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 campaign, 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 campaign he ably commanded the Army of the Tennessee until he was killed in the battle of Atlanta (July 22).
See biography by E. J. Whaley (1955).