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The former Civil War Union general accepts the invitation of Ohio Senator John Sherman to act as Marshal for the Ceremonies at the dedication of the Washington Monument. Manuscript LS: "P.H.…"

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The former Civil War Union general accepts the invitation of Ohio Senator John Sherman to act as Marshal for the Ceremonies at the dedication of the Washington Monument.
Manuscript LS: "P.H. Sheridan" as Lieutenant General, 1½p, 7½ x 9¾ lined sheet, front and verso (hinged to show both sides of letter). Washington, D.C., 1884 December 12. On letterhead of Headquarters, Army of the United States to Hon. John Sherman, U.S. Senate. Begins: "My dear Sir". In full: "I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of December 11th. communicating the resolution unanimously adopted by the Commission, inviting me to 'act as Marshal on the day of the ceremonies, to arrange the details of the procession and assign to the different organizations their places in the line.'Accepting with pleasure the duty thus assigned me, I beg that you will convey to the commission my high appreciation of the distinguished honor conferred upon me."

Lieutenant General PHILIP HENRY SHERIDAN (1831-1888) wrote this letter to Ohio Senator and Chairman of the Washington Monument Dedication Commission, JOHN SHERMAN, who invited Sheridan to act as the Marshal of Ceremonies for the Monument dedication, to be held on February 21, 1885. The construction of the memorial to the first U.S. President General George Washington had commenced on July 4, 1848. On December 6, 1884, just six days before this letter, a flag was unfurled into gale-force winds to the cheers of gathered dignitaries and the work crew as the world's tallest structure at that time was capped and completed by a 100-ounce aluminum tip. The Commission to provide suitable ceremonies upon completion of the Washington Monument had been appointed by Congress on May 13, 1884. From this Commission, Senator Sherman was designated Chairman. As Chairman, Sherman would open the commencement and preside over the day's events, proclaiming the Monument to be "a fit memorial of the greatest character in human history."

Lieutenant General Sheridan, who had succeeded General William T. Sherman, the older brother of the Commission Chairman, as Commander in Chief of the Army, directed the arrangement of military divisions for the ceremonies. Sheridan also organized and established the route for the colorful procession, which he would lead. The dedication began at the Monument on a cold, clear morning at 11 a.m. with opening remarks by Chairman Sherman, a prayer and addresses by several dignitaries, including President Chester A. Arthur, who concluded the dedication with a short speech. The procession, masterly directed by Sheridan, then advanced along the heavily peopled route from the Monument, down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. Within the Halls of Congress, another prayer followed. Then, an oration of over 30 printed pages was read by Representative John D. Long, as prepared by Robert C. Winthrop, the retired House Speaker who initially addressed the 1848 ground breaking ceremony. The commemoration continued with a 40-page address by Virginia Senator John W. Daniel. The lengthy dedication ceremony concluded at 5 p.m. with a brief benediction. Sheridan's aggressive command during the Civil War (1861-1865) had earned him favored status with General Ulysses S. Grant and consecutive promotions culminating in the command of the Army of the Shenandoah and later Major General. After the war, Sheridan served at the Gulf of Mexico, commanded a successful Indian campaign that led to his promotion to Lieutenant General, and, by 1878, Sheridan was in command of western and southwestern divisions of the military. Due to his enormous success at every assignment, Sheridan was promoted to Commander in Chief of the Army prior to his selection as Marshal of Ceremonies for the Monument dedication. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Ink smudged at the "S" of Sheridan. Slightly soiled. Pinhead-size hole at upper left corner. Fine condition. Framed to an overall size of 36½ x 23.

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