McPherson, James Birdseye

McPherson, James Birdseye,

1828–64, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Sandusky co., Ohio. After teaching (1853–54) at West Point, he worked on various engineering projects. In the Civil War, he became aide-de-camp to General Halleck in Missouri and then chief engineer to Ulysses S. Grant in the Union advance through Tennessee. McPherson, promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in May, 1862, and major general in October, commanded the 17th Corps in the Vicksburg campaignVicksburg campaign,
in the American Civil War, the fighting (Nov., 1862–July, 1863) for control of the Mississippi River. The Union wanted such control in order to split the Confederacy and to restore free commerce to the politically important Northwest.
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, distinguishing himself at Port Gibson and Raymond. He commanded the Dist. of Vicksburg (July, 1863–Mar., 1864) and upon Grant's recommendation was made a brigadier general in the regular army (Aug., 1863). In the Atlanta campaignAtlanta campaign,
May–Sept., 1864, of the U.S. Civil War. In the spring of 1864, Gen. W. T. Sherman concentrated the Union armies of G. H. Thomas, J. B. McPherson, and J. M. Schofield around Chattanooga.
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 he ably commanded the Army of the Tennessee until he was killed in the battle of Atlanta (July 22).

Bibliography

See biography by E. J. Whaley (1955).

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