Portrait of James B. McPherson

James B. McPherson was killed by Confederate fire during the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864. [Wikimedia Commons]

James Birdseye McPherson - Facts

November 14, 1828 - July 22, 1864

Key facts about Major General James Birdseye McPherson who was killed while commanding the Army of the Tennessee during the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864.

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Full Name:

  • James Birdseye McPherson

Birth Date:

  • November 14, 1828

Birth Location:

  • Clyde, Ohio (then known as Hamer’s Corners)

Parents:

  • William R. and Cynthia (Russell) McPherson

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1853)

Occupation:

  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Colonel (USA)
  • Major General (USVA)
  • Army of the Tennessee commander

Spouse:

  • None

Place of Death:

  • Atlanta, Georgia

Date of Death:

  • July 22, 1864

Place of Burial:

  • McPherson Cemetery, Clyde, Ohio

Significance:

  • James B. McPherson attended Norwalk Academy in Ohio.
  • James B. McPherson entered the United States Military Academy in 1849 and graduated in 1853, first in his class.
  • James B. McPherson’s classmates at the United States Military Academy included Philip H. Sheridan, John M. Schofield, and John Bell Hood.
  • James B. McPherson was commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant with the Corps of Engineers on July 1, 1853.
  • James B. McPherson was an assistant instructor of practical engineering at the Military Academy from 1853-1854.
  • From 1854 to 1857, James B. McPherson served as assistant engineer working on the defenses of the harbor of New York and the improvement of Hudson River.
  • In 1857 James B. McPherson supervised the building of Fort Delaware.
  • From 1857-1861, James B. McPherson was the lead engineer of the construction of the defenses of Alcatraz Island, at San Francisco, California.
  • In 1858, James B. McPherson was promoted to first lieutenant.
  • In 1861, James B. McPherson was promoted to captain.
  • At the beginning of the American Civil War, James B. McPherson was transferred from California to Boston and then to St. Louis, where he served as aide-de-camp to Major General Henry Halleck.
  • James B. McPherson was promoted to lieutenant colonel and he served as Ulysses S. Grant’s chief engineer during the capture of Forts Henry (February 6, 1862) and Donelson (February 11–16, 1862).
  • James B. McPherson served with Ulysses S. Grant’s army at the Battle of Shiloh (April 6–7, 1862).
  • James B. McPherson was the chief engineer in charge of the approaches to Corinth at the Siege of Corinth (April 29 to May 30, 1862).
  • James B. McPherson was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on August 19, 1862 (effective May 15, 1862).
  • For his gallantry at Corinth James B. McPherson was promoted to major general of volunteers on October 8, 1862.
  • James B. McPherson commanded the 17th Corps of the Army of the Tennessee during Ulysses S. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign (December 26, 1862–July 4, 1863).
  • James B. McPherson was promoted to brigadier-general in the regular army, dating from Aug. 1, 1863.
  • James B. McPherson succeeded William T. Sherman as commander of the Army of the Tennessee on March 26, 1864.
  • James B. McPherson distinguished himself at Resaca, Dallas, Allatoona, Kolb’s Farm, and Kennesaw Mountain during William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign
  • James B. McPherson was killed by Confederate fire during the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title James Birdseye McPherson - Facts
  • Coverage November 14, 1828 - July 22, 1864
  • Author
  • Keywords james b. mcpherson
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 30, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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