, Sept. 22; and at Cedar creek, Oct. 19, where he turned a rout into a brilliant victory, for which he received the thanks of congress. On Nov. 8 he was made a major general.
From Feb. 27 to March 24, 1865, he was engaged in the raid from Winchester to Petersburg, during which he destroyed the James river and Kanawha canal, cut important railway connections, destroyed military and commissary stores, and had numerous skirmishes with the enemy. From March 25 to April 9 he was in the Richmond campaign. On April 1 he gained the battle of Five Forks, which insured the abandonment by the confederates of Petersburg and Richmond (see Petersburg, Siege of), and he led in the pursuit of Lee, and was present at his capitulation, April 9. He was appointed to the command of the military division of the Southwest June 3, and of the military division of the Gulf July 17; of the department of the Gulf Aug. 15, 1866; of the fifth military district, including Louisiana and Texas, March 11, 1867; and of the department of the Missouri, with headquarters at Fort Leavenworth, Sept. 12. On March 4, 1869, he was made lieutenant general and assigned to the command of the division of the Missouri, including the departments of Dakota, of the Missouri, of the Platte, and of Texas, with headquarters at Chicago, which office he still holds (1875). Early in 1875, political disturbances threatening in Louisiana, he was stationed for a few weeks in New Orleans, and then returned to his command in Chicago.