4. Places and Streets named after Civil War people

Colorado Springs Streets

The legacy of the American Civil War (1861-1865) can be seen in places named after prominent people from that time.  Colorado was, essentially, a pro-Union territory--it never sided with the seceded Southern states--and it had several regiments that fought for the Union.  The streets bordering the park where the upcoming Pikes Peak Celtic Festival in Colorado Springs will be held are named for several prominent Union generals and admirals. 

From east-to-west, starting with the street on the east side of Memorial Park (which is now the best way to get to the Festival) is "Union Blvd.", then Meade Ave. (named for General George Gordon Meade, the commanding general of the Union Army of the Potomac, which defeated Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army at Gettysburg).   The 79th NY Highlanders were part of Meade's Army of the Potomac from the Spring of 1864 until the end of the war in April of 1865.

The next street is Farragut Ave., which also bisects the park, is named after one of the Union's best naval commanders: Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, famous for saying, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" (In the Civil War, a torpedo was a tethered naval sea-mine, used to deny passage to ships that might attack or try to enter a harbor or bay.  In this case, it was the attack on Mobile Bay, Alabama.  Farragut's ship, leading the attack, found itself in the middle of a mine field, and the attack was faltering...but not for long.  Yes, an Iron-clad ship was sunk and there were some damaged ships, but the Union Navy won the day--and the best port in the South was captured.) 

Interestingly, Farragut's birthplace, Campbell's Station, Tennessee, was a battlefield were the 79th NY Highlanders fought on Nov. 16, 1863, as a lead-up to being besieged at Knoxville by Confederate General Longstreet and his corps.  The siege lasted from Nov. 17 through to Dec. 4, but the crisis was when Longstreet sent several brigades to attack the key defensive feature, Fort Sanders, which was held by the 79th NY on Nov. 29; the assault was repulsed and Sgt. Frances Judge of the 79th won the Medal of Honor.  Campbell's Station was renamed Farragut in honor of the Admiral... who was the first American naval officer to be made a four-star "full admiral" in 1866.  He was also a pall-bearer for the funeral of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

After Farragut Ave, is Logan Ave., named for General John A. Logan, who was a famous and successful "politician general," having been Congressman from Illinois.  He commanded troops and fought in the Vicksburg campaign, and later at Chattanooga and then into Georgia with the battles around Atlanta.  There, he took over as commander of the Union Army of the Tennessee, when its commander, James McPherson, was killed in battle.  He is credited with establishing Memorial Day as a national day of remembrance, now a national holiday.  In Colorado, there is a Logan County (Sterling is the county seat), Fort Logan is named after him.  (There is a Mount Logan, in Colorado, also named after him; elevation 12,870 feet, near Mt. Evans.)  Logan House, in Wilmington, Delaware, is that state's oldest Irish Pub...and it's named after him.

One block west of Logan Ave., is Foote Ave., named for the naval officer who helped Grant win his early battles at Ft. Henry and at Ft. Donaldson in Tennessee.  Andrew Hull Foote was the commodore in charge of the river gunboats.  Before the war, he commanded a ship sent to the West African coast to suppress the slave trade, and became an abolitionist.  He also was a temperance leader in the navy and his efforts (among others) led to the discontinuance of issuing Grog to sailors aboard ship.  To this day, the U.S. Navy ships are "dry" (except of medicinal purposes).  Surprisingly, Foote, having been promoted to 2-star rank, and slated to command the blockading squadron on the Gulf Coast, died suddenly in New York City in 1863, to the shock of the nation, which regarded him as a hero.

In this series of streets, there are two remaining: Sheridan Ave. and Hancock Ave.  I've written quite a lot, already, and giving Philip Henry Sheridan his due, would take up as much space as all the others, combined, but he has a hell of a history.  Yes, he was controversial.  And he was a fighter like almost no other.  Born of Irish parents (from County Craven) in Albany, NY, he grew up in Ohio, went to West Point and was in Oregon when the Civil War started.  Coming east (via Panama), he eventually was appointed Colonel of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry and served with distinction (and rising in rank) everywhere he went.  His leadership with the Cavalry Corps led to the defeat (and death) of Confederate Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart and the demise of the once vaunted Rebel cavalry. 

Sheridan was magnificent in battle, changing defeat into victory at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia on Oct. 19, 1864, which really helped get Lincoln re-elected.  His aggressive leadership of a part of the Army of the Potomac in out-flanking and out-marching Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army, resulted in Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.  

In a few weeks after that, he was especially sent to command the occupation of Texas and help hasten the exit of the French from Mexico (which they left in 1866).  As military governor of the district that included Texas and Louisiana, he ended up dismissing (throwing out of office) both states' governors, the mayor of New Orleans, the Louisiana attorney general and a district court judge (these in connection with the white riot in New Orleans that resulted the deaths of 34 black citizens).  The Texans hated him, and he felt the same way about them.  A great quote from Sheridan: "If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell."

Sheridan is controversial to this day, in his treatment of the Native American nations (tribes).  With the troubles that began with the events leading up to the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864, and the westward expansion of white settlement of the Plains (pushed by railroad building), Sheridan took over from Hancock the western command in 1866.  When the chief of the fierce Comanches said that "I'm a good Indian," Sheridan's response was the now famous (or infamous) "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."  (That wasn't his exacts words, but that's how the quote is now known.)  He brought to the Indian Wars, the same heavy hand that he laid on the Shenandoah Valley during 1864.

One final and surprising note in a noteworthy life: Sheridan may have helped save Yellowstone National Park from over-development and mismanagement.  He fought the railroad interests and lobbied Congress for the expansion of the Park and exposed and remedied mismanagment and corruption by eventually stationing a troop of the U.S. 1st Cavalry there.  Ken Burns says that that action and his help to others concerned with the Park may have been the critical factor.  The army managed the Park from 1886 until 1916, when the National Park Service was created.

The city of Sheridan, in the Denver Metro Area, is named after him, as well as Sheridan, Wyoming.  Mount Sheridan in Yellowstone National Park is also named in his honor, as well as Mount Sheridan (13,748 feet in elevation, next to Mount Sherman) near Leadville, Colorado.

Finally, Hancock Ave.  Named for Winfield Scott Hancock, he was nicknamed "Hancock the Superb," and is credited in helping win the Battle of Gettysburg and being a heroic and effective Union General.  Like Sheridan (actually before Sheridan), he helped get Yellowstone made into a National Park, by helping transport and protect survey parties and legislators to the area.  Mount Hancock in Yellowstone is named for him.  In Colorado, there is a Hancock Pass (12,280) and a Hancock Peak (13,111) in Chaffee County, on the Continental Divide, a bit north of Monarch Pass, name for him.

A few blocks further west is Custer Ave., but that's not part of this street sequence, so I'm not writing a tome about him.  That could come later.