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Autograph Letter Signed - Sheridan, Philip H - 1884. 
Washington DC 1884 - SIGNED, "P. H. Sheridan" on a response to invitation to attend the 100th Celebration of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Light blue lined composition paper 15.5" x 9.75" folded 7.75" wide. Attractive manuscript with printed header and expert calligraphic hand replying with regrets to attend the event. Expert archivally reinforced at the bi-folds on verso, chipped corner at top right, 0.5" fade along right side, small chip on right side near lower fold, faded section to top third on rear. Includes notation: "P. H. Sheridan March 1 '84" for administrative filing records.Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 - August 5, 1888) was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. At 5' 5'' he was nicknamed "Little Phil" but later in his career more appropriately "Fightin' Phil". His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with General-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant, who transferred Sheridan from command of an infantry division in the Western Theater to lead the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac in the East. In 1864, he defeated Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley and his destruction of the economic infrastructure of the Valley, called "The Burning" by residents, was one of the first uses of scorched earth tactics in the war. In 1865, his cavalry pursued Gen. Robert E. Lee and was instrumental in forcing his surrender at Appomattox.Sheridan fought in later years in the Indian Wars of the Great Plains. Both as a soldier and private citizen, he was instrumental in the development and protection of Yellowstone National Park. In 1883, Sheridan was appointed general-in-chief of the U.S. Army, and in 1888 he was promoted to the rank of General of the Army during the term of President Grover Cleveland (attribution noted).On November 1, 1883, Sheridan succeeded General William T. Sherman as Commanding General of the U.S. Army, and held that position until his death. He was promoted on June 1, 1888, shortly before his death, to the rank of General in the Regular Army by President Grover Cleveland. Sheridan was in Chicago. In 1871, Sheridan was present in Chicago during the Great Chicago Fire and coordinated military relief efforts. Although Sheridan's personal residence was spared, all of his professional and personal papers were destroyed, hence a dearth of his signed correspondence from earlier years.The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick was found in NYC in 1783 by the leading members of the community to care for the unusual number of impoverished and displaced Irishmen, who had arrived in New York in the wake of the British evacuation. Founded on the noble rock of charity, strengthened by a common heritage and faith, nurtured by the joy of a shared meal and conversation, enlivened by humor, poetry and song, transmitted by father to son to grandson, tempered by tolerance towards political and religious difference, fortified and guided by tradition and respect and memory, the Society continues on to this very day. "Mr. Charles P. Daly, / President of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, / New York City, / Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of you invitation to be present at the One Hundreth Celebration of the Annual Festival of your society at the Hotel Brunswick, New York on the 17th instant, and I regret my engagements here are such that I will be unable to accept your courteous invitation. Very truly yours, P. H. Sheridan / Lieut. General" [Attributes: Signed Copy]
[Bookseller: Montgomery Rare Books & Manuscripts]
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