The Flask That Won the Battle
November 25, 1863
It is the battle of Missionary Ridge. Union general Philip Sheridan is at the base of a hill. He is instilling confidence in his men whilst he has his own liquid Confidence in his pocket. He is talking his men into a state of Great Spirit when he sees some Confederates peeking over the higher ground. Being a General and a gentleman, he took out his flask and while raising it up said, “Here’s to you”. The Confederates overlooking this scene were furious about this toast and opened with a volley of gunfire that splattered Sheridan’s men with dirt. With Sheridan’s toast so rudely interrupted, he turned to his assailants and roared, "That was ungenerous! I'll take your guns for that!” His men took this as his order to attack and stormed up the hill. Union General Ulysses S. Grant didn’t anticipate what was happening.
The Confederates got up and ran in retreat with an angry Sheridan on their tail. Sheridan didn’t stop until he realized that they had easily won this battle and he was the only Union General still fighting.
This was a battle that is speculated to have cost the South the war in the West.