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Atlanta Constitution Magazine

Sunday June 29, 1930

McPhersons Last Ride


The Route Taken by the Commander of the Army of the Tennessee, When He Kept His Rendezvous With eath! "uly ##, $%&' By Wilbur ! "urt#

Readers of Hillaire Bellocs Marie Antoinette cannot fail to remember the account of the last stage of the royal partys flight to Varennes, where rouet, the postmaster of !te Menehould, and his companion, "uillame, made that ha#ardous night ride in the Argonne $orest, and, o%erta&ing the &ings carriage almost in the midst of Bouilles army, not only pre%ented 'ouis (V)s escape, but changed the entire program of the $rench Re%olution* +he incident inspires the Anglo,$rench author to obser%e that a man callous or wearied by study might still disco%er in the pursuit of History one last delight- the presence in all its record of superhuman irony* Belloc finds still another delight, for to this memorable incident, he adds a bit of historical research that lifts it to a more intimate le%el of interest* +he author too& the trouble to personally e.amine the ground where these e%ents occurred, and, going beyond the mere recorded details e.tant, adduced findings that complete the story in all its dimensions* By careful a obser%ations of the time element and the lay of the land, Belloc e.amined the route ta&en by two e.,dragoons in ma&ing the cross,country ride that carried them from the /ac0ues and 'ocheres $arms, to Varennes, some moments ahead of the royal carriage* By process of elimination and deduction, consideration of terrain and obstructions, and the all,important close figuring of minutes, we are con%inced that Bellocs findings are correct, and that such episodes are not entirely confined to romances and scenarios* +his last stage of the celebrated flight of the &ing and 0ueen too& place on the night of /une 12, 2342, and Bellocs researches were o%er an hundred years later5 6ot of such outstanding general interest as the abo%e, but pertinent to any narrati%e of military operations around Atlanta, in 2789, is the episode of "eneral /ames B* Mc:hersons ride from the Augustus Hurt house, then standing on what is now &nown as ;openhill, to the Battlefield where the Army of the +ennesssee was meeting the surprise attac& from Hardees ;orps to the woods of <ast Atlanta* Recorded history usually ignores much that is regarded as tri%ial detail* )t is only the curious camp,followers in the march of e%ents, who garner facts fre0uently styled

