Clyde remembers its famous general, James McPherson

History buffs invited to free events on Saturday and Tuesday
Tom Jackson
Jul 24, 2014

Widely mourned after being killed by Confederates 150 years ago, Civil War General James B. McPherson is being remembered in his hometown.

Clyde Public Library is flying in a prominent Civil War historian from Texas for a lecture Saturday night that will be filmed by C-SPAN. The Clyde Heritage League will have special museum hours Saturday, and will have a series of events Tuesday to mark the 150th anniversary of McPherson's funeral.

The Army of the Tennessee, one of the major Union armies, was first commanded by Ulysses S. Grant and then William T. Sherman before McPherson took command. 

On July 22, 1864, during the Battle of Atlanta, McPherson suddenly encountered Confederate soldiers who told him to halt. When McPherson tried to ride away, he was shot and mortally wounded. Born in Clyde and buried there, McPherson was the second-highest ranking officer killed in the Civil War.

"He was very popular," said historian Steven E. Woodworth, a professor at Texas Christian University who will speak at Clyde Public Library Saturday. "He was a very charming, likable man by all accounts." As a general, McPherson was intelligent, thorough and showed good attention to detail, Woodworth said.

Woodworth has written or co-edited 31 books so far on Civil War topics, including his acclaimed tome, "Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865." It is his most popular book.

"It's probably the one I enjoyed most writing," Woodworth said. "That's the Civil War book that I always wanted to write."

Jill McCullough, adult services librarian at Clyde Public Library, coordinated Saturday's event. She said Woodworth's book about the Army of the Tennessee is excellent. 

"I thought, who better to talk about McPherson than Steven Woodworth?" she said. 

Money from the Thaddeus Hurd Fund paid to bring in Woodworth. Hurd, who died in the 1980s, also organized the Clyde Heritage League in 1975. 



McPherson events in Clyde:



Special museum hours: Clyde Historical Museum open from noon to 2 p.m., McPherson House open from 3 - 5 p.m.

Professor Steven Woodworth of Texas Christian University will speak on "General James B. McPherson and the Army of the Tennessee" at 7:30 p.m. at the Clyde High School auditorium. For information on free tickets, visit or call  419-547-7174.



12:30 p.m., wreath presentation at McPherson Cemetery featuring local officials. Reception follows at McPherson House, which will be open until 3 p.m. and and will feature refreshments and volunteers in period costume.

7 p.m., Atlanta historian Henry Bryant will share his Powerpoint presentation on "The Battle of Atlanta" at the Clyde Museum. 



The Major-General was born 14 November 1828 in a cabin along the Seneca Trail north of the Maumee and Western Reserve Pike in Green Creek (Township), Ohio.
Clyde was founded January 21, 1852.
In 1833 William and Cynthia McPherson moved into a house at the intersection of the two trails referred to as Hamer's Corners. The two-story Federal-style house was built in 1831 by a Mr. Gillilin.
In 1841 at age 12, McPherson moved to Stemtown (later Green Springs) where he lived with the Robert Smith family and worked in Smith's general store.
McPerson's father died in 1847 - the same year Mr. Smith sent him to Norwalk Academy.
In 1850 he enrolled at West Point where he graduated first in his class in 1853 - a year after Clyde was founded.
McPherson was NOT born in Clyde.
He's no less famous - but Green Springs has as much right to claim him in his formative years.


Corporal Robert Coleman, the CSA soldier who fired the fatal shot, was captured soon after and spent the rest of the war on Johnson's Island.

The Toledo Blade and The New York Times reported his funeral as being celebrated on July 28, 2014.