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General James McPherson, commanding the Union's Army of the Tennessee, is killed at the Battle of Atlanta

James Birdseye McPherson, detail
Major General James B. McPherson, the commander of the Union's Army of the Tennessee, had graduated at the head of his West Point class and was a friend of General John Bell Hood, then commanding the Confederate defense of Atlanta.  During the Battle of Atlanta, McPherson was riding to deploy his troops against a Confederate counter-attack when he encountered a group of Confederate skirmishers and was shot.  He was the second highest ranking Union officers to die in battle during the war.  He was thirty-five years old. (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Charles P. Roland, An American Iliad: The Story of the Civil War (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002), 184.