the dross of history, but to these trifling chroniclers, as /ohn Hay &indly calls them, we owe much that ma&es history interesting and entertaining* !o in the published narrati%e of the /uly days of 2789, when two mighty armies battled for the possession of Atlanta, the reader is told that when "eneral Mc:herson heard the firing on the left of his line, he mounted his horse and rode from !hermans head0uarters to see for himself what was going on* 6ot a line in the official records tells what route he too& in ma&ing this ride* +his is not unusual* $ront line acti%ities are more important, and assaults, withdrawals or shifts are carefully reported, but rear,line mo%ements among field and staff officers are indi%idual matters, and only occasionally mentioned* But in this case, the ground co%ered is not now in an area of farmsteads or a wooded wilderness, as it was then, and as much as the battlefield area west of =enesaw Mountain still remains, Atlanta has spread out and co%ered nearly e%ery s0uare foot of terrain in 0uestion* :a%ed streets, shaded a%enues, business districts and all manner of residences from the stately domicile to the negro cottage occupy the once war,torn plantations, the occasional dusty highway, and criss,crossing of field roads* )n addition to accurate &nowledge of places where past history was made, the monuments, if any, howe%er elo0uent and monotory, bear scant relation thereto, amid changed and contrasting en%ironment* +here is such a monument to "eneral Mc:herson, and though it bears his name, nought else is %ouchsafed* <%en though it recited that here was the end of the generals last ride> that here the commanding general of the Army of the +ennessee was shot from his horse we would still fail to %isuali#e the e%ent as it happened* :laced at the intersection of what is now two streets, with peaceful residences about, we completely lose the bac&ground of narrow roadway cut through the tall pines, the pushing lines of smo&e,begrimed men, the rattle of mus&etry and the shouting of the captains* Bac&ward then to /uly, 2789, we must loo& and endea%or to %isuali#e e%ents and establish the relationship between the Mc:herson Monument in <ast Atlanta and the big bric& orphanage on ;openhill* +he Army of the +ennessee, commanded by Mc:herson, consisted of three corps, the 2?th, 28th, and 23th, commanded respecti%ely by 'ogan, odge, and Blair* By the afternoon of /uly 12, this army had reached a position east of Atlanta, generally along the present @hitefoord a%enueAthe 23th ;orps somewhat nearer the city* "eneral 'eggett, of that corps, ha%ing captured the high hill that morning which still bears his name* $ullers i%ision of the 28th ;orpsAmostly Morrills brigade, too& position during the afternoon between 'eggetts Hill and the present Mc:herson a%enue* At B p*m*, /uly 12, Mc:herson, o%er south of the "eorgia railroad, wrote !herman a dispatch, which was among the last he indited* )n it, Mc:herson reported that "eneral 'eggett of the Brd di%ision, 23th ;orps, had captured a high hill that o%erloo&ed Atlanta Cthe hill pre%iously mentionedD, which mo%e had entailed a loss of nearly BEE &illed and wounded* $urthermore, he had fortified the hill, and placed the entire 23th ;orps there* He adds- ) ha%e strengthened that portion of the line with all the a%ailable troops ) ha%e got, and will simply remar& in closing that ) ha%e no ca%alry as a body of obser%ation on my flan&, and that the whole rebel army, e.cept "eorgia militia, is not in front of the Army of the ;umberland* )ndeed, he had no ca%alry, for !herman had that same day sent "arrard and his horsemen eastward to ;o%ington to burn bridges* Mc:hersons mention of his lac& of

ca%alry sounds li&e a reproach, and in the se0uel, we are con%inced that Hardees ;orps would ne%er ha%e marched undetected to the rear of the +ennessee army, and to that strip of pine woods where that armys commander ended his last ride* +he last clause of the dispatch is reminiscent of Hoo&ers famous message from the =olb $arm /une 1E, when he told !herman that the entire ;onfederate army was in his front5 !herman replied with an order directing Mc:herson to e.tend his line no farther than leftward of the hill and to employ the 28th ;orps, most of which was in reser%e north of the railroad, to lift e%ery rail and to burn e%ery tie of the "eorgia railroad between ecatur and the ad%anced s&irmish line toward Atlanta* +he destruction of the railroad was the sole purpose for which the +ennessee army had mo%ed to the east of Atlanta, and after this was accomplished, the same troops would be mo%ed west of the city, against the other two railroads* Mc:hersons dispatch was recei%ed by !herman at his head0uarters at the intersection of 6orth ecatur and Briarcliff Roads, the e%ening of the 12st, and early the ne.t morning he sent the reply* Also, on the morning of the 11nd, the outer ;onfederate line was abandoned, and the federal troops mo%ed forward into them* !herman, in person, rode to the summit of what we now &now as ;openhill, and at the Augustus $* Hurt houseAmiscalled the Howard houseAhe established field head0uarters* Mc:herson spent his last night on earth at his head0uarters tent Fust south of the railroad, near where <ast 'a&e ri%e crosses* "eneral odge Foined him the ne.t morning, the 11nd, and together they rode toward Atlanta on e=alb a%enue, much concerned as to what the ;onfederates intended doing, since they had e%acuated their outer line* +hey rode forward within mus&et shot of the ;onfederate lines* Mc:herson concluded that whate%er was intended, the left of his line needed strengthening, and he ordered odge to send !weenys di%ision from north of the railroad to a point in rear or east of 'eggetts Hill and the 23th ;orps* odge put !weeny in motion and he marched %ia ;lay Road C;lay streetD, which went westward at $air street* Meanwhile Mc:herson and staff galloped o%er to 'eggetts Hill and Foined Blair in an inspection of ;onfederate lines, plainly seen across the %alley of <ntrenchment ;ree&* Mc:herson and Blair decided to ta&e no chances, and orders were issued to strongly fortify the Hill* "iles A* !miths di%ision Cformerly "reshamsD of the 23th ;orps, ha%ing been crowded out of line, was placed southward of the hill, e.tending the intrenched line a little beyond the present intersection of $lat !hoals road and "lenwood A%enue* +he officers speculated much on what they saw across the %alley- A considerable mo%ement of troops was %isible, trending southward, and a large number of the citi#enry were perched upon the roofs of distant houses as if e.pecting to witness something imminent* Mc:herson declared, according to Blair, that the troops seen in motion were e%acuating the city and the spectators were in position to behold the triumphant entrance of the federal army into Atlanta* 'ittle did he suspect the plans of his former @est :oint classmate5 $or "eneral Hood was getting ready for a second sortie, and Hardees ;orps was already in the thic&ets near the intersection of $lat !hoals and the middle Mc onough road* +he troops seen in motion were shifts in ;heathams line near "rant par&, and the spectators were there to behold the impending battle5 Mc:herson and Blair left the hill, and %ia the present Mc:herson a%enue, then an indifferent country road through pine woods, they galloped eastward to a sharp turn

