Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Raise the Rutherford!

Sheridan’s Ride

Plaque on the south side of 8th Street, near St. Louis Church.
I googled “Sheridan’s Ride” and found the full text of the poem at Son of the South.

Col. Rutherford B. Hayes served under Major General Philip Sheridan and fought at the Battle of Cedar Creek which is immortalized in the poem. In a single day of fighting, the Union Army nearly lost after a surprise attack by the Confederates. However as the poem states, Major General Sheridan arrived from Winchester and rallied the troops and the Union forces seized victory by nightfall. Hayes’s 2nd Division (8th Army Corps), which included the 23rd Ohio Volunteers, took a heavy pounding in the morning fight. The ultimate Union victory was a pivotal battle and is noted, along with William T. Sherman’s victories in Georgia, to have spurred Lincoln’s reelection in November 1864.

General Sheridan is often mentioned in Hayes’s online diary at the Hayes Presidential Center. For instance after the Election of 1864, where Hayes himself was elected to Congress from Cincinnati, Hayes notesGenerals Sheridan and Crook both voted for him [Lincoln]. It was General Sheridan's first vote!

Following the battle, Hayes was recommended for Brigadier General by Sheridan and Brigadier General George Crook, commander of the 8th Army Corps. He was promoted, however according to the Hayes Presidential Center; the October 19, 1864, battle was Hayes’s last combat.

Another interesting fact is that Brigadier General George Custer also fought in the battle.
"Raise the Rutherford!" is a continuing, slightly humorous series to raise awareness of Rutherford B. Hayes and erect a statue of him in Cincinnati.

Image of Harper's Weekly 'Sheridan’s Ride' from Son of the South

No comments: