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On October 19, 1864, Union General Philip Sheridan shouted to his defeated and retreating troops, “If you love your country, come up to the front!”  His troops were inspired by his words, bravery and leadership.  They turned around and followed him to the front where they defeated the rebels and helped Lincoln win reelection and helped save our country.  My campaign slogan comes from General Sheridan’s admonition to “Come Up to the Front!“


While I am passionate about my values and of my platform, they are not the reason I’m running for office.  The real reason is I love my country and I am worried about its future.  Like Sheridan’s troops, I am inspired by his words and have decided to help my country by running for office.  

I read about General Sheridan’s actions in October 1864 in James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom.  Here is the story:      

The time is Oct 1864.  President Lincoln was sure he was not going to be reelected the following month – the North was fed up with all the carnage on the battle fields – they just wanted the violence to end.  Lincoln needed military victories to win reelection. 


There was a Union general by the name of Philip Sheridan who was tasked with clearing out the rebels in the Shenandoah Valley.  His army was based near Cedar Creek, Virginia.  Across from Sheridan’s army was the rebel army commanded by Jubal Early.  


On October 18, Sheridan was in Washington D.C. conferring with military leaders.  He was supposed to spend the night of the 18th in Washington, but he decided to come back to Winchester, VA about 20 miles north of his army in Cedar Creek.  On the morning of October 19, Jubal Early’s army attacked the flank, or side, of Sheridan’s army.  It was a total surprise and a complete rout.  The Union soldiers started to run away to the north in panic.  

Sheridan was having breakfast in Winchester on the 19th when he heard artillery fire to the south.  He asked his staff what was going on.  They did not know, so Sheridan decided to ride south to see for himself.  He began the ride that became a legend in the north.


As Sheridan headed south, he encountered some of his petrified troops running north.  When they saw their leader they began to cheer him.  What Sheridan said to his retreating soldiers is one of the most inspirational and beautiful things every said by an American. And this is what Sheridan said:  (warning: profanity alert.  I am repeating these words in a historical context): “God damn you!  Don’t cheer me.  If you love your country, come up to the front!”  And you can guess the rest of the story – his troops turned around and followed Sheridan to the front, they counter-attacked and drove the rebels out the Shenandoah Valley forever.  Sheridan’s victory helped Lincoln win reelection and helped win the war. 


Thank you, General Sheridan.  

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