BORN: 1828 in Clyde, OH.
DIED: 1864 in Southeast of Atlanta, GA.
CAMPAIGNS: Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, Shiloh, West Tennessee, Vicksburg, Champion's Hill, Meridian, Atlanta, Snake Creek Gap.
James Birdseye McPherson in Clyde, Ohio, on November 14, 1828. He grew up in poverty but, through the help of a merchant with whom he was friendly, he obtained an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point. Graduating first in his class in 1853, he was placed in the Corps of Engineers, and was reputed to be a highly promising young officer. When the Civil War began, he became an aide to Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck, who was chief engineer to Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant. McPherson took part in the Campaigns of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, the Battle of Shiloh and the Union occupation of West Tennessee. He was promoted to brigadier general on August 19, 1862, then to major general after two months. Performing well in the Vicksburg Campaign, and his corps played an important role in the Union victory at the Battle of Champion's Hill in May of 1863. After participating in Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's Meridian Campaign in Mississippi, McPherson took command of the Army of the Tennessee. In early May, he was unable to maneuver through the Snake Creek Gap to hit the rear of the Confederate retreat at the beginning of the Atlanta Campaign. Later, Sherman sent McPherson and his army to outflank the Confederate defense lines southeast of Atlanta, Georgia, on July 22, 1864. The Confederates, however, had a surprise counterattack prepared. McPherson rode up to investigate, ran into a group of Confederate troops, then was shot and killed as he tried to escape.