Terrible Swift Sword: The Life of General Philip H. Sheridan

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Just picked up a former library edition of 'Terrible Swift Sword: The Life of General Philip H. Sheridan' by Joseph Wheelan at a used book store. Have basically been a naval enthusiast and this is my first venture into this arena. Comments on CWT got me to take a chance on something new. Maybe it was the comparison of the mission of the cavalry being similar to the mission of cruisers in larger navies (where as the infantry would be analogous to the battleline).

Anyhow, would anyone care to comment on the book? It received generally good reviews (4.5 average) on Amazon (except for one...). The forum host, @Eric Wittenberg ,is name checked within the first couple of pages.

Thanks for the help,
USS ALASKA
 

Bee

Captain
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Rats. Too bad you did not start with Little Phil -- it would save you from having to read two books to get the full story :wink:
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
It's hagiography. The author is a Sheridan fanboy. If you keep that in mind as you read it, it's okay.
Hagiography...hagiography...OK, learned a new word today. Thank you sir!
Rats. Too bad you did not start with Little Phil -- it would save you from having to read two books to get the full story :wink:
"...having to read two books..." - that almost sounds like a bad thing! :wink: Ok, looking at that on Amazon and have ordered one at a VERY reasonable price.

To quote the author, "... written as a lawyer's brief. I had great fun doing this one. It's intentionally controversial. It's also the only time that I've ever intentionally not been objective in my telling of history." It would seem that you accomplished that based upon the breadth of the reviews. And their length. And the 'vim' and vitriol put into some of them...

@Eric Wittenberg , sir - would your narrative change much if you were being completely objective?

Thanks for your time,
USS ALASKA
 

Bee

Captain
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
"...having to read two books..." - that almost sounds like a bad thing! :wink:
I am shamelessly biased in favour of Eric's work :smile:

I am also shamelessly biased against little Phil, so it would be hard to stomach material that was too fawning of him, thus, I would need the antidote of Eric's book :D
 

Eric Wittenberg

1st Lieutenant
Keeper of the Scales
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Location
Columbus, OH
Hagiography...hagiography...OK, learned a new word today. Thank you sir!

"...having to read two books..." - that almost sounds like a bad thing! :wink: Ok, looking at that on Amazon and have ordered one at a VERY reasonable price.

To quote the author, "... written as a lawyer's brief. I had great fun doing this one. It's intentionally controversial. It's also the only time that I've ever intentionally not been objective in my telling of history." It would seem that you accomplished that based upon the breadth of the reviews. And their length. And the 'vim' and vitriol put into some of them...

@Eric Wittenberg , sir - would your narrative change much if you were being completely objective?

Thanks for your time,
USS ALASKA
I hope you enjoy it.

Honestly, no. That book arises out of my terribly disappointing findings--based entirely on the evidence from years of research--about Sheridan's conduct of the June 11-12, 1864 Battle of Trevilian Station and the raid that culminated in that battle. That analysis was completely objective and unbiased.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

MaryDee

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
He is disliked out west for his treatment of the Indians (he stated that the only good one he ever saw was dead, completely ignoring that he had an Indian wife while stationed at Fort Hoskins, OR, in the 1850s). However, in his favor, he did send the military in to preserve Yellowstone Park from commercial takeover by the railroads (unless Eric found something about this episode that I don't know).

I haven't yet read Little Phil, but have read Glory Enough for All about Trevillian Station. Highly recommended!
 
Last edited:

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Location
Quinton, VA.
I am shamelessly biased in favour of Eric's work :smile:

I am also shamelessly biased against little Phil, so it would be hard to stomach material that was too fawning of him, thus, I would need the antidote of Eric's book :D
We seem to share excellent tastes in authors and cavalry commanders.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top