northward* All the narrati%es are most reticent as to the time of day* @e are merely told of certain comings and goings, and that the battle began about noon and lasted until dar&* @e do get, howe%er, the %i%id picture of a hot /uly morning, a sultry atmosphere, the fe%erish, uncertain and ominous feel of something portending* )t must ha%e been 2E a*m* or later, when Mc:herson and Blair separated at the latters head0uarters Cnear the new @hitefoord public schoolD* +he commander of the +ennessee Army had se%eral things to report to !herman, so with his staff, he rode o%er to !hermans head0uarters at ;openhill* !hermans report states that he and !chofield were on the hill about 2E a*m* e.amining the appearance of the enemys line opposing the distillery* @hile thus engaged, Mc:herson and staff clattered up* +his was probably about 22 ocloc&* !herman and Mc:herson dismounted and wal&ed bac& to the big house and sat on the steps* !herman has recorded much of their con%ersation, and e%en described how his lieutenant was dressed, for it was the last time he saw him ali%e* "eneral Hood, appointed /uly 23, to replace "eneral /oseph <* /ohnston, seems to ha%e been the first subFect of con%ersation* Mc:herson and Hood had been classmates at @est :oint, along with !chofield and !heridan, and !herman in0uired of Mc:herson as to Hoods general character* @hat Mc:herson actually said is not recorded, but Hoods recent conduct at =olbs farm, Fust a month pre%iously, and Mc:hersons estimate of him, caused the two of them to agree that they should be unusually cautious and prepared at all times for sallies and for hard fighting, because Hood, though not deemed much of a scholar, or of great mental capacity, was undoubtedly a bra%e, determined, and rash man> and the change of commanders at that particular crisis argued the displeasure of the ;onfederate go%ernment, with the caution, but prudent conduct, of "eneral /oseph /ohnston* Mc:hersons purpose in this %isit was then made &nown* He had gotten the order to put the 28th ;orps to wor& destroying the railroad, after that corps had been sent southward to strengthen the left of the line where it was needed, and, as for the railroad, the pioneer corps could attend to that* At 'eggetts Hill he proposed to erect hea%y batteries to shell the rolling mills Con the present site of the $ulton Bag and ;otton MillsD, and other buildings %isible behind the city fortifications* !herman assented to this program, and then the two of them wal&ed down the @illiams Mill road a short distance, where a map lay on the ground, and the two officers sat down at the foot of a tree and discussed future operations* !herman repeated, %erbally, the instructions sent that morning to Mc:herson, the copy of which the latter then had in his poc&et* Meanwhile, the s&irmishers down by the distillery were still acti%e, and an occasional cannon shot crashed through the leafy canopy of the hill, replying to the 1Bnd ;orps artillery posted down the slope* As they tal&ed, it was noticed that the gunfire became general along the ;umberland Armys line to the right, and was increasing in %olume leftward, where Mc:hersons own troops were posted* !oon, the %olume of mus&etry southward indicated more than mere s&irmishing, and punctuating it were distant reports of firing far to the left and rear, the direction being tested by !hermans poc&et compass, as being toward ecatur* 6o &nown facts warranted all this firing, so Mc:herson called for his horse to ride to the left of his line*

/ames Birdseye Mc:herson was not yet B8 years of age* His career had been notable* He was born in !andus&y, Ghio, 6o%ember 29, 2717, and was graduated from @est :oint in 27?B* He practiced engineering in the go%ernment employ, and taught it at @est :oint* @hen the war bro&e out, he raised a force of engineers, and later was aide to MaFor "eneral Hallec&* )n ecember, 2781, he was gi%en command of the 23th ;orps* His ser%ices in reinforcing Rosecrans after ;orinth, Gctober, 2781, won him the ran& of maFor general of %olunteers, and after the fall of Vic&sburg, he was commissioned brigadier general in the regular army* March 21, 2789, he succeeded "eneral !herman in command of the Army of the +ennessee* )n !hermans report, dated, Atlanta, !eptember 2?, 2789, he states that Mc:herson remained with me until near noon, when some reports reaching us that indicated a mo%ement of the enemy on that flan& Cthe leftD, he mounted and rode away with his staff* +hen the report continues with mention of the gun fire on the left and from the direction of ecatur, not heard until after Mc:hersons departure, this being the first actual warning of the opening battle* Hears later, when !herman wrote his Memoirs, he described the %isit of Mc:herson in detail, and stated that it was the sound of firing on the left that caused Mc:herson to hastily depart* /ust why this discrepancy in the two narrati%es is not e.plained* ;o. states that Mc:herson stopped near the railroad, en route to the left of the line, to confer with Blair and 'ogan, and all noticed the increasingly hea%y fire from the front of the 28th ;orps* +his was @al&ers and Bates assault, for Hardees ;onfederate forces had gotten in behind the 23th ;orps at 'eggetts Hill, and in the absence of federal ca%alry, had penetrated almost unobser%ed to !ugar ;ree& Valley, between "lenwood a%enue on the south> $air street on the north, and between Rogers street prolongation on the east, and $lat !hoals on the west* Had the attac& been made earlier in the day, the surprise would ha%e been complete, but by noon !weenys di%ision of the 28th ;orps was standing in the road, in column of fours, waiting for the word to mo%e to the left of the 23th ;orps line, at what is now the business district of <ast Atlanta* +he e.act position of !weenys di%ision we now &now as $air and ;lay streets* +he head of !weenys column was in $air street, a bloc& or so west of ;lay, and the rest of the line bent around into ;lay street, the di%ision ha%ing mo%ed from the north of the railroad* !o @al&er and Bate, mo%ing north and northwest, instead of deli%ering a surprise attac& in the rear of 2?th and 23th ;orps, marched right into the compact line of federals, who could not ha%e been better placed, had Hardee ser%ed ad%ance notice of his intentions5 A left,face was all that was necessary to place !weeny s0uarely across the front of @al&er and Bate, and here began the battle of Atlanta* )t was the hea%y firing here that apprised Mc:herson at !hermans head0uarters that the battle was Foined* Blair and 'ogan galloped to their commands, and Mc:herson, with his staff, hastened to where odge and the 28th ;orps were now rallying after the first thrust by @al&er and Bate* Mc:herson galloped forward to a hill that o%erloo&s !ugar ;ree& %alley, as described, where this spirited combat was ta&ing place* +his hill is now the beautiful site of the Murphy /unior High school, and Mc:hersons route placed him on the eastern slope of it, at or near where the deep cut of <ast !ide street is located, and a little south of

