Tuesday, August 1, 2017
All for a locke of Hair
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
The above photo is of Major General Phil Sheridan and his Civil War staff. My reason for posting the photo is the reason it has meaning over a decade later.
Pictured in the center is the Napoleon stance Phil Sheridan with his hand in his coat. To the right, sixth from the General is his brother, who served on the staff in Michael Sheridan as a 2nd Lieutenant. The 7th, being taller and behind Michael Sheridan is Brigadier General George Custer.
In 1866, Michael Sheridan was deployed to the Gulf, mustered out of service, and began service in the 7th Cavalry in the Department of the Platte as a Captain, before returning as a Lt. Colonel to serve as ADC for his brother.
General Custer would after his 1866 stabilizing march though Texas, be assigned to the Plains. These two men would cross paths again in 1877, in a rail car in Chicago, as that is where Phil Sheridan was headquartered. The reason for the crossing paths is General Custer's body was removed from the grave at the Little Big Horn, placed on a train in a coffin, and Michael Sheridan opened the coffin to retrieve a lock of Custer's hair for Libby Custer, the General wife, and presented it to her.
Libby Custer was deeply thankful for the gesture as it gave her closure in her grief, in she had something back of her dead husband, and she had proof in the hair she knew so well, that her husband was really dead.
I often think about the people I know who have died, in how they never knew the hour years before, when I knew them, and how sometimes it was like George Custer and Phil Sheridan, they were serving in a war, and while death surrounded them, they never once ever dreamed that 11 years later, one would be gathering a lock of hair for the wife of the other, in the kindest gesture of all.