Monday, January 12, 2015

Why It's Called Sheridan Road in Chicago-- Part 3: Great Chicago Fire

As military commander of the Great Plains, General Philip Sheridan was headquartered in Chicago at the time of the Great Fire, and it was at that time that he "saved" the city.  He is credited with "Saving" Chicago three times.

FIRST, on that Oct. day, as the Great Chicago Fire spread, the flames initially stayed away from Sheridan's home on South Michigan Avenue, consuming the city's center and the North Side.  But as the massive inferno grew, it began to threaten the South Side.  That is when Sheridan began racing around blowing up buildings in the fire's path, denying it fuel.  He also had to battle for the necessary dynamite from others who didn't concede that the general probably had a better idea of what to do with it.

SECOND, he summoned Army troops to protect the city from looters and some criticized him as a would-be dictator.  But, Sheridan was always proud that little violence took place.  He did likewise during a second fire three years later.  (I didn't know about this one.)

THIRD, In 1877, when Communist riots threatened Chicago, Sheridan made a rapid journey of a thousand miles and "By appearance quickly upon the scene, and by wise and decisive action, rescued us for a third time from what might have been a public misfortune of no ordinary kind."

Chicago's Savior?  --RoadDog

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