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General Sheridan and His Staff

General Sheridan and His Staff
Alexander Gardner, 17 Oct 1821 - 10 Dec 1882
Wesley Merritt, 16 Jun 1834 - 3 Dec 1910
Philip Henry Sheridan, 6 Mar 1831 - 5 Aug 1888
George Crook, 8 Sep 1828 - 21 Mar 1890
James William Forsyth, 08 Aug 1834 - 24 Oct 1906
George Armstrong Custer, 5 Dec 1839 - 25 Jun 1876
c. 1865
Albumen silver print
Image/Sheet: 45.8 × 40.9 cm (18 1/16 × 16 1/8")
Mount: 56 × 45.8 cm (22 1/16 × 18 1/16")
Mat: 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22")
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Printed Material\Document
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Table
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Costume\Dress Accessory\Handkerchief
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Beard
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Carpet
Symbols & Motifs\Star
George Armstrong Custer: Male
George Armstrong Custer: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Civil War\Union
George Crook: Male
George Crook: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\General
George Crook: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Civil War\Union
Philip Henry Sheridan: Male
Philip Henry Sheridan: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Colonel
Philip Henry Sheridan: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\General
Philip Henry Sheridan: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Captain
Philip Henry Sheridan: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Civil War\Union
Philip Henry Sheridan: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Brigadier General
Philip Henry Sheridan: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Major General
Wesley Merritt: Male
Wesley Merritt: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\General
Wesley Merritt: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Civil War\Union
James William Forsyth: Male
James William Forsyth: Military and Intelligence\Army\Officer\Brigadier General
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Another in Alexander Gardner’s valedictory series of the major Union commanders in each theater of the war, this photograph groups four of the figures from the 1864 campaign in the Shenandoah Valley under the command of Philip Sheridan (1831–1888). Sheridan is standing to the left; at the table are cavalry officer Wesley Merritt (1834–1910); George Crook (1828–1890), who had an independent force in western Virginia before joining Sheridan’s army; Sheridan’s chief of staff, James W. Forsyth (1835–1906); and perhaps America’s most famous cavalryman, George A. Custer (1839–1876).
This photograph brings together the men who would be major figures in the settlement of the Great Plains and the Indian Wars—none more emblematic than Custer. As such, it provides the bridge between the first half of Gardner’s career during the Civil War and the images of western land and people on which he focused during the rest of his photographic career. One war had ended; another was beginning.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery