Philip H. Sheridan Quick Facts

Philip Sheridan

Name Meaning

Greek: Lover of horses

Vital Stats

Birthday: March 6, 1831
Birth Name: Philip Henry Sheridan
Birthplace: Disputed *
Date of Death: August 5th, 1888
Cause: Heart attack
Place of Death: Nonquitt, MA
Height: 5′ 5″ **
Nationality: American
Ancestry: Irish
Occupation before Civil War:
Store clerk, officer in U.S. Army
Occupation during Civil War:
Officer in Union Army, rising from
1st Lieutenant to Major General
Occupation after Civil War:
General in U.S. Army;
was Commanding General
of U.S. Army 1883-1888

Major Battles:

Corinth, Perryville, Stones River,
Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge,
Overland Campaign, Third Winchester,
Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek, Five Forks,
Sayler’s Creek, Appomattox Court House


Father:  John Sheridan (1801-75)
Mother: Mary Minah Sheridan (1801-88)
Brother: Patrick H. Sheridan (1828-51)
Sister: Rosa Sheridan (1829-31)
Sister: Mary Sheridan Wilson (1834-68)
Brother: John L. Sheridan (1837-98)
Brother: Michael Sheridan (1840-1918)


Married:  Irene Rucker Sheridan 6/3/1875


Mary Sheridan (1876-1959)
Louise Sheridan (twin, 1877-1969)
Irene Sheridan (twin, 1877-1964)
Philip H. Sheridan Jr. (1880-1918)

* Sheridan claimed he was born in Albany, but he may have been born in
County Cavan, Ireland; Somerset, Ohio (where he grew up); Boston, Mass.;
or on board ship when the family emigrated from Ireland.
** Sheridan was nicknamed “Little Phil” because of his short stature and weight.
He was also called “Fightin’ Phil” because of his battle exhortations: “Smash ’em up.”
The Language of the Civil War: by John D. Wright


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14 Responses

  1. Margaret says:

    He was born in Oldcastle, co. West Meath Ireland

    He was my Great Grand Uncle. As a child I lived in Ireland, I remember going to his grand- nephew also called Phillip sheridan’s funeral.

    The family has always said he was born in Oldcastle, there is a marker ( well there was a marker) about 40 years ago.

    • Amythyst Raine says:

      Margaret, I do believe we’re related. My grandfather is Philip Sheridan Turrell; he’s General Sheridan’s nephew. General Sheridan is my Great-Great Uncle also.

  2. Mark says:

    Thanks, Margaret. I wonder if he claimed (or was told) he was born in Albany instead of in Ireland to avoid some of the discrimination that was common against Irish immigrants at that time.

  3. Louison says:

    Excuses me. I am French and I am very interested by the Civil War. But in this photo we can see that Major-general Sheridan wears a medal, and yet, Sheridan never received the Medal of Honor. So, I would like to know, please, what is this medal. An idea ?

    • Mark says:

      It’s true that Sheridan did not win a Medal of Honor, but I don’t know what medal he is wearing in that picture. Do any other readers of this blog have any idea?

      • Robert Rock says:

        The medal in this photo is very indistinguishable. Very hard to see. I assure you it is not the Medal of Honor as you have pointed out. I am going to dig deeper on this.

  4. Nic says:

    Maybe he got it because he was a War Hero? Maybe he got it
    because he got promoted to a General?

  5. Trevor says:

    It is most likely a campaign medal. They had these if they were part of a victorious campaign.

  6. Louison says:

    Thank you for this information =)

  7. Louison says:

    I foud a source saying that it’s the Sheridan’s cavalry corps badge.

  8. Chris says:

    Margaret and A.R.
    I do believe we are related as well. My grandmother who died at 78 in the 90’s used to tell us as kids how we were related to General Sheridan I’m pretty sure a Great something Grandfather.
    Her maiden name was Mary Louise Sheridan. I was doing a bit of research and found that the General had two daughters named Mary and Louise.

  9. William smith says:

    I’ve always been told I was related to him as well my grandmothers name was Elizabeth Sheridan she told me he was her great great uncle

  10. Julie Sheridan says:

    General Sheridan’s father, John was born in Killinkere, Co. Cavan. He was my great great grandfathers brother. We are related on my fathers (also John Sheridan) side. My grandfather grew up just 3 miles from Killinkere in Cuilcagh and my family and I still live in Ireland, albeit further south.

    • Philip Shanahan says:

      Hey Julie
      My GG Grandfather was also John’s brother! My Grandfather Philip Henry(Harry) was born in 1888, the year the General died. He lived most of his life in Beagh and Lisnabuntry in the Parish of Killinkere. Then Mullagh and finally to Navan (where I’m from although I’ve lived in Australia for almost 40 yrs) in the early 60’s. I have a quite detailed family tree which I’d be glad to share. Perhaps you could add even more detail.

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