Thursday, March 6, 2003

Ohio Moments

'Little Phil' went on to Civil War, West fame


On March 6, 1831, Philip Henry Sheridan, the Civil War officer who later forced American Indians onto reservations, was born during his family's immigration from Ireland to Ohio.

The actual location of his birth is unknown; his mother gave varying accounts, including County Cavan, Ireland; Somerset, Ohio; and on the sea voyage from Ireland. Sheridan himself apparently didn't know precisely where his birth occurred.

It is known that he grew up in Somerset, where his father helped construct the National Road. After a meager education in a village school, Sheridan was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. He entered West Point in 1848 but didn't graduate until 1853 because an altercation with a cadet sergeant earned him a one-year suspension.

Known as "Little Phil," the 5-foot-5 Sheridan became one of the top three Union commanders along with Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman, both also from Ohio. After the war, Sheridan led successful Western campaigns against the Cherokee, Comanche and Kiowa Indians. He became commanding general of the U.S. Army in 1883.

Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear daily in 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at or (513d) 768-8361.

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