The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

What was “Sheridan’s Ride”?

Sheridan’s seven thousand horsemen drew their sabers and began their horses at a walk, which slowly moved to a trot, then finally a canter. They made a magnificent sight, both because of the splendor of their equipment and because the late-afternoon daylight shone behind them. The Confederates who awaited them had been fighting for nearly eight hours, and the assemblage was just too much to take in.

“I never seen any men run faster than the Rebels run last Monday after we got them driving out on the open plain,” a Union man wrote his wife. Jubal Early’s army collapsed, and he barely maneuvered his men off the field. The total casualties came to about five thousand on the Union side and four thousand for the Confederates, but these numbers disguise the fact that Early’s army was a shattered force. He would not face Sheridan again.


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