Eastern Theatre

 

 

Philip Henry Sheridan

Alfred Thomas Torbert

Commanding General

Commanding General

August 7, 1864 - April 22, 1865

April 22, 1865 - June 27, 1865

   
Although a Union force under Robert Patterson was briefly designated Army of the Shenandoah in the summer of 1861, the designation truly belongs to the army formed by U]ysses S. Grant in 1864 in response to Jubal Early's raid into Northern territory, during which Early's 15,000 troops posed the only serious Confederate threat to Washington, D.C. Placed under the command of cavalry general Philip H. Sheridan, the Army of the Shenandoah was directed to "pursue Early to the death." Its second objective was to destroy the fertile valley's capacity to be a source of re-supply for Confederate Army regulars and for the guerrilla units that plagued Union troops in the area. Sheridan and his men accomplished both objectives. They smashed Early's Confederates in a series of engagements from late September to late October (and defeated the remnants in March 1865), and then confiscated or destroyed all militarily useful materials in the valley--including crops and livestock. They left only bare subsistence for most of the valley's inhabitants. Units of the army were subsequently, detached. Sheridan joined Grant outside Petersburg, and another Army of the Shenandoah corps joined Sherman in Savannah, Georgia. The much depleted Army of the Shenandoah was an army of occupation in the valley until the force was abolished on June 27, 1865.
   
My Source: The Library Of Congress Desk Reference