General James B. McPherson, Thanks

I love Washington, DC for the embassies, museums and restaurants.  I love it for Howard University and also for being the center of power for my country.  Recently, I have taken notice of some of the statues that are placed there.  I was staying in DC for the party of Jon Wright when I noticed a statue of General James B. McPherson situated right in the middle of a park.  McPherson Square is the site of a Metro Station and walking distance from the Hamilton Hotel.  I have always loved history and wanted to do some research on the inspiration for the statue.

James Birdseye McPherson was born on November 14th, 1828 in Clyde, Ohio.  Clyde is a very small town and a Google search shows not too much of importance.  It is five square miles and only has 6,000 people according to the 2010 Census.  It provided the foundation for a historical figure that would play a pivotal role in the Civil War.  General McPherson graduated first in his class from the U.S. Military Academy in 1853.  One of his classmates was John Bell Hood who would later oppose him in the Civil War.  He was appointed to the Army Corps of Engineers and later taught at this institution.  He was one of the highest ranking military officers killed in the Civil War.

General McPherson must have been totally dedicated to the military.  His biography mentions a fiancee briefly.  He wanted to get married upon his retirement from the military.  His legacy is outstanding though.  He has an elementary school named after him in Chicago.  Route 20-S is also named for him.  In addition he has a twenty acre National Cemetery named in his honor.  To top this off, he had currency printed with his image and has numerous Counties named after him in various states.  I was wondering about this enigmatic figure sitting on a horse in Downtown DC.

Mr. McPherson was working in San Francisco, CA when he felt the need to come back East in 1861.  The Civil War, one of the deadliest in US history. was beginning to rage in various parts of the country.  He was a chief engineer under Ulysses S. Grant.  I rode past a statue of General Grant on Kelly Drive and will do some additional research on him in the near future.  I like to expand my horizons as a Blogger.  There is so much to explore and find out in the world.  In March of 1864 he was given command of the Army of Tennessee.  In July of 1964 he would be killed during the Battle of Atlanta.  He died 99 years before I was born.  He was fighting on the right side of the war in my opinion.

General McPherson is a major character in an alternate history novel by Newt Gingrich entitled Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory.  He was also involved in the Battle of Corinth in Mississippi in 1862.  On paper, the Union Victory in the war ended slavery and the involuntary servitude of thousands of African Americans.  In reality, it paved the way for discussions about race and class that continue with the State of the Union address given by President Barak Obama last night.   I thank General James McPherson for his service to our country and enjoyed researching his life.

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