People

Civil War Streets: James Birdseye McPherson

By Mark Pearson

After General Whipple, the next street that we cross is McPherson named after James Birdseye McPherson. He was born on November 14, 1828, in Clyde Ohio. He also attended West Point and was top of his class. Those who graduated with him also became some of the most well-known commanders on both sides during the Civil War. He was placed in the Corps of Engineers and as part of his service, he worked on the defenses on Alcatraz Island. While stationed in San Francisco, California he met a girl from Baltimore Maryland by the name of Emily Hoffman. After being recalled back east, he worked on designing and building fortifications and harbor defenses in New York State.

When the war started he was transferred to the western theater where he was promoted to Major General of volunteers. He served under General Grant and ended up as commander of the Army of Tennessee. At this time he was engaged to marry Emily and requested and was granted leave to go home and marry her. General Sherman revoked his leave because he felt that James was needed in the upcoming campaign against Atlanta Georgia. He never got the chance to marry Miss Hoffman as he was killed outside of Atlanta. At this point he was the second highest ranking general to perish during the war, General Sedgewick being the highest. (Remember him?)

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Emily Hoffman never got over her General, never married and lived out her life in lonely seclusion. She died in 1891 the same year as General Sherman. General McPherson’s house still stands and several streets are named after him as well as schools and parks. Cemeteries including the one that he is buried in have been named after him and he also was pictured on the 2 dollar bill printed in 1890.

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Mark E. Pearson was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo.  In 1970 he moved to Michigan where he met and married the girl of his dreams, Mary Lou Davis, together they have two sons.  He attended Briercrest Bible Institute in Saskatchewan, Canada, and later received his associate’s degree in business from St. Clair Community College.  He was a bookkeeper and worked in retail sales for 30 years and has spent the last fifteen years as a Jeweler at Coughlin’s Jewelers in St Clair, MI.  He is a voracious reader of history and as a result of being an avid reader he began to write short stories and articles for editorial columns and magazines on current events and comparing and relating past events to current happenings.  

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Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

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