$air street* Here Mc:herson reined his horse to a standstill, and with 'ieutenant ;olonel @* <* !trong, watched the massed columns of @al&ers di%ision, three or four lines deep, mo%e out of the dense timber se%eral hundred yards from !weenys position, the right of which was well south of the present $air street, and east of the stream* ;olonel !trong describes the scene as grand and impressi%e* )t seemed to us that e%ery mounted officer of the attac&ing column was riding at the front or at the right or left of the first line of battle* +he regimental colors wa%ed and fluttered in ad%ance of the lines * * * +he assault was met by a deadly barrage of shell from 'airds 29th Ghio, and @el&ers batteries, posted on the hill Fust south of where ;lay street Foins $air* $ullers di%ision was on !weenys right, west of the stream, and directly in front of where Mc:herson had paused to watch the battle* @hile here, the general sent his aides with orders to right and left, until only one remained with him* +he wagon trains were ordered to a safer place> a message was sent to 'ogan to place his reser%e brigade C@angelinsD in the gap between $ullers right and 'eggetts Hill, and when @angelin had mo%ed to position, he was on the western slope of the &noll where the /unior High school buildings now stand* Ha%ing recei%ed se%eral messages from Blair that the left of his line Cat $lat !hoals and "lenwoodD was hotly engaged, Mc:herson galloped forward on the same road he was then on, and one that led to where !miths di%ision was being crowded by ;leburnes assault up $lat !hoals road* )t was the same route, now tra%ersed by Mc:herson, that he had ridden o%er, about 2E a*m*, when returning from 'eggetts Hill* 6o ;onfederate troops were in the immediate %icinity then, and it did not occur to him that the left,center of Hardees attac& could be near the road, with $ullers troops where they were* Het that was Fust what had happened* "o%ans and !miths C"ranburysD brigades of ;leburnes di%ision, had penetrated between <ast !ide street and $lat !hoals road to as far north as Mc:herson a%enue, and some of these troops were facing eastward, and mo%ing near and parallel to the a%enue, in their attac& on Morrills brigade of $ullers di%ision* $orward galloped Mc:herson, with his single aide* Blair, who had meanwhile reached the %icinity, saw the two horsemen mo%ing on the road> saw them disappear in the s&irt of timber> heard a %olley of mus&etry, and saw Mc:hersons horse, riderless, come tearing out of the woods5 +he general had gone southward from his stopping place toward $ullers troops who were hea%ily engaged in open ground south of Mc:herson a%enue, had turned sharply to the west, tra%ersing the road through open ground Cor only partly woodedD, and passing the rail fence on the left that mar&ed the boundary of field and wood A down a slight depression to a point west of a small stream line, and less than ?E feet from the fence* Here he galloped into ad%ancing line of s&irmishers5 +hey called out to him to surrender* He halted, lifted his hat by way of salute, and wheeled his horse around* +he %olley that was instant, unhorsed him, mortally wounded* +he aide also was wounded, and captured* +here are se%eral accounts e.tant that purport to be eye,witness narrati%es of Mc:hersons death* )n this ;onfederate s&irmish line were troops of the ?th ;onfederate regiment, then attached to !miths C"ranburysD brigade of ;leburnes di%ision* ;aptain Richard Beard, of this regiment, says- ) was ordered by "eneral ;leburne to ad%ance and ne%er halt until the enemys breastwor&s were ta&en* @e ran through a line of s&irmishers and too& them without firing a gun and suddenly came to the edge of a

