Little Phil Generals of the Indian Wars in conference, or maybe just posing for this fine picture; left to right; Wesley Merritt, Phil Sheridan, George Crook, James Forsyth and George Custer. Remarkable thing about this image it captures George Crook with a rare decent haircut and a even rarer trimmed beard. Often attributed to having said, "the only good Indian he ever seen was a dead one" he, throughout his life denied saying so. And I believe him, he wasn't a shy retiring type. Considered merciless by both the soldiers in his command and the Indian warriors they fought. General Philip Henry Sheridan waged a total war that ultimately broke the will of the Plains Indian tribes, forcing them onto government reservations. Like his fellow army generals in the Indian campaigns, Sheridan gained invaluable experience during the Civil War, where the diminutive officer (5'5") was nicknamed "Little Phil". Abraham Lincoln said of his small stature; "A brown, chunky little chap, with a long body, short legs, not enough neck to hang him, and such long arms that if his ankles itch he could scratch them without stooping". The general front & center Employing tactics he had successfully used against the Confederates , Sheridan called for surprise attacks on Plains Indians while they were in winter camps. Seemingly unconcerned about the probable high number of noncombatant casualties, Sheridan told his subordinates that "if a village is attacked and women and children killed, the responsibility is not with soldiers but with the people whose crimes necessitated the attack." One of his first successes came when Lt. Col. George Custer massacred Black Kettle's sleeping Cheyenne village on the Washita River. After succeeding General William T. Sherman as commander of the Department of the Missouri, Sheridan organized and led a campaign in the Texas Panhandle that proved to be the largest action against Kiowa, Comanche, and other Southern Plains Indians. During the summer of 1874, the U.S. Army conducted the Red River War, a series of as many as twenty running battles fought in the Panhandle. General Sheridan, it's architect, would brag that it was "the most successful of any Indian campaign in this country since its settlement by the whites". The uprisings that led to the war stemmed from the U.S. Army's failure to enforce the provisions of the Medicine Lodge Treaty banning whites from entering Indian lands. Buffalo hunters wiped out herds on the reservations, and government-issued rations proved insufficient, placing the tribes in a desperate situation. In 1885 Phil Sheridan served as the ninth president of the National Rifle Association. He also kept up a personal crusade starting as early as 1875 to preserve and create the national park we now know as Yellowstone. In 1890 and 1891 his image appeared on US Treasury $10 notes, the only person who was strictly military and not political to be so honored. In 1896 his bust appeared on the $5.00 silver certificate. These rare paper currencies are worth a lot more than their face value today. On November 1, 1883 he succeeded Gen. William T. Sherman as Commanding general of the U.S. Army and held that position until his death. On June 1, 1888 an Act of Congress promoted him to General of the Army of the United States, equivalent to a five-star general in today's Army. In August of that same year, at age 57, he died of heart failure surrounded by his family at their summer place up in Massachusetts. He rests at Arlington.