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School History

Our Namesake: James B. McPherson
James Birdseye McPherson was a prominent United States Army officer during the American Civil War, serving as a general in the Union Army. Born on November 14, 1828, in Clyde, Ohio, McPherson graduated first in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1853. He quickly rose through the ranks and played key roles in various military campaigns, including the capture of forts Henry and Donelson in 1862.
Tragically, McPherson met his end at the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, where he faced the army of his old West Point classmate John Bell Hood. McPherson was the second-highest-ranking Union officer killed in action during the war. Despite facing criticism for the outcome of some battles, McPherson's character and military leadership were widely respected.
Following his death, General William T. Sherman, who worked closely with McPherson, expressed deep sorrow and admiration for his fallen comrade. McPherson's legacy is memorialized in various ways, including the naming of forts, squares, counties, and schools in his honor. His image even appeared on U.S. paper money in 1890 and 1891.