Located in the back end of Christopher Park is a larger-than-life bronze tribute to General Philip Henry Sheridan. Sheridan was a Union general in the Civil War who best known for his defeat of Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864. After the victory he employed a new war technique later referred to as “The Burning” whereby he literally torched the surrounding land thereby rendering it worthless to the enemy.
The Sheridan statue is by artist Joseph Pollia and was unveiled on October 19, 1936 (the 72nd anniversary of his victory at Shenandoah). It features Sheridan in his army attire with a holstered sword along his left side. Below the statue is a quote by Ulysses S. Grant commending Sheridan by saying, “He belongs to the first rank of soldiers, not only for our country, but of the world.”
Sheridan’s reputation has been questioned in more recent years based upon his stance versus American Indians. During a period of 1868-1869 he employed some of his famed Civil War tactics versus the Indian population in attempting to drive them out of the Great Plains region. His troops were known to kill when resistance persisted and he was once even reportedly quoted as saying, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” Historians agree the remark may have been mistakenly attributed to Sheridan but his tactics of warfare versus the American Indian still have left a sour taste in some people’s mouths.
Address: Intersection of 7th Avenue S and Christopher Street, New York City, NY