Philip Sheridan's combat career in the Civil War began in May 1862 when he was appointed colonel of the 2nd Michigan cavalry.
After taking part in the Union victory at the Battle of Boonesville in Mississippi, he was made a brigadier general and given a division in the Army of Ohio. He distinguished himself time and again on the battlefield:
Perryville, Stone's River, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge. In April of 1864 Grant gave Sheridan command of all the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac.
From August 1864 to early 1865 Sheridan was engaged in his most
famous wartime operation, his Shenandoah Valley Campaign. It was during this campaign, as the Union began to retreat in 1864, that Sheridan made his famous ride to Cedar Creek which became one of the legendary
moments of the war.