Monday, August 22, 2005

Where Exactly Is General Sheridan's Old Town Home?

NOB HILL--A guest blogger on the Duke City Fix has just posted a link to the New York Public Library Digital interesting selection of vintage postcards. One of them is of General Phil Sheridan's home in Old Town. It is his wife's house, actually. Does anyone know of the exact location of this house? It sure deserves to be noted somewhere.

When I was a college student in Chicago I remember a magnificent statue of Sheridan on his horse. That was the extent of my knowledge at that time.

General Sheridan is most famous for 2 things: his remark (later denied) that "The only good Indian is a dead one." and his laying waste to the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. He believed in total warfare.

I am not sure that the General himself ever lived here, although he was Commander-In-Chief of the US Army during the time of Geronimo's surrender at Skeleton Canyon. He died in 1888. The postcard was copyrighted in 1902. Maybe his wife lived here after his death. In any case, I wish I knew more about an Albuquerque connection.

Any help out there?

1 comment:

Joe Sabatini said...

As part of the Albuquerque Tricentennial, the New Mexico Postcard Club and the Special Collections Library of the Albuquerque/ Bernalillo County Library System assembled a large exhibit of historic Albuquerque postcards on panels which are currently rotating among sixteen of our branch libraries. Among the 700 postcards in the exhibit is one of “General Sheridan’s House”. Here is some information we gathered about it:

The building shown on the postcard was the home of the last Mexican governor of New Mexico, Manuel Armijo (1790-1853). This building was torn down around 1910, and merchant Charles A. Bottger built a new home on the site. This home, at 110 San Felipe NW, is currently the Bottger Mansion of Old Town Bed and Breakfast. Byron Johnson describes the Bottger property and the Armijo antecedent on page 102 of his book "Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico: A Guide to Its History and Architecture.”

Howard Bryan wrote an "Off the Beaten Path" column in the February 5, 1959 Albuquerque Tribune, using material from newspaper accounts of Sheridan's visit to Albuquerque on December 3, 1885. Sheridan came for the purpose of checking on the house where his wife, Irene Rucker Sheridan (1856-1939), believed that she had been born. She was the first daughter of Major (later Brigadier General) Daniel H. Rucker, who was assigned to the Albuquerque garrison as the quartermaster. Biographical information about Mrs. Sheridan appears on the website of the Arlington National Cemetery, where the two are buried. When Sheridan inspected the house, a passerby informed him that Irene had not been born there, but at Fort Union, N.M. Two younger sisters definitely were born in the house, in the short time before the Civil War while the Rucker family was posted in Albuquerque. The couple were married in 1875, when he was 44 and she was 19. They had four children before he died in 1888. One son had a military career which brought him to Columbus, NM after the Villa Raid.

For additional information about the postcard exhibit, please call Joe Sabatini at the Special Collections Library, 848-1376.