narrow wagon road running parallel with our line of march, down which "eneral Mc:herson came thundering at the head of his staff* He came upon us suddenly* My own company had reached the %erge of the road when he disco%ered us, ) was so near him as to see the %ery features of his face* ) threw up my sword as a signal for him to surrender* He chec&ed his horse, raised his hat in salute, wheeled to the right, and dashed off to the rear in a gallop* ;orporal ;oleman, who was near me, was ordered to fire, and it was his shot that &illed "eneral Mc:herson* At the time that ;oleman fired, the general was bending forward passing under the branches of a tree> the ball ranged upward and passed near his heart* A %olley was fired at his fleeing staff* ) ran up to the general, who had fallen upon his &nees and face but he had no signs of life in him* Right by the generals side lay a signal officer of his staff, whose horse had been shot from under him, who, if hurt at all, was slightly wounded* He told me that the dead man was "eneral Mc:herson* Another account states that this same ;aptain Beard was in command of the Brd ;onfederate regiment of "o%ans brigade, ma&ing a difference of regiment and brigade* +he fre0uent shifts of regiments causes endless confusion* !till another account states that Robert * ;ompton, ;o* ), 19th +e.as regiment of !miths brigade, fired the fatal shot* Howe%er, ;aptain Beards account is so %i%id, that we must conclude that whate%er regiment he was in, or what brigade, he must ha%e seen all that he describes* All these troops were of ;leburnes di%ision, and no one has e%er 0uestioned that statement that none but ;leburnes troops were in s&irmish line on that part of the field* +he contro%ersy is confined to certain units of that di%ision only* )n the light of the preceding narrati%e of Mc:hersons death, "eneral Grders 6o* 7, of /uly 1E, 2789, issued by Assistant AdFutant "eneral A*/* Ale.ander at 23th ;orps head0uarters, ma&es curious reading* )n this publication, :ri%ate "eorge /* Reynolds, ;ompany, 2?th )owa Regt*, is awarded a gold medal for administering aid and comfort to the dying Mc:herson whom he found lying in the woods* )t is recited that Reynolds had been shot in the arm while on the s&irmish line Chis regiment was then at "lenwood a%enue at the foot of Haas a%enueD* )n attempting to escape capture, he came upon his mortally wounded commander, and, amid the roar of battle and storm of bullets, he remained with him to the last, gi%ing such aid as he could, 0uenching the dying thirst of this general, etc* +his account is not necessarily spoiled by the reasonable assurance that Mc:herson was dead within ten seconds after he was shot* r* Hewitt, o%er at the Howard house, testified that such was the case, and ;aptain Beards statement has been gi%en* Mc:hersons papers and field glasses were ta&en during the inter%al between his death and the reco%ery of his body* +he latter was accomplished by the 89th )llinois regiment of Morrills brigade* "eneral $uller ordered this regiment, then on the right of the brigade, to dri%e the ;onfederate s&irmishers out of the woods bac& of the rail fence and along the road* +he assault was made under hea%y fire, and the ad%anced position was held only a few minutes* But there was sufficient time to enable :ri%ate "eorge !herland of B ;ompany, and others, to bear to the rear the body of Mc:herson* !ome ;onfederate prisoners were ta&en, and on them were found the papers and field glasses of the general* Gne of these papers was the letter !herman had written that morning detailing the future plans of the federal army5

