Sheridan Square.

Ever been to the small triangle park at the intersection of Washington Place, West 4th Street, and Barrow Street? Good old Sheridan Square. Even has its own subway stop. So who the hell was Sheridan, and what’s so special about him that he gets his own Square?Sheridan SquareWell, the year was 1864, and the country was in the throes of the Civil War. A fellow by the name of General Philip Sheridan was appointed by Ulysses S. Grant as commander of the Army of the Shenandoah, where he was successful in routing the Confederate troops. A year later, his cavalry relentlessly pursued General Robert E. Lee and was instrumental in forcing his surrender at Appomattox using a series of scorched earth tactics later disturbingly coined, “The Burning.” In 1888, his career reached its apex when he was appointed General of the Army by President Cleveland. He passed away that same year, and he died a national hero (more so in the North, perhaps). Check out the picture below. Scrappy looking character, right? Check out the posture. Guy looks like he chews thumbtacks for fun.sheridan-600In any event, the decision was announced in 1896 to officially name the aforementioned triangle strip of land “Sheridan Square” after the General. It was not yet a “viewing garden” in the nineteenth century, but rather was used an open public space for political campaign speeches, community gatherings, drilling and marching, and a place for children to play. In 1918, the IRT subway station at Christopher Street/Sheridan Square opened, cementing Sheridan Square as Village fixture. Would Sheridan be happy to have a genteel little viewing garden named after him? We suspect he might spit some tobacco juice in your eye for suggesting it.

We'd love to hear what you think about this one.