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Sheridan's Ride


SHERIDAN'S RIDE. During the Shenandoah campaign of 1864, Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early attacked Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's army at dawn on 19 October along Cedar Creek, near Strasburg, Virginia, throwing two Union corps into panic. Sheridan, returning from Washington, D.C., had stopped at Winchester on the night of the eighteenth. Awakened the next morning by the distant sound of artillery, he left for the front and soon encountered his routed commands. He reached the battlefield about 10:30 a.m., and his presence quickly restored confidence. By midafternoon the Confederates were in retreat. A poem written several months later by Thomas Buchanan Read, with its refrain, "And Sheridan twenty miles away," fixed his ride in the public mind as one of the heroic events of the war.


Gallagher, Gary W., ed. Struggle for the Shenandoah. Kent, Ohio: Kent State Universty Press, 1991.

Heatwole, John L. The Burning: Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. Charlottesville, Va.: Rockbridge Publications, 1998.

Lewis, Thomas A. The Guns of Cedar Creek. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

Alvin F.Harlow/a. r.

See alsoArmy, Confederate ; Army, Union ; Civil War ; Petersburg, Siege of ; Shenandoah Campaign ; Wilderness, Battles of the .

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