National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
In this 1864 photograph, Union cavalry General Philip Sheridan stands beside his headquarters’ flag in the company of his division officers. The exact location is unknown, but that fall he was making a name for himself as his army began winning control of Virginia’s verdant Shenandoah Valley. This was an indispensable breadbasket for the Confederacy, which Sheridan systematically put to the torch. His victory at Cedar Creek, near Winchester, in mid-October earned him lasting fame and provided an important win for the Lincoln administration, which was seeking political momentum on the eve of the presidential election.