+he body was placed in an ambulance and ;olonels !trong and ;lar&, ;aptains !teele and "ile retraced the route bac& to !hermans head0uarters at the Augustus Hurt house* +he following is an attempt to establish the course of this route from the head0uarters at ;openhill, to the monument, at Mc:herson a%enue and Monument a%enue* Gf course, Mc:herson would want to ta&e the most direct route consistent with rapid tra%eling* +he country was wooded, somewhat rough, and the culti%ated fields were obstructed by fences* +he front line of the federals crossed the railroad at e"ress a%enue, and southward, the line was generally along the present Moreland a%enue, though there was no Moreland a%enue there then* 6orthward of the railroad, the line tra%ersed )nman par&, crossing <uclid near Alta, and crossing Highland, Fust east of ;openhill a%enue, where it ascended the western slope of ;openhill* Gb%iously Mc:hersons route would be east of this line, and far enough to the rear to be safe* )n 2789 Highland a%enue, coming from the north, did not touch ;openhill as it does now* )t swung southeastward at the present 6orth a%enue, where it crossed @illiams Mill road near its present intersection* +his carried Highland a%enue across the present :* H* !noo& property Cat !eminole and ;leburneD and, as ;leburne a%enue it went on southeastward to 'ittle $i%e :oints* +he east and west section of ;leburne a%enue was non,e.istent then, but was probably represented by a field road up to the Augustus Hurt house* !till southeastward, it crossed the present fi%e intersections and tra%ersed the ele%ated grade in the bloc&s bounded by Moreland, Mc'endon, e=alb and ;andler* Between ;andler and <lmira, it crossed the railroad, and 'a $rance street carried it eastward to a point between Hutchinson and Mayson* Here a road led an irregular course due south* )t was east of Hutchinson, and west of the stream line which is one of the many branches of !ugar cree&* +his stretch of the roadway is no longer %isible in places, but the grassy sward west of the stream is occasionally scored by wheel trac&s, and area, being mostly low ground, is still unimpro%ed* Hardee street was cross Fust east of Hutchinson, and threaded a diagonal course through woods still standing, to the present intersection of Boule%ard dri%e and Montgomery street* +his point was Fust east of Blairs head0uarters, which were on the hill northeast of the @hitefoord school* +he trace of the old road is still %isible here* Montgomery street is an unimpro%ed section of the route, south of Boule%ard dri%e, but it stops at the south ecatur car line* )n 2789, the road continued across the %alley of the east and west branch of the stream A climbing the steep hill to $air street* Here it passed between the present houses at 29?7 and 2981 $air street, !*<* Here <ast !ide street carried the route southward, o%er the eastern slope of the hill where Murphy /unior High school is located A but <ast !ide street and $air street are at present sun& within deep cuts made in the hill* )n 89, <ast !ide street was at grade le%el and from the forward slope of the hill, Mc:herson and !trong stopped to watch the combat o%er to the southeast, where @al&er and Bate were assaulting !weenys di%ision of the 28th corps, in the %alley as described* Gn the hill slope, the roadway left the course of <ast !ide street and swung a little southeast to the present intersection of an unimpro%ed street called :ar& street and the terminus of Mc:herson a%enue*

+he house at 297? Mc:herson a%enue, !*<* A at present the last house on the street, occupies a lot that is bounded on the north by Mc:herson a%enue, and on the south by a narrow roadway, cinder,pa%ed* +his is referred to in old deeds as the Gld Mc:herson Road, and it is the trace of the old route we are describing* +he present section of Mc:herson a%enue, east of the monument is no part of the original road* +he cinder road mentioned is a section of the old road and Mc:herson turned sharply to the right or westward here and followed the course to the present <ast !ide street* Here the road trended a little north of west, and Foined the pa%ed section of the a%enue at the monument* Here Mc:herson was &illed* +he road for&ed near the monument- the right or north for& is Mc:herson a%enue, the south for& ran southwest and no longer e.ists* )t was %isible as late as 24E4, where the writer tra%ersed its partly wooded course tot eh intersection of "lenwood and $lat !hoals* +his for& was li&ely the one Mc:herson would ha%e ta&en, for it led to the left of his line* +he north for& A now pa%ed A is part of the battle field road to 'eggetts Hill* !hortly after the war an army engineer located the tall pine tree under which Mc:herson was &illed* He established the location through personal &nowledge of e%ents, and the testimony of others, e0ually con%ersant with the facts* A photograph was made of the site* +he engineer scored the tree,trun& with distinguishing mar&s and ran lines up to the "eorgia railroad, establishing certain station points there* His sur%ey was used when the monument was placed where we now behold it, and its proper location has ne%er been 0uestioned* Mr* /* @* Mc@illiams, still residing in <ast Atlanta, states that the monument was erected about 273E* +he marble bloc& under the big gun, so Mc@illiams states A is hollow and contains a metal bo. filled with papers, li&e a corner stone* +he original railing around the monument was composed of gun barrels set %ertically in two iron rails, the gun barrels being tipped by metal spear heads* All these gun barrels were wrenched loose and purloined by %isitors, and when they were gone, pine cones from the big tree were at a premium* Monument a%enue was cut through the woods in recent years and today the monument site sits midway the width of Monument a%enue, and at the south border of Mc:herson a%enue* +he route, as gi%en, is compiled from old war maps and the reports of federal officers who were engaged in the fighting at and near the terminus of Mc:hersons last ride*

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