Before and during his heroics during the Great Chicago Fire, Philip Sheridan was officer in charge of the removal of Native Americans from the Great Plains to reservations In 1867, he warned an assembly of tribes at Fort Laramie that they could not stop the white homesteaders moving west and, "If you don't chose your homes now it will be too late next year. We will build iron roads, and you cannot stop the locomotives any more than you can stop the sun or the moon."
He also championed a brutally effective way of "persuading" the Indians to move. he deprived tribes of food, women and children included, to get them to move. Sheridan was a man of his times, having to fight a brutal Civil War and bringing his tactics (and Sherman's) from it to this new war.
He was a firm believer in Manifest Destiny and determined to destroy anyone standing in his way.
Even so, the people of Chicago greatly admired the man. When he and his wife left for Washington to be commanding general of the Army, friends gave him an imposing home in Washington, D.C., as a going-away gift.