cover image Sheridan: The Life and Wars of General Phil Sheridan

Sheridan: The Life and Wars of General Phil Sheridan

Roy Morris, JR.. Crown Publishers, $25 (464pp) ISBN 978-0-517-58070-7

Morris, editor of the journal America's Civil War , here presents the first modern biography of the Union's great cavalry commander, who died in 1888 at age 57. Sheridan's neglect by academic and popular historians arguably reflects the popular wisdomthis isn't a fact, it's an opinion; recast this sentence?/it's really universally accepted as fact, but see fix in any that he was an uncomplicated man, a battle captain whose Civil War career illustrated no broad social and philosophical issues. Relying heavily on Sheridan's memoirs, Morris's well-written text depicts Sheridan's ordinary prewar career and his initial successes as a brigade and division commander in the Western theater of operations. where's this? In 1863 he attracted the attention of U. S. Grant, whose favor Morris regards as the key to Sheridan's later career. Grant gave him a free hand in command of the Cavalry Corps, and later in the Shennandoah. Sheridan responded with a tireless offensive spirit not common in the Army of the Potomacaccording to whom?/this reviewer is a Civil War specialist, so I think we have to go with . As Grant's right arm, he had no need to develop either military or political sophistication. Whether as governor of Texas and Louisiana during Reconstruction or commanding in the Plains Indian Wars, Sheridan remained a beau sabreur. Morris's analysis of Sheridan's postwar years is balanced and empathetic, showing that he when or where? what comparison is meant by ``than''?state? performed reasonably well begs the question of what could be reasonably expected; ``nevertheless performed reasonably well''? as proconsul and Indian fighter. William Sherman characterized his fellow Ohioan as ``a persevering terrier dog, honest, modest, plucky and smart enough.'' Morris suggests that the judgment was as appropriate as it was